Teaching from the heart

Teaching from the heart

All about teachers

She is in her mid forties, but the generous sprinkling of grey in her hair makes her look older. There is a certain amount of quiet pride in her voice when she announces, “I am a teacher.” She could have chosen a more lucrative career, but she chose teaching because she “loves children”.
She wants to give the best of herself, and she wants to make sure that she reaches out effectively to each child whose future is entrusted to her.  She does not look at teaching as a job; she looks at it as a mission.  She takes pains to try and understand each child in her class, and to spend a few moments with as many of them as possible.  She is genuinely concerned about their welfare.

She represents an army of dedicated individuals who are bringing up each new generation silently.  She seeks no rewards, and often gets none.  Considering each new child as a bud, she helps them blossom.  The children grow up and move on; the teacher remains where she is.  The students pick up all the glory and recognition, the teacher watches, misty-eyed, from the sidelines.

Teachers as givers
September 5th is Teachers Day.  We commemorate the birthday of a great teacher, Dr S Radhakrishnan, who went on to become the President of India.  A few other illustrious teachers like him gained recognition, but the vast majority gave their best efforts, not to create wealth and glory for themselves, but to empower their students to go out and face the world with confidence.

If you are reading this article, you owe it to your teacher who taught you to read. Think of all the wonderful teachers who shaped your personality.  If you cannot give them anything else, give them a silent salute, a warm hug, and a prayer for their well being.  Go looking for your teachers, the ones who laid the foundation on which your structure of adult life prospered.  Some may have retired from their jobs; others may be still making the difficult journey from home to school every morning to receive nothing more than the reward of the warm smiles of their “children.”

Guardian angels
We have revered and respected our teachers from time immemorial but we have never done justice to them.  We looked up in awe at them when we were tiny, vulnerable and innocent.  We held their hand when confused. They not only taught us how to read and write and calculate, they also stood by us as protective guardians, and helped us build our self-esteem and confidence to face the world.
We should salute all the humble, quiet and unassuming teachers who dedicated their lives to their students, held them close, and made them what they are today.  Every true teacher has endeavoured to give her students much more than what is in text books.

When Dr Abdul Kalam became President of India, he located his centenarian teacher in Tamil Nadu and put him on stage with him to share his honour.  This, and innumerable other examples, show that those who were lucky to have  dedicated teachers, went on to become great. As Dr Kalam  said, the launch of the rocket is most crucial. If it is given the right take-off, it can reach the moon.  The teacher is the launching pad of every great person who reaches for the sky.
A teacher’s achievement is not in promotions or awards.  It is in the progress that her students make, year after year. There are many teachers even now who are shaping the future Abdul Kalams of our country. It is said that the future of a society depends on how much interest it takes in the welfare of the young.
Teachers are the prime movers who commit their whole life to the welfare of the youth, hence they are the greatest builders of a society or a nation.  If we are proud of our country, our progress, our wealth and power, then we should be proud of our teachers.  We should acknowledge their role and significance, not just by greeting them on Teachers Day, but by giving back to them in word and deed.

Friend first, teacher later
 Born into a family with modest means in Basavane in Shimoga district, Balachandra’s earliest memories were of his hardworking mother who taught music to keep him in school.  Struck by her dedication to teaching, he made up his mind, early in life, to become a teacher. He was one of the very few men at Stella Maris Convent in Bangalore, but every generation of students, from 1975 to 2006, remembers him for his enthusiastic interest in their work. He not only took the lead in organising sports events and cultural programmes, he was always ready to counsel his students. He was like a magician who could produce smiles from tears. He never ever learnt to say, ‘No’. On Friendship Day, he sported dozens and dozens of friendship bands, proving that a great teacher is truly a friend, philosopher and guide. He made others’ troubles his own but never told any of his students about the malignant tumour growing inside him. By the time he was taken for treatment, it was too late.  He passed away on November 15, 2006, after celebrating Children’s Day.