The Good Teacher

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“No one in this world is born by accident!” he exclaimed.  The students stared wide-eyed as the Botany teacher continued, “God has sent each one of you into this world with a purpose”.   It has been over three decades, yet his words of affirmation continue to echo.   Seated among those sixteen-year-old students in the classroom was my husband, Johnson who fondly remembers his teacher’s words of inspiration that has stood the test of time. 

We have all had our share of good teachers who have made a lasting impact in our lives.   They are our heroes minus their capes and masks. These are the people who have this invisible power to influence us to soar to great heights and scale new challenges.  Teachers’ Day is one occasion where we take time to honour and appreciate them.  The day is celebrated with much fanfare on different dates in over ninety countries across the world.  Today, September 5th is India’s Teachers’ Day.  It commemorates the birthday of Dr S Radhakrishnan, the First Vice President and Second President of India who was an exemplary teacher dedicating his work towards education. 

I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well – Alexander the Great

A few years ago, an image of a group of sobbing students in uniform caught the attention of the media.  They were firmly holding on to a 28-year-old young man.   He was their beloved English teacher “Bhagwan Sir”.  Bhagwan was being transferred from their Government School in South India and the students were extremely heartbroken by their teacher’s transfer that they held him tightly and refused to let him leave.  Their cherished teacher did more than teach them academics creatively, he took personal care and attention of them.  They considered him as a brother and friend.  He learnt about their background, enquired about their family and inspired them to not settle for less but to achieve the impossible. 

Now what really makes a teacher is love for the human child; for it is love that transforms the social duty of the educator into the higher consciousness of a mission – Maria Montessori

If we look for the definition – teach – we would discover that teaching is not merely instructing and imparting knowledge but it also involves teaching by way of example.  We knowingly or unknowingly are ‘teaching’ someone, by giving advice and leading by example.  In this way we are influencing our friends, colleagues, children, family members,  neighbours or anyone we meet.

Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character caliber, and future of an individual.  If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honour for me – A P J Abdul Kalam

The Bible tells us that Jesus was called a Teacher or a Rabbi.  Once when Jesus concluded his address, the crowd burst into an applause for they never heard such teaching.  He was quite a contrast to their religious teachers.  A ruler once called him – Good Teacher.  A W Tozer, in his book, The Knowledge of the Holy, writes, “To the frightened, He is friendly, to the poor in spirit He is forgiving, to the ignorant, considerate; to the weak, gentle; to the stranger, hospitable”.  Jesus, The Good Teacher, lived a good life, loved the lost and demonstrated at the Cross, how to live and love.

The question we need to ask ourselves is – what are we teaching?

Photo by Rebecca Zaal from Pexels

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