On the occasion of Teacher’s Day, I wish you all a very Happy Teacher’s Day. It is a day to celebrate the most enriching profession. It is a day when we feel proud that we are teachers. It is a day for soul searching, as a teacher.
Teaching is a truly inward human activity. More than the mind, it is the heart that makes a teacher. Teaching is not merely an intellectual, or emotional, or spiritual pursuit. It is a combination of all the three. A mere intellectual teacher is a cold abstraction of facts. A mere emotional teacher is a narcissist. A mere spiritual teacher doesn’t have any anchor to the real world. A combination of the three, when interwoven into the fabric of the self, makes a teacher.
There is no prescribed description of a good teacher. Every teacher is good in her/his way. . A good teacher invokes in her/his students a capacity for connectedness. Methods don’t dictate connectedness, heart can; heart where intellect, emotion, and spirit converge. A good teacher encourages questions; she/he may or may not know the answer. A good connectedness among the teacher and students may help in resolving unresolved questions. Shadows and limits are as much a part of a teacher as strengths and potentials are. Teaching opens the heart. As a teacher we have to make the students aware of their inner reality. Students want to see the big picture. A teacher can help them to see the big picture. We have to tell them that subjective self is not irrelevant. Teaching is not merely an image building exercise.
If I am ever asked, what is the most flattering description of a teacher — a Hero, or a Role Model — I would go for a Hero. A role model impacts our life for a shorter period. Once his role is over, he disappears from the scene. Hero remains with us for a long time.
We all know that drawing is different from tracing. When we draw, we encounter discontinuities. These discontinuities disappear when we trace. But many of us like to live with a few discontinuities. A teacher tells us that discontinuities are normal. Discontinuities help us to form the driving force to take us to our destination. Only a good teacher has the authority to teach. Authority is not power. It is the capacity to stand on the ground when faced with the challenges of the classroom and own life. Authority comes from a teacher’s inner self. A teacher is a friend. He gives a feeling of trust. A teacher turns a mirror into a window.
I feel proud that I am a teacher. For me the most joyous moments are when I am in the classroom. I feel good when we explore uncharted territories together. I feel good that my students are now my teachers.
HAPPY TEACHER’S DAY.