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Celebrating Teacher's Day

4 September, 2020

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Every year on 5th September, people across India observe Teacher’s Day. This day is the birthday of late President Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the second President of India. He was a great scholar, as well as a philosopher. He had served for many years in the teaching profession; and it is to commemorate this service and honour him, that this day was chosen as Teacher’s Day, since 1962. Across all schools and colleges in India, various functions are held to mark the occasion, wherein the students convey their thanks to their teachers. Students perform for their teachers, and or contribute in many ways to express their feelings. 

This year, though, with the pandemic forcing all education online, the Teacher’s Day celebrations are also set to go online. The day is about remembering the teachers and their contributions, wherever you are, and in whichever way possible. Age is no bar in life either to be a teacher or to be a student. And in that sense, this Teacher’s Day, you could make it a point to express your appreciation for your teachers or spend the day with your students; it may even be both the cases.

Teacher’s importance

It is important to understand that teacher or ‘guru’, has a special place in the lives of the Indian students. India is that country which has a rich tradition of the Gurukul system, which a few of the modern schools are also trying to bring back. So, our children spend more time with their teachers, than they do with their parents. Children learn not just from what is being taught using books, within the confines of a classroom. They also watch and learn; when they see good things they like to emulate the same. And almost all of us would have one or two teachers, whom we always looked up to as role models.

As parents and grandparents, all of us are teachers, whether we like it or not. The next generation is watching us, and more so, since the pandemic, as we are forced to spend more time together. They learn important life lessons from us on how to:

  • Interact with or treat people around us
  • Respond to situations
  • Keep the learning going
  • Help people
  • Uphold values of life
  • Protect the environment
  • Evolving and adapting (Like in COVID times)

These are just a few of the life lessons that they learn from us, on a day to day basis. This is perhaps why when people become successful, they credit their parents and teachers for it. In ancient India, you had Chandragupta Maurya, who had a fine teacher in Chanakya, who groomed him to be the Emperor of India. You might also remember that Arjuna, the Pandava, had two great teachers. Drona, who taught him the weaponry, and Krishna, who guided him through tough life situations. 

In modern times, Sachin Tendulkar, always spoke highly of his coach Ramakant Achrekar, and kept visiting him, long after he became successful. We also have a coach like Pullela Gopichand, who has helped his students like Saina Nehwal and P Sindhu achieve great heights. On Teacher’s Day, many successful personalities from all walks of life, thank their teachers to bring out the importance of teachers in life. So, we cannot let the day go by, without remembering them.

Being a Teacher

It is not important if you are in the teaching profession or not; you may be guiding someone on a certain skill, or just imparting some education, formally or informally. It is, therefore, important to maintain a certain dignified conduct for the sake of our students. With most classes going online, the students may be urged to find innovative ways to thank their teachers. If you are in touch with your teachers, even making a call to them to just chat, can make their day. 

And, as a teacher, it is important to not let the day go by without a student interaction. Bring out the best in your students, whatever be the mode of education, or the subject. It is important to make sure that the guru-shishya connect becomes stronger during the pandemic. Technology has opened up multiple ways to connect, and use these to create social media posts, have group video calls, send some token of appreciation to teachers, encourage students, and so on. 

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