A great teacher has little external history to record. His life goes over into other lives. These men are pillars in the intimate structure of our schools. They are more essential than its stones or beams, and they will continue to be a kindling force and a revealing power in our lives. –Deepak Mehta (Emperor’s Club, 2002)
Being a teacher is, for me, one of the noblest professions there is. The true teachers who have a passion for molding the lives of young people are a rarity these days. Many in the profession feel that in being a teacher, they have settled for a lesser destiny. This thinking is because of the fact that teaching does not compensate well (in the financial sense), especially in our country.
A real passion for teaching has in it every power to change and define the life of more than one person.
On the one hand, the teacher gets her high from the little steps, the little successes that her students achieve. She will realize that she can only share and guide them so much. At some point she will endure the hard part of standing back and watching. Her life is intertwined with the those that sit in front of her everyday, taking what she says as truth, trusting that she knows what’s best for them.
On the other hand, the student who leads a life she embraces her own, forever aiming for that bacon to take home, will realize later in life that at some point a teacher changed the way she saw things, inspired her to reach for her dreams. At the back of her mind, she knows that wherever she is in life, she owes some part of it to the teacher who first taught her to read and pronounce her words well, the one who gave a disapproving look every time she did something bad and unruly in class, the one who patted her back, urging her to go on face the crowd and recite for them her first declamation piece.
In the course of my education, I have met a few teachers who, I can say, were instrumental to my becoming what I am right now. To them, I will forever be grateful. They have instilled in me the value of honesty and hardwork. They were the ones who believed in my abilities and have encouraged and inspired me to follow my dreams.
To those teachers who think that they’ve been forced into a bitter fate by becoming one, I pity them, for they have neither found their passion and happiness by not becoming who they really want to be nor have they understood that by being a teacher, they have in their hands the capacity to influence the lives of other people more than any politician or celebrity could. Still, I wish them the best.