Perseverance. Passion. Commitment; the words which became the cornerstone of every individual who was fortunate enough to have met him. Words which seem so ordinary managed to change hundreds of lives in general, and mine in particular. It is often believed that education is not a preparation for life; education is life itself and who better to guide you through this than a person called a teacher. A teacher should be someone who has the zeal to put his work before his leisure, his family and even himself and I was propitious to come across such a man in this lifetime.
Unlike the others that I had met, he believed that just collecting degrees and certificates would not take you very far. The foundations of glory and greatness were built on crystal clear concepts and only through pain and sacrifice could one enter the hallowed portals of success. He redefined the profession, altered the boundaries and gave a new meaning to being a “teacher”. His students realised that they had indeed never been to school as what they were taught happened to be subjects and chapters, what he taught happened to be pristine knowledge.
In a country like ours where millions of children are still denied the right to good education, schools and colleges have a paramount role to play. And the people who happen to breathe life into these institutions are none other than teachers and professors. The ancestral era considered teaching to be the greatest of the arts as the medium was the human mind and spirits. It was believed that the teachers were the heart of this educational system and if the cards were played right, they had the power to spark minds that could change the world. Unfortunately, the modern day epoch has seen this profession lose its charm. Now, the teachers restrict themselves to the syllabus, focus only on the course material and encourage scoring high marks by cramming and puking; with one person being an exception to this.
He once told us that “Giving up is for the lesser mortals, for true humans it is never an option”. This phrase stuck with me as I had never been motivated in such a manner before. That was the day I realised that the dream of any child begins with a teacher who believes in them, who tugs and pushes and leads them to the next covet, sometimes showing them the mirror called ‘truth’. This is what my mentor did, as he bashed his students much more than he praised them. He encouraged them by making them fathom that they indeed did not know anything of anything. He made them accept the harsh reality of life that you cannot enjoy best of all the worlds. His unique pedagogy, his dedication towards his craft and his love for his children makes him stand out, not only from just a crowd, but also from the entire teaching fraternity.
We have often heard the saying that “Rome was not built in a day” which accords perfectly to the belief that no change can happen overnight. The statistics show that we are one of the countries with the fastest growth rate in the world, but the question that should be plaguing our minds is that is this growth coming with a cost. A nation is only as strong as its youth and the young minds need the right guidance to grow, to develop and to prosper. The teachers have a huge role to play, as one mistake can make the entire building collapse. We need more teachers like my Sir; the world needs more teachers like him because in the end with great power does come great responsibility.
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