“Those who can’t do, teach.”
Whoever came up with that catch phrase, was once taught how to write. From being the first ones (after our mothers) to have said a firm ‘No’ to the ones we went to when trouble brewed up in kindergarten, teachers have influenced us in ways we cannot comprehend. They have always been the harsh muses, lighting the torch and showing us the way. They have nudged us on and only wanted the best. When some people shrug off the profession, they exhibit a need to be taken to their roots. So this is to tell you why teaching will always be one of the noblest professions there is.
René Descartes made a wonderful five-word statement, “I think, therefore I am.” Thinking is fruitful when you question to understand things, and teachers obliterated our shame in not knowing things. They were the people who were overjoyed when you had questions, because these reservoirs of knowledge just wanted to give as much as they could. “Ask me a hundred times, I’ll answer you,” is a piece of jargon that has opened doors inside your head that you never knew existed.
They have helped shape your individuality, for me, they were the first to teach me not to take notions lying down. My English teacher taught me at a very young age that a myth was just a hypothetical situation that you can blame if things go wrong. She told me that when a cat crosses your path, it means it wanted to go across the road. She taught me to own up, that there are no two ways about it. Not only did they teach us what a straight geometrical line is, they also helped us draw the virtual one that demarcates the good from the bad.
They are not people who keep themselves relegated to the subjects they teach. They have helped develop your interests, and broadened it. Like my school librarian, she had a rule. She would call out random names and we had to summarize the book we had issued the week before in front of the whole class. Fearing the embarrassment of standing clueless in a class of fifty is what forced me to read the book. It introduced me to the beautiful world of reading, and I cannot, in my entire lifetime, thank her enough for that.
They take more than they signed up for, every day. They have to deal with and tame kids who come from various walks of life. “When you want to tell people something you have to know how to express it properly. So that they will take you seriously,” says the teacher in Nadine Gordimer’s, ‘My Son’s Story’. It’s a quote that holds a reservoir of meaning when it comes to the life of these givers of wisdom. Their being there is why we know how to say, ‘chemist’ and ‘church’ differently. They are our stepping stones, the foundation of everything that we have learned over the span of our lives. If they deserve something, it’s a lifetime of gratitude.
So here’s a BIG shoutout to all the teachers who have been there in my life. For all the times you have told me to ‘not run in the corridors’, ‘pin up my hair’ and to ‘stand near the dustbin and decorate the classroom’, thank you. I know I could not have been what I am, had you not been there. For all that, and a lot more I wish that all the good in the world comes to you, and may you always enrich the lives that you touch- like you did mine. You have changed so many lives over the span of your career, your importance cannot be put in words. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.