Teachers' Day

Teachers' Day

September 5, 2014

Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was a teacher, who went onto become the first Vice-President of India, and then the second President, of independent India. After assuming office, he declined from celebrating his birthday but expressed a desire to celebrate September 5 each year as Teachers’ Day.

That India has a special day for its teachers only shows the respect and reverence the nation bestows upon them. The role of the teacher in ‘Nation building’ is unquestionable, for it is the teachers who mould young minds and guide them towards recognising their strengths. Teachers are synonymous with knowledge and become the beacon of light in the life of students.

Google doodle for the 2014 Teacher's Day

But teaching is not just a one-way transfer of knowledge, it is so much more. It is nurturing and building a young mind, thereby sowing the first seeds of character development. A teacher also imparts and embeds values and skills that last a lifetime. Very often we hear achievers from various fields attribute their success to parents and teachers, and there can be no two thoughts about that. It is the inspiration that a teacher provides that is often the key to success for the students. Conversely, a good teacher is also one who learns from his/her students. Dr Radhakrishnan always believed that a good teacher is the one who remains a student all his life, and in this process learning not only learns from books but also from the students. As he famously said, "Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or self confidence."

The word 'teacher' is used not just for someone who is involved in classroom teaching in the traditional sense, but for anyone who teaches someone something, in fact, for anyone who has a profound (or otherwise) influence on a person in some way or the other. In the same way, sports has brought into focus some famous teachers too. Sachin Tendulkar is an icon for the country, but if it was not for his coach Ramakant Achrekar, who knows if we would have ever known about his talent. The same can be said about badminton star Saina Nehwal and her coach Pullela Gopichand.

The silver screen has also thrown up many inspiring teachers. Some of them are as follows:

Kshitish Sinha: This swimming teacher in the Bengali sports flick, Kony (1986), inspired the title character, a precociously talented girl, to fight all her way through politics, poverty and social stigma to swimming success.

Ram Shankar Nikumbh: In Taare Zameen Par (2007), Ishaan is a special child, whose parents and teachers do not understand what his problem is. His art teacher Ram Shankar Nikumbh steps in and begins to pay him a lot of attention and helps him cope. He also teaches his colleagues how to deal with special children. 

Rahul Udyavar: In Paathshaala (2010), Rahul Udyavar is an English and music teacher. However, he takes on more than just teaching music to a bunch of students at school. With much importance being given only to education, he as a teacher, voices his concern against the system. The need for holistic development of children is discussed as teachers and students take a collective stand.

Maria Rainer: She appears in The Sound of Music (1965), set in Austria during the Nazi period. Maria Rainer is an about-to-be-ordained nun. Her Mother Superior believes she needs to spend time outside the Abbey to know if she has a calling. She is sent to be a governess to seven children at the von Trapp house. She has her work cut out. She teaches them and takes them on picnics and outings – which until then they have never done. She also raises her voice against Baron von Trapp, the father, a Navy captain who is very strict with his children. Maria changes the life of the seven children and also of the father.

Albus Dumbledore: Albus Dumbledore is the headmaster of Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter series of films (2001-11). As a a teacher and mentor, he is true to his calling - wise, able and the most likeable at Hogwarts. What he means to the school and students is apparent when the children form DA (Dumbledore’s Army) to protest his unreasonable exit. Dumbledore’s knowledge and his abilities as one of the greatest wizards are exhibited at regular intervals while he deals with students, teachers and protects the entire Hogwarts School from the Dark Lord.

Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

A leading luminary of Bengal once said that every individual should take a walk back to their student days and thank their teachers even if it is in the heart. What we are today is what our teachers have helped us achieve.

On this special occasion of Teachers’ Day Team M3.tv would like to thank all the teachers for their noble contribution. Thank you, dear Teachers – you make it all possible.

As a last thought, we leave our readers with this hugely popular and inspiring video – Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams by the late Professor Randy Pausch.

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