Lamenting the Loss of a Teacher
I know it is not September 5, or Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s birthday, also celebrated as Teachers’ Day in India. Just encountered a couple of teachers. The interaction left me holding up my pince-nez and
scrutinising the noble profession…
Undoubtedly, school years were the best years of our lives. And, teachers occupied a huge chunk of this mind space. Some, for their endearing idiosyncrasies, and others for their stern preaching. Teachers were known to practise what they preached. So, we were in awe of them, and stored them indelibly in our minds. We were blessed.
Can’t say the same for GenX. Woody Allen’s barb sums it up: “My education was dismal. I went to a series of schools for mentally disturbed teachers.”
Schools then had glorious reputations. Today notorious. As Lenny Bruce says, “I won’t say ours was a tough school. But we had our own coroner. We used to write essays like: What I’m going to be if I grow up.”
Many of us grew up with the philosophy that teaching is a work of the heart and that the teacher is the child’s third parent. But, today’s kids forget teachers like yesterday’s fashion fads.
Were teachers of the yesteryears made of different mettle? What did they bring to the class that stayed with us long after our school years?
The missing link is perhaps the wisdom of experience.
I recently overhead a teenager cheekily say, “The secret of teaching is to appear to have known all your life what you learned this afternoon.”
Teaching has become the next best thing to do after home-making. Every Rekha, Jaya and Sushma is turning to teaching.
Today, there are three good reasons to become a teacher: May, June and July!!
There goes the nobility of the profession!
News headlines scream out the horrendous atrocities inflicted on students by some perverted teachers. It’s almost like they’re saying, “I’m a teacher. How’s that for super power?”
There goes the humility of the profession!
As I pen off, I recall the sense of responsibility in the words of Christa McAuliffe, an American teacher from Concord, New Hampshire, and one of the seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, 1986.
“I touch the future. I teach.”