Yesterday night was a run through all my formative years of the persons who stood in front of 30 – 60 students at a time. So, it was a series of flashing faces in flashback. I was grateful and went blissfully to sleep.
Late morning, today, I receive a text message from my friend. He sent best wishes to me for Teachers’ Day. I am overwhelmed; I send back an SMS, I thank him. Somewhere I do not feel I deserve it, but it is not for me to decide what he feels, and that I respect.
So you have the teachers who are teachers and then you have the teachers who are your friends, parents, and colleagues. They never follow a syllabus or a curriculum, but they teach you. It may be a trivial task of changing the toner cartridge of a printer or a critical philosophy of work discipline. But they teach, and you learn. You may go through your entire life without formal education and will learn all that you ever need to live your life. But the impact that teachers have on your life can never be underestimated.
I am fortunate to have had the best and the worst teachers that our education system provides. I say fortunate, because even bad teachers teach you a lot — not much of the subject perhaps, and not in a way that you would understand, but of what it means to be a teacher. I am also fortunate that I am in still in touch with one of my two favourite teachers. I am glad that I am in some way related to this profession. It is an immensely satisfying experience, though I wonder if I would have the patience with a chalk and a board. For that, I think teachers are an altogether different breed. They do the same thing over and over again, year after year; you would think it is an absolutely boring job. I think it’s the students who make a difference in their life.
The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself.
The return a teacher seeks is not the abysmal pay that she gets; she seeks the experience of heart-swelling pride, when she sees her student become successful, on the foundation of all that she taught.
Beyond the scorecard.