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!

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30 responses »

  1. T A Ramesh says:

    Educational institutions were like prisons when I was a school pupil. I didn’t enjoy much school life at all! I liked only college education but not the curriculum as that is not helpful in real world work underscoring the need for reforms and practical usability in world life in the changed circumstances now in India! Nature only gave me solace, inspiration, ideas and served as friend, philosopher and guide then and also is serving as great inspiration and guide as great teacher and will be so forever I believe!

  2. isabel says:

    My respects to their patience and hardwork…I can not remember them all but some of them made impact in my life, my childhood. To my first grade teacher Ms. Z for teaching us discipline at a young tender age…taught me how to write with my right hand even though I am a lefty ;)…now I am ambidextrous!
    To Mrs. C, my 2nd grade teacher who opened and led me to another wonderful world through reading and showing us that learning can be achieved successfully by other methods coupled with love and sincere mother-like approach rather than using an iron hand technique. She is and forever will be a model teacher in my eyes.

    A devoted teacher with a caring heart is what we need…not their numerous certificates of specialization.

  3. As you have mentioned there is a need to re look at the evolving new metaphors of learning and appropriate metaphors for teaching..Today no one wants to teach..We need to do something about it.

  4. Thanks Hari. I agree 100% with what you say. With so much information easily accessible, the teachers need to do more than what they are doing today. Apart from adopting newer techniques to attract and maintain the attention of children, they also need to be devoted like the teachers we used to have earlier. I am not generalizing. Not all teachers of yesteryears were great and not all teachers of today are bad but when compared to the earlier teachers we have less number of teachers who are really interested and devoted in their work.

  5. A.Hari says:

    I want to add one point. We are always blaming students for no fault of theirs. Actually, the teachers need to modify their techniques and add more value to their content. Students are able to access the latest information on any topic with use of internet. If the teachers are not aware of such info, the students will definitely lose interest in attending their classes.

    The teachers must adopt the lateset technology to improve their teaching methodology to suit the needs of present generation.

    Hari

  6. knot2share says:

    Nice one Shail! I feel that I am repeating myself over and over again. Well many of you here in this blogspace are writers and/or teachers. I am neither but I do agree that a good teacher is so hard to find these days. Hubby goes for some of the training courses through his work and he always comes back with total awe for some of these trainers because they have truck loads of information and life experience with them and they deliver the content quoting life incidents and with so much passion and desire to share it with everyone.

    During my school days I can think of a few teachers who helped me enjoy learning the subject rathar than seeing it as a chore. That genuine desire to teach and share is absent these days and like you said it has become more of a money-making avenue. Let us hope the priorities change for the right reasons.

    • Dear Shree.

      Cannot but agree. And, we needn’t have to be writers or teachers to understand this fact. Even as parents and ordinary thinking individuals we realize this fact that the teaching faculty is not as good as before. The dedication that we used to see earlier is hardly there today.

      Like you, I too am hoping for a positive change!

  7. Sneha says:

    Hi Shail,
    Nice to see you remembering your teachers and getting into the core of how it is to be one.
    Since I’m a lecturer now too, I can share your feelings. As usual, apt and with your trademark sensitivity.
    Sneha

    • Shail Raghuvanshi says:

      Dear Sneha,

      Thanks. Good that you liked the article and understand it being a lecturer now.

      Good luck to you too!

  8. sridhar says:

    Great, Shail, as usual. It’s a very sobering thought. In those days the best of talents would opt for teaching. But I am afraid if our children tell us, ‘Ma I’m going to be a teacher’ we’ll probably scream at them, ‘why should you?’

    So what happens. Those who are unfit for most of the other jobs become teachers not by desire but by default. given that ground reality I should say we have really good teachers.

    That was really a good article, Shail
    sridhar

    • Shail Raghuvanshi says:

      Dear Sridhar,

      Thanks for your lovely comment and coming from a person with teaching experience it feels good too.

      Nice that you liked the article.

  9. Shail Raghuvanshi says:

    That’s what I told her Sonal!

  10. revuu says:

    hey Shail…
    Really good to see this new blog of writers… As usual, your post is wonderful as it used to be..
    Wish you all the best for all your endeavours….

    • Shail Raghuvanshi says:

      Hi Nitha,

      So good to see you here. Nice you liked the post of mine.

      Yes, this blog of writers is really a great forum to get creative, whether to write or just plain read.

      Thanks for the good wishes!

      Hoping to see you here more!

  11. d.om prakash narayan says:

    Shail,
    At a school PTA meeting, many of the parents were complaining about the teachers and their lack of dedication. The Principal asked the grumbling parents to come for the assembly session the next day. The next day, as soon as the school assembly started, the princicpal asked the students how many wanted to become doctors. Half the hands went up. Engineers? Equally good number of hands went up. Lawyers? Little bit less. Accountants? Little lesser. Finally, the principal asked, “How many of you want to become teachers?” Only three raised their hand in a crowd of about 1500 students. Then the principal turned to the parents who had come (who had complained the previous day) and asked, “when you ALL want your children to be doctors and engineers, and not any of your children opt to become teachers, where am I going to find good teachers?

    • Shail Raghuvanshi says:

      Now you have me searching for an answer. Yes, it is a fact that most parents seldom want their children to become teachers or lecturers. It is in fact a last resort when all other attempts at getting a job have failed. That is why we don’t have dedicated teachers. They are in here because they could not get it elsewhere! What can we expect from them?

  12. Sonal Shree says:

    This Teacher’s Day I called up my parents and wished them HAPPY TEACHER’S DAY
    They were delighted but asked me why I was wishing them. My answer was- you were the first tutors at home who taught me the basic alphabets and numbers.
    They were soooo delighted.

    I remember my teachers too but haven’t been able to stay in touch with them.

    A thought provoking blog as always.

    • Shail Raghuvanshi says:

      So very thoughtful of you Sonal. Although we all know this we don’t exactly acknowlege and appreciate this obvious fact. Your parents must have felt so very good and proud!

  13. Indrani Talukdar says:

    I agree, Shail, completely.

  14. Indrani Talukdar says:

    First, my heartiest congrats; this site beats 4IW, and I am sure a lot of people would agree. A great layout and great content (it can only be expected with our band of writers). And your blog is so well-written, so to the point. I remember my English teacher, Mrs. Tripathi at the Convent of Jesus & Mary< Dehradun, thanks to whose encouragement I became a writer. But then I also remember other teachers who had a personal axe to grind and didn't care about the students' development. Sad to say, it is the latter tribe that is growing by leaps and bounds. With as many as 65 kids to a class it is be expected, i guess.
    Happy teachers' day to you too!

    • Shail Raghuvanshi says:

      Thanks Indrani. What else is needed? If all of you are happy and the ambiance is creative enough for all of us to write regularly and comment and share emotions and thoughts, we don’t need anything else. Do we?

      Yes, Indrani, I remember some other teachers as well in school. And I feel bad as you mentioned that we have lesser and lesser people of this ‘tribe.’ Let’s pray and hope the future generations get teachers who are really interested in the development of the students and do justice to the greatest job ever entrusted on them….

  15. Shernaz says:

    A good blog, Shail. Today I have been reading lots of poems and such on MuseIndia. We don’t know, sometimes till it is too late how certain teachers have shaped our lives. I suppose there are still some like the ones we had…may their tribe increase.

    • Shail Raghuvanshi says:

      Thanks Shernaz. I too wish for more of the teachers that existed ages ago it seems. When I see the teachers today, when I watch my son miss out on those wonderful things that a real devoted teacher doles out to students, I really miss my teachers!

  16. Beyniaz says:

    A great blog just in time for Teacher’s day. I have had some of the same teachers as my daughter as we both went to the same school. They don’t look a day older than when I was a little girl in their class! Something about being with children keeps ageing at bay!

    • Shail Raghuvanshi says:

      Thanks Beyni for the encouragement. Definitely, being around children especially when one is a teacher can really reduce the ageing process.
      And so nice that you and your daughter shared the same school and teachers too!

  17. Shail Raghuvanshi says:

    Dear Vimala, Thanks. I am sure many of your students must be remembering you like I do, not being able to connect back. Miss Lynch does not know that I remember her so!

  18. vimala ramu says:

    A good piece,Shail. How I wish my students also remember me like you do Miss Lynch ! But then, I can’t think of a single thing I was so good at,that they would do so !!!

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