Teachers come unannounced in our lives. We, after all, cannot choose our teachers while we are in say, school, college and the like. Sometimes, their presence can even irk us till no end because they usually demand from us discipline, academic excellence – some things that we are usually comfortable without when young. But later, much later in life, we realize that these very things make us the persons that we really are, should be or could have been.
I for one, credit my legible handwriting to my Second Std. Class teacher, Miss Lynch. I still remember her face, that kind expression on her countenance; in fact, I still see that halo around her like you see around angels! Today, when I am complimented for my handwriting, I know who I owe it to! In fact, if you see my 2nd Std Report Card (yes, I have it still – courtesy: my mother) my handwriting in many ways resembles hers. My son said that too when I showed him the report card one day. I cannot vouch for the others but for me, she was the only teacher throughout my student lifetime who came after my mother. It was in her class that I excelled in my studies. I even remember the black and red striped Natraj pencils that she used to keep locked in the classroom cupboard given to us when our pencils got too small to write. The joy felt when she used to open the cupboard and hand it to me, I can still feel it.
Teachers form such an important part of a student’s life, this not all students realize. We are so busy studying, playing the fool and passing out of school and college to acknowledge and appreciate it. Only when we see some teachers today and find a huge vacuum of the kind of teachers of yesteryears do we understand what our children are missing out on. Today, not all teachers have what it takes to mould a child’s persona, his/her identity and the values that only a right teacher can teach. Today, many educational institutions have become commercial hubs. And who loses in there? Not only the parents who dole out lots of money in the form of fees, building funds, donation and what not. The main losers are the students who don’t learn what they should. Leave alone the values, even the subjects are not taught to them professionally. So, when they step out of school, all that they have is a frenzied, mad, competitive, half baked training of subjects, something which a lovely devoted teacher would certainly not have done. What the society now gets is a teacher sans dedication, professional knowledge and love for children.
Maybe, the educational institutions do not pay the teachers enough. Maybe, the demands from fast paced parents are what influence the educational system. Maybe, the teachers themselves are not bothered about the great responsibility that is bestowed upon them. Whatever be the reasons, the ultimate loser is society which does not finally get what it truly deserves and that is dedicated professional teachers and good disciplined and knowledgeable students.
This year, when we celebrate Teacher’s Day once again, let’s do some re-thinking, whether we have got our priorities right as teachers, parents and students. Not to leave out the administration of educational institutions which pave the way for a healthy/unhealthy mode of learning. Remember, we don’t want Nobel Prize Winners around here. All can’t possibly become one. What we need are teachers who were there like the ones that existed in yesteryears doling out knowledge like a home baked piece of cake lovingly and with the right ingredients of discipline, dedication and love. And, we need people like us (students, parents, etc) to appreciate such kind of teachers.
Happy Teacher’s Day!