Our Teachers: To Serve With Love
We were extremely lucky to have lived in an age where there were very few distractions. Add to it, it was a residential public school, and to top it, a boys ONLY school. So our class of 90 young boys hardly having crossed our 11th birthday, set out to evolve in this system of Gurukul, guided by our able Teachers at Sainik School Amaravathi Nagar, nestled in the foothills of the Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu.
What we imbibed in those seven years, and how much we owed to our Teachers can be judged by the fact that when we planned to celebrate our 25th year of passing out from our school, we decided to honour our Teachers first and foremost. Our classmates took upon themselves to track down all the 36 teachers who were associated with us at school from 1981-1988. We traced them all, the oldest being more than 80+, invited them well in advance, assisted them to reach the school, made arrangements for their stay and local travel and celebrated our Silver Jubilee with our Gurus who toiled to make our future. For they had given their Yesterday for Our Today, and this was the least we could do to honour these towering personalities. Without them, we would have been nothing.
I then notice my son and daughter and their friends as they go through their present school. How much do they revere their Teachers? Do they worship their Teachers, the same way we did? It is very difficult to answer this question. May be not to the same degree as we revered. But as they grew up I did notice that for them, a Teacher’s word was the Gospel truth. “My Teacher said this…..” and that, was final no matter what we told them. I started praying that they get good teachers.
Has the role of their Teacher probably reduced? May be the kids have much more distractions to divert their focus and many other places to learn from. The teacher as a content deliverer might have undergone a change with the availability of myriad number of online Education portals and many schools switching to Digital Classrooms. But the Teachers role can never change because no Digital Tech can ever replace the personalized touch of a Teacher. No amount of artificial intelligence can understand the sparkle in the eyes or a shadow of doubt in the students face and modify the content accordingly and ensure the child learns the best way.
Are the Teachers of today as dedicated as their predecessors? Are they a fountainhead of knowledge or do the students know more than them due to the availability of information at their fingertips? Now this is a question that the Teachers have to answer or the school authorities have to check. But one thing is sure, Teachers are a great influence on the student. One pat on the back at the right moment can spur a child to excellence. One right word can do a world of good, to raise the confidence of a child many times over. It is every Teacher’s responsibility to know more than the kids they tutor. If you are a teacher, your search and thirst for knowledge should never stop.
What ails the Teaching System? The quality of Teachers in school are not as we wish, because the best brains are being taken away from the schools to the professions that offer lucrative careers. Even the best teachers are being taken away to coaching centers that offer bizarre amount of money. The only way to stem this is to make it mandatory to pay the Teachers really well. Also no tutor or educator should be able to teach outside the system, unless they dedicate a definite number of years in a school. Govt interference of changing curriculum, assessments systems etc every now and then should stop. The CBSE has been an experimental Lab for some years now from Sibal to Smriti experimenting with kids future. The Teachers and kids have been suffering with changing patterns.
As a society we now need to review the status of teachers. A Teacher should be revered and given the highest place of honour in our society, only then will our children and future generations benefit. The scriptures have given this Stature long ago. And I quote-
Gurur-Brahmaa Gurur-Vishnnur-Gururdevo Maheshvarah | Gurure va Param Brahma Tasmai Shrii-Gurave Namah |
Which roughly translates to
The Guru is Brahma, the Guru is Vishnu, the Guru Deva is Maheswara (Shiva), The Guru is Verily the Para-Brahman (Supreme Being); Salutations to that Guru.
So to all Gurus, all you Teachers – all the Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s who are doing the real Nation Building today. Salutations to thee! Happy Teacher’s Day!
To the World You may be a Teacher, but to your students…….. You are a Hero!