‘Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnu, Gurur Devo Maheswaraha; Guru Saakshat, ParaBrahma, Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.’
Since time immemorial, Indians have always respected and idolized their teachers and given them a place with the gods themselves. A good teacher is like a candle that consumes itself to light the way for others. Teachers were, are and will continue to be our guiding light, creating conditions conducive to our overall development. It was only a few days ago that I was reading the autobiography of Helen Keller. How wonderfully she has expressed every moment, every incident of her life! It amazes me that a girl like her, impaired from an early stage in her life, grew up to be such a successful person. And it was a teacher, Miss Anne Sullivan, who was the real reason behind her success. Only a teacher will have the patience to teach such a child, a child who might have disturbed her, irritated her. Only a teacher can have such endurance. A teacher is one who understands a child, recognizes his flaws as much as his strengths. Understanding every detail and every asset of a child is what makes one a teacher. A teacher is much more than the person we wish every morning in the classroom and much more than someone who teaches us subjects.
When talking about teachers, one must not forget the person, the actual reason behind celebrating Teacher’s Day, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. He clearly defines what a teacher should be. Leading the path to freedom, guiding others and motivating them to work is what makes one a teacher. Also the bond that develops between the students and their teacher is extremely critical to the students’ all round development. It is the perceptiveness of a teacher that makes her special to her students. Her ability to transform something boring into something really amazing almost as if by magic makes her a teacher. Speaking of magicians and teachers how can we, Harry Potter fans, forget Albus Dumbledore. It was his trustworthiness, compassion, and kindness towards Harry in particular and other students and teachers that made him a wonderful and most loved teacher. His bravery, joyous and loving attitude and wise decisions are all qualities a good teacher must have. It was the tender-hearted and sympathetic nature of Miss Honey, Matilda’s teacher from Roald Dahl’s Matilda, that made her everyone’s favourite. How wonderfully she taught her little students who couldn’t spell ‘cat’ on their first day to spell ‘difficulty’ within just four days. It is the magic, the mystic touch of a teacher that makes a student’s dreams come true. Teachers, according to Dr. Radhakrishnan, must impart to the students a “zest for new experience, love for adventure in knowledge.” When talking about fictional teachers I must not forget Ram Shankar Nikumbh played by Aamir Khan in Taare Zameen Par. It is quite fascinating to see how a teacher becomes a friend and uses different techniques to help a ‘dyslexic’ child overcome his challenges and build his confidence. That’s how a teacher should be! Another great example of a fictitious teacher is Professor Charles Xavier (from American comic books). My teacher in school (whom I consider the best) endeared herself to us by telling us stories about herself, her experiences in this world, sharing her views on everything with us. Her stories helped build a warm and affectionate relationship between us (the teacher and the students) which in turn helped invigorate the classroom.
Malala Yousafzai has said, “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.” A teacher should be able to motivate others to change and inspire them to be the change, show them the right path and also prepare them to fight against evil and for good. A teacher is also someone who can make you laugh, make you happy and feel confident. A teacher is someone who praises you, but also scolds you when you are wrong. Being a teacher is not easy. In the words of Sir William Arthur Ward, I would like to say that, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” Teachers were, are and will always be the future-makers of the world and undoubtedly the ones who carve this phenomenal world and make it beautiful with their art, adoration and magic.
Mrinal Agarwal is a student of class 10 at Delhi Public School, Jodhpur. His interests and hobbies include debates, food, galaxies, stars and reading. He is the member of the English Club at his school. He can be reached at [email protected].