Teacher's Day: 'I'd be lost without you'
We had invited you, our readers, to write about your favourite teachers and we've been inundated with your responses. Here's the latest set of entries we received from you. Read on.
First up, we have Shajan Samuel, Senior Vice President, MAAC (India) who in his response writes about the impact a teacher has on his students and why he respects the profession so much:
Famous American journalist and author Tom Brokaw once said "It is easier to make a buck, it's a lot tougher to make a difference".
All of you who are part of the teaching fraternity no doubt have multiple roles as parents, spouses, friends and teachers.
While no role can be more important than the other, your choice to be teachers informs who you truly are and what you do in ways that you can't fully realise.
I feel a teacher truly affects a student forever; no one can ever tell when and where a teacher's influence with the student ends.
In fact, I still remember my Hindi teacher Varma shouting at me for not doing my homework .
But today, I am going to share with you my favourite story -- about the impact of a dedicated teacher.
The story is about Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, a famous astrophysicist.
When he left India as a young man in 1933 he wrote out a model of stellar evolution that with time became the basis of theory of black holes.
In the 1950s he was teaching in Wisconsin where the main astronomical university is located, about 100 miles from the main Chicago University campus.
That winter he was asked to host an advanced seminar in astrophysics at the main campus.
However, only two students signed up for it and Chandrasekar was expected to cancel the seminar rather go through the inconvenience of driving two hours each way to teach those two students.
Chandrasekar did not cancel the seminar and instead drove to Chicago twice a week to teach the class.
A few years later, one of those two students was awarded the Nobel prize for physics.
A couple of more years later the second and last student who attended that seminar won a Nobel too.
Chandrasekar too was awarded the Nobel prize in Physics in the year 1983.
The reason I shared this story is to emphasise that teachers hold the key to academic conversion (the distance between what a student is when they come to school and when they leave the institution).
The basic ingredients of academic conversion are the same: quality physical infrastructure, good books, integrated lesson plans and class logs, discipline, creative use of technology, and much else.
But most importantly, academic conversion -- learning -- depends on talented teachers.
If education is not the filling of the bucket but the lighting of a fire, you light that fire every day.
So dear teachers, take a bow!
With gratitude and respect for who you are, and what you do every day, I thank my teachers for their support and encouragement in making me what I am.
Do you have a favourite teacher? Tell us why he or she was special, and share your special story about your teacher with us. It can be an anecdote or a dedication. Or maybe an interesting, sentimental story.
Simply write in to us at firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: 'To My Teacher, with love') with your experience and, if possible, a photograph of your teacher and you. We'll be publishing the best entries right here on rediff.com!
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Image: For representational purposes only
Photographs: Wikimedia Creative Commons
'You are my greatest teacher; you're a magician'
Next we have Devinder Singh who tells us what he remembers the most about his favourite mathematics teacher Priyanka Gaur:
My favourite teacher is Mrs Priyanka Gaur.
She used to teach us mathematics in school.
She'd tell us a lot of funny stories and come up with interesting quizzes to bring down the tension and pep up our mood.
One day she put up a tricky question on the board. The correct answer to the question was Yes.
A boy in our class almost said No and then looked at Mrs Gaur who had a funny expression on her face.
When he gave the answer, she said "What" in an angry but funny voice.
When there was no response, she repeated "What" with that same funny expression.
At that time, I could tell from her expression that the question was supposed to be tricky and she was merely testing how confident we were.
Another incident I remember about Mrs Gaur is that whenever she graded our homework she'd act like she was going to say a scary number.
Just when all of us would freak out, she'd say something that'd surprise us all.
There are so many such incidents that come to my mind when I think of Mrs Gaur.
She is the best teacher ever and I will never forget her.
And finally, we wind up with this tribute from Alopa Behera, a Class III student of Mount Litera Zee School:
You are my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness.
If love is sweet as a flower, then you are that sweet flower of love.
Without you, I would have been lost.
Thank you teacher for guiding me, inspiring me and making me feel comfortable in school.
You are my God and you are my magician.
Like God, you can know everything without even looking.
Only the other day, I was whispering to Vishmitha during our class while you were correcting papers.
Without even looking up, you knew our mischief and asked us to stop it.
You are a magician because you make me forget my mother when I am in school.
What is this, if not magic?
I was a shy kid and would not like to talk in front of an audience.
Yes, it is due to your encouragement that today I am a better orator.
I am fortunate to have a teacher as wonderful, loving and caring as you.
You truly deserve to be called my second mother.
According to me, this is the definition of a teacher:
I may not say it all the time, but, I mean it whenever I say it.
Thank you teacher, for all the things you have done for me.
Teacher, I am so very fortunate and proud to be your student and have you as my teacher.
I understand the value of teachers and I'd like to wish you a happy Teacher's Day!
Image: For representational purposes only
Photographs: Erik De Castro/Reuters