Saturday, September 5, 2009

Teachers: Now and Then


This post has been published by me on the occasion of the Teachers' Day as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 2; the second edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.





What can a girl-just-turning-into-a-woman of "now" wanting to be a teacher herself talk about the teachers of "then"?

I was a student even a couple of months back and in a couple of months ahead the role's going to be reversed when I'll be taking up teaching. I was petrified about doing a terrible job, scared that the students wouldn't even listen to me. When my mother came to my rescue. She only had a simple advice. Be all that, that you wanted and never got in a teacher, all that which had made a teacher your favourite and stay away from all that you thought harms the student. Don't teach, inspire.

Then I realised the world of difference in the teachers who are and who were.

Talking of India alone, and definitely not as an expert, being in a field of science where guidance is everything, I long for the days when teachers were gurus and they were considered as the the embodiment of divinity along with one's parents. Can most of us say the same of our own "gurus"? I doubt it.

There were the times of studying with the guru while staying with him and his wife, doing chores and learning simultaneously, when learning was not limited to facts but values. When teaching culminated in the exaltation of mind, building of character. When man was guided and moulded to be the rational, compassionate being he is purported to be.

As a student, I used to get angered how less of morality and more facts from books are taught today. How can one take on the great responsibility of the most crucial period of any child's life and mistreat it? Encumbered by politics, blinded by petty, self-absorbing greed and thoughtlessness, the so-called teachers have misused and abused the true meaning of 'teachers'. I have never understood how a teacher forgets, how it was to be a student once. It is not a revenge cycle. Being a teacher is not the freedom to terrorise the younger minds who cannot revolt. Being a teacher is not the way to be all that you had hated in your teacher, just to get even with his memory. Being a teacher is not wielding your power to destroy a future with favouritism or negligence.

But great teachers are not only limited to an almost-ancient history, with advent of better life and modernization, great teachers have become few and far between, but they are not extinct yet. Today, few men try cross the boundary to ascend into the realms of being "the Creator". But there have been the ones holding the light as men travelled down the paths of life. Buddha, Guru Nanak, Kabir, Swami Vivekananda, Shri Aurobindo Ghosh even today there have been teachers like APJ Abdul Kalam who have shown the way, the ones who have made a difference.

As I forge ahead, my usual optimistic idealism rears its head. All hope is not lost. Even in this bleakness, there still shines that ray of faith. I recall those rare but omniscient beings to whom teaching was the continuation of knowledge from a generation to next and not a way for easy money. The ones who remembered being a man of principles is equally, if not more important as being a master in a trade. The ones who have refuted the saying 'those who can, do; those who can't, teach' and have both done and passed on the knowledge. The teachers who have known the value of teaching, not leaving it to the lesser beings who really couldn't do it, and really have delved deep into the souls of their pupils.

Remembering the teachers of today who let you play to your strengths, find and overcome your own weaknesses and help discover your own self and the great teachers of yesterday who have given us great words, thoughts and insights to be a human being first do I move ahead in this realm. Great teachers are a rare species who make lives, nurture minds, create great men, an undertaking of the highest order. As we have learned from the great philosophers, a fortunate few have also known it first hand, an experience that also confirmed how dismal, depressing the reality, the present has slowly become. Shaping minds once was the sculpturing the future of the country and now has slowly converted by the so-called teachers in so many instances as a personal positions of frivolous power. This stark difference is probably what has been the biggest revealer as to what what truly being a teacher entails, and as to the legacy left behind for being the ideal teacher, of the grave responsibility it carries.

I have been more than afraid to be teacher but I have been more enthused by the thought that it is still I, a teacher who can make the difference to a mind. Emboldened by the examples of the great philosophers and teachers of the past and learning from those who made me see the greatness in being teacher, that I want to step onto being a worthy teacher of the future; to become a teacher of "now" worthy of my students, worthy of being as much an inspirer as a teachers of "then".

~
Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu
Guru Devo Maheshwaraha
Guru Saakshat Para Brahma
Tasmai Sree Gurave Namaha
~

Its way past the time to bring back the true spirit and glory of the teachers, of the guru back. The future rests on it, India rests on it.


The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton are Vipul, Rajalakshmi, Dhiman, Ranee[1], [2], [3] , Avada, Indian Pundit, Sojo, Aneet, Pramathesh, Aativas, Sid, Pra, Ajinkya, Lakshmi, Govind, Shilpa, Bharathi, Shankar, Mytuppence, Azad, Pawan, Pankaja, Saimanohar, Shruti, Vishnu and Nasrajan. Click on their respective names to read their posts on Teachers : Aaj Kal. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

20 comments:

For What it s worth said...

Nice and simple.
Good luck on your venture to inspire many students.

Shruti said...

Sreya!
Its not complicated!
But it does convey a lot of meaning!
""teachers were gurus and they were considered as the the embodiment of divinity along with one's parents""
it was then! Even i have the same doubt as yours! Neatly done!

Check out mine too!

Indian Pundit said...

Wow Sreya.....great post.

When my mother came to my rescue. She only had a simple advice. Be all that, that you wanted and never got in a teacher, all that which had made a teacher your favourite and stay away from all that you thought harms the student. Don't teach, inspire.

Brilliant.....join my college plz....i wanna get inspired.

I agree with everything that u say here.......

Cheers.....and check out my post too.

pra said...

Nice post! Your mother's advice is very inspiring and tells everything you need to become a ideal teacher!I like your saying that it is not a revenge cycle! Many teachers now a days consider it to be a revenge cycle and misbehave with the students!

Shankar said...

Nice post sreya...

Each one has written about different topics in different ways...

But urs is unique due to its simplicity..I thouroughly enjoyed reading it...

All the best for Blgo-a-ton...

Bharathi said...

Nice post. I am happy that you like to choose this professsion. Happy (belated) teachers day. All the best as well.

Shilpa Garg said...

A good post!!
You mother's words are truly inspiring!! :)
All the best to you in your role as a teacher!! :)

Sid 'Ravan' Kabe said...

Wow... you are a teacher!!

I never respected any teacher till now...yet reading this article i think my views will change...:D

evanescentthoughts said...

A first timer here.. So nice to hear it from a teacher's point of view.. very nice.. I liked your post a lost.. Read my take on this at my site and all the best :)

HaRy!! said...

glad yu hav this profession... nice gesture.. and rite on teachers day ..nice post!

Shruti said...

hey check out my post!!

Dhiman said...

I think your taking up the profession 'now' with the kind of ideals you are seeking you'll be a teacher who kids of tomorrow will write about in their analysis of Teachers - Now and then

Rajalakshmi Umapathy said...

Wow! another teacher. Clean and crystal clear. Some of my thoughts were also there.. I love it. all the best Sreya

Neha said...

nice post sreya...I was pretty surprised when I saw very few posts on blogger about teachers...we all should respect them as they r the foundation of our career path right?

thank u for sharing :))

Lakshmi Rajan said...

Hi ! simple and honest ! And best wishes for your teaching career ahead ! Hope you would be a role model for many students :)

PEOPLE, PLACES, VOICES, FACES... said...

I like the way you write and I like the way you think.

I can see in you a lot of the same motivations that I had when I first started teaching.

I think you captured it in the word "hope." You cannot be a teacher unless you have "hope" in humanity and its potentials and possibilities.

I know you'll make and awesome teacher! BTW, your mother gave you the best advice. You have a very wise teacher in your mother.

Ranee

Aneet said...

Thanx for visiting my blog...

So why are you a teacher? I take you recently graduated? Just curious! :)

Saimanohar said...

"The teachers who have known the value of teaching, not leaving it to the lesser beings who really couldn't do it, and really have delved deep into the souls of their pupils."
very true

Aditya said...

Inspiring post really. very good writing :)

//Great teachers are a rare species who make lives, nurture minds, create great men, an undertaking of the highest order. //

How true :)

Vipul Grover said...

A very intelligent post thr Guria. It is the idealistic optimism that brings the change. The ideal might never be reached but the effort to reach it is in itself very humbling for the individual and fruitful for evryone around.
Wishing u all the best for the new phase of ur life. I am sure u'll not get lost in the labyrinth and make the best out of it:)
Keep reflecting!