To all the teachers out there,
You deserve more than just one day of recognition. Every achievement that any student makes in their life is a celebration of Teachers’ day. It is proof that the hard work you nurtured us with bears fruit today. Coming from a family of teachers, I’ve always had a feeling of admiration for academia.
I still remember practising in the field for the sports day and being conscious of the people around me as I ran on the tracks. My PT teacher called out and told me to look straight while I was running: “The finish line is all you must see, what are you looking for behind you – your goal lies in front.”
I went on to win that race and his advice has guided me through many races in life. I remember practising for debates and my Hindi teacher giving me ton loads of topics to practice on. All I did was crib about the extra work on top of the board exam pressure. The next morning I would see her arrive with even more preparation and notes than I had been assigned and all I could do was admire her passion.
We lost many debates but her faith in us continued. She was quick to call us out on our faults but she was the first shield to stand for us when we didn’t perform up to expectation. And with the amount of dedication she put in, the expectation was always high and finally, we did reciprocate that in the debates.
Today, I am a confident public speaker however none of it would have been possible if my teacher had agreed with the rest that I was too soft-spoken for debating. Had she not rooted for me, perhaps I might not have either. I still remember my English literature teacher praising all those who had secured the highest in the English Literature unit exam. Although I wasn’t present in school on that day, I yearned for that praise and, though I laugh remembering it now, I used to study hard for the literature paper just to make her proud.
Literature was soon the spark that ignited my soul and writing became much more than an occasional hobby – it became my passion too. She asked me to write for the annual academician and I submitted a three-part story after putting in a day’s work. It didn’t get published in the magazine however it became the draft of the novel I am writing presently.
I can proudly say today that AGENT 024, and with it my journey as an author, was a result of the trust my teacher put in me which was so raw and earnest that I wanted to do everything in my power to stand worthy of it. I remember being a rebel and when organic chemistry made no sense to me, I would do everything but sit quietly in the class.
When my Chemistry teacher told me to stay back after class one day, I was ready for the month-long anguish and wrath to unfold. Instead, she said kindly, “Tell me, is everything okay? ” And, I told her Chemistry was out of the scope of my understanding, she listened and offered help.
Now that I think of it, there were two ways it could have gone down- the easier and more probable way would have been to shout at me, threaten to call my parents if I didn’t pay attention or complaint to the coordinators. Due to the fear of being further reprimanded, I would have listened. I’d still have disliked the subject and even the teacher now, but I would have created no more ruckus in her class and technically the problem would have solved.
However, she chose the other way, the difficult way that no one would have expected of her. She chose to be empathetic, she chose to understand, she chose to treat me with respect and care, and I had no other option than to respond to her kindness. When my class teacher made me in charge of the class for the soft board competition, all I could think of were ways to get out of this responsibility.
I wasn’t just shy of the spotlight, I ran away from the very possibility of it. And being the leader of the class would mean constant interaction and my classmates’ ill will when I had to call them out in front of the teacher for not bringing in stuff for the board. And truth be told, I in my entire life, had hardly submitted anything for the board. Expecting class 12th students to do that was a fool’s errand. However by the end of the term, we had won all the competitions straight and the class was content as the work was divided such that 10 students were made to bring stuff for each competition and hence once someone had submitted the stuff, they were not asked for any more work till months.
As a result, the innocent students who landed up getting the stuff every time due to fear of punishment breathed a sigh of relief whereas the students like me who would always find some escape every time now worked and the process was smoothly functioning. Had my teacher not forced me to step out of my comfort zone and for once taking charge in my life, I’d have preferred to remain the passenger of my ship and never have the guts to take over as the pilot of my life. That confidence earned went so much beyond the walls of the classroom. I would have never considered myself a leader, had my teacher not forced me to see it for myself.
Whatever I am today, is an accumulation of the trust and hard work my teachers have put into me. Whatever I achieve, I’ll know it all began on the campus of the school that became home to me.
It began with the teachers who put their belief in me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the teachers who’ve influenced and impacted me.
The profession you have undertaken is shaping the future and as you set us out into the world has taught us how to fly, every flight that we take, the wing underneath our wings shall be courtesy your hard work.
Thank you for not giving up on us even when we made it so easy to, for making us get out of our comfort zones even when we hated to, for shaping the leaders of tomorrow, because you saw it in us even when we didn’t have the guts to.
My teacher once said, “It’s not about the job, heck teachers don’t even get paid much but it is the satisfaction to see your students become capable – that happiness is all that this profession is about.”
Hoping to make you all proud one day, Happy Teachers’ Day.