Wider spectrum of ‘Teachers Day’


By Mahadeep Singh Jamwal

“Gurur Brahmaa Garur Vishnu Garur Devo Maheshvarah  Gurur Saakshaat Para Brahma Tasmi Shree Gurave Namah”, is a verse from ‘Guru Gita’ as given in ‘Uttarakhand section of Skanda Purana;  in the form of a dialogue between  Shiva and Uma (Shakti). The verse (Shaloka) is considered as ‘Guru Mantra’ and is generally recited on two occasions one on ‘Guru Purnima’ and other while celebrating ‘Teachers Day’.

In Sanskrit ‘Guru’ word is made up of two root words ‘Gu’ and ‘Ru’. ‘Gu’ means darkness and ‘Ru’ means remover. Thus Guru stands for the teacher who is the remover of darkness and is the harbinger of the enlightenment. The word teacher is inheritance of the word ‘Guru’. As Guru was kept in very high esteem so is the respect for the teacher. As the common adage goes, the future of a country lies in the hands of its children and teachers as mentors can mould students into future hopes of the country who shape the destiny of a nation. The teacher can help us to become a good human being, a better member of the society and an ideal citizen of the country.  In order to acknowledge the challenges, hardships and the special role that teachers play in our life, the teacher’s day is celebrated in India.

The day marked also as celebrations of great teacher Bharat Ratna recipient Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Notably, Dr. Radhakrishnan was adored by many of his students, who, after he became President of India, in 1962, asked him if they could observe his birthday as ‘Radhakrishnan Day’. He responded, “Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege, if September 5 is observed as Teachers’ Day”. Henceforth we are celebrating his birthday as ‘Teacher’s Day’ since 1962. While his connection to Teachers’ Day is widely known, Dr. Radhakrishnan was a renowned scholar, teacher, educationist, and politician. He held many degrees including an M.A., ‘Doctor of Literature’ (D.Litt.) (Hony.), ‘Doctor of Laws’ (LL.D.), ‘Doctor of Civil Law’ (D.C.L), ‘Distance Learning’ (D.L), ‘Courses and Programs French as a Second Language’ (FRSL). ‘Fellowship of the British Academy’ (FBA)and was an Honorary Fellow of All Souls College (Oxford University). For his contributions to education, Dr. Radhakrishnan was awarded the Bharat Ratna (India’s highest civilian award) and knighthood (an award given by the queen to an individual for a major, long-term, contribution in any activity, usually at a national or international level. Men who are knighted become Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire – KBE) in 1931. He was also nominated for the Nobel Prize 27 times. After independence, he represented India at UNESCO (1946-52) and was the Indian ambassador to USSR from 1949-1952. He became India’s first Vice President and later became President after his predecessor Rajendra Prasad’s retirement.

Across the globe, Teachers’ Day is celebrated on different dates. Internationally, teachers are commemorated on World Teachers’ Day on October 5. In India, the day is famously celebrated a month before on September 5. The famous physicist Galileo Galilee (15 Feb 1564 – 8 Jan 1642, an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher, who played a major role in the scientific revolution) once said, “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it within himself.” You have all the knowledge of the world because you are part of the world and your mind is part of the mind of the world. Just like each drop of ocean represent the ocean; your mind too is a repository of all knowledge of the world.  

In the backdrop, we can say that the gifted souls whose prosaic endeavor decisively for the ultimate bright for all of us, the light of the world, the beacon in the dark and the anticipation that gives us courage to define our self is our teacher. They are the cause of knowledge and wisdom. From them leads the ideas and thoughts, that one day each one of us practices to provide back into this society. The day marked as to honor teachers for their contributions in shaping the life of students. ‘The World is not ours to keep. We hold it in trust for future generations’ – Kofi Annan. A teacher is a tool who, not content with boring those he lives with, insists on boring future generations. The day should be marked with debates on qualities of a teacher and parameters that we look into a teacher. We believe that an effective classroom management is the utmost requirement coupled with willingness to put in the necessary time than just to be exhibiting punctuality of schooling hours, expert use of instructional methods with in-depth content knowledge are the basics, we must look in a teacher. Although the qualities that make great teachers are not easy to inculcate or duplicate, understanding these qualities can give all teachers a standard of excellence to strive. Greatness in teaching is just as rare, as in any other profession. Great teachers use a variety of instructional methods that they feel comfortable with; within the same school, you’ll find different teachers getting excellent results using such methods as mini-lectures and interactive lectures, problem-based learning, cooperative groups, and multiple intelligences approaches. No single teaching method or approach works best for every teacher with every student. Everyone in life feels that we’ve all had teachers who have inspired us, who have made a difference to our lives. Teachers have the power to make or break lives. As we are living in an era of social networking platform, so the teachers are required to believe that classroom activities should correspond closely to real-life situations. Website videos, developing new software and online teaching gifted by Corona Pandemic moving to a revolutionary change in imparting education at the door step and people will also get solace from the prevailing education system now a profit making industry more than making future secure of our children and the nation. We have to move in a system of education that increases the self-esteem, motivation and empathy of students. We have to look for turning students from “problems” to “solutions” by usage of variety of multimedia projects together with integration of wider issues such as environmental science and sustainability. A great lesson can inspire a passion for a subject that lasts a lifetime, while lackluster teaching can kill any desire for learning.

Concluding we have to admit that the teacher has a unique role right from play way school to primary, secondary, college and at the university level. At the play way by nurturing the kids in the right direction teachers play a vital role in instilling good and ethical value system. At the primary level whatever teachers say that has a great impact on kids psychology. At the higher secondary level teachers provides valuable tips for opportunities that exist in the world ahead. The Teacher’s guidance trickle at College level that make students to be independent, mature and facilitate them in shaping their careers goals and at the University level, more exposure, more knowledge, more facilities provided for their growth. I salute this great fraternity on great day and inspire others to follow the footsteps.

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