Teach and Learn

Happy Teachers’ Day!

Today is September 5th – all over India, this day is widely celebrated as Teachers’ Day.

I am not very comfortable with the concept of assigning a particular day of the year to the celebration of a particular relationship. For instance, I find it really awkward when friends wish me ‘A Very Happy Friendship Day’ on the first Sunday of every August. I like being with friends and spending time with them but I do not feel it is necessary to celebrate our beautiful relationship on that one particular day alone. The creation of a day poses other problems before me – for example, there is a limit to the number of people that I can meet in a day; it is not possible for me to meet my entire bunch of friends on one Sunday just because it happens to be ‘Friendship Day’. I also do not like being subjected to emotional blackmail by the use of sentences like, “You met her on Friendship Day but you could not find even half an hour to meet me!”

Teachers’ Day, on the other hand, is a fairly simpler day. I just wish some teachers and thank them for all the things that I have learnt from them. Since I have taught in educational institutes, I do get messages from my students wishing me. I still remember the first time I got messages from my students and felt so overwhelmed reading some of them, as I had no idea until that time just how much they appreciated me! It always feels good to know that you have made a difference in someone else’s life in a positive manner. However, I realized one thing: while my students have learnt a lot of things from me, there are things that they have managed to teach me as well!

I feel I have learnt something from every person that I have met in life. Each interaction with a person has always taught me something new. I have learnt from the accolades of praise that I have got, but I have also learnt from criticisms. I have learnt something from every emotional outburst, and I have also learnt from something as simple as a personal opinion which may have been very different from my own perspective of looking at the same thing.

We are always in the process of learning things – we just do not realize it, and even if we do, we only tend to acknowledge the formal institutions of education. Learning is an ongoing lifelong process and on this day, I would like to raise a toast to cheer the teaching spirit that is present in each one of us.

To all the people reading this, I wish all of you A Happy Teachers’ Day! I thank you profusely for all the knowledge you have consciously or unconsciously bestowed upon me. 

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