Saturday, October 23, 2021

World Teachers’ Day 2021: What’s your cherished memory of an educator?


As the world pays homage to teachers for making and shaping lives, personalities and conscience, marking World Teachers’ Day on Tuesday, let each of us look back and recollect from the moments some of our teachers, formal or fleeting, taught us things that we still abide by and remember just as vividly.

The word ‘teacher’, as defined by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), covers all those persons in schools who are responsible for the education of pupils.

The international day commemorates the anniversary of 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. It sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers, and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions.

This year the theme to mark this day is: ‘Teachers at the Heart of Education Recovery.’ charted out in the backdrop of COVID-led ravages globally.

That might just be the clerical representation and acknowledgment of the profession which some would even deem divine. And why not?

Especially as adults, when faced with some dilemma we need to navigate through, we still look back on the teachers’ counsel. That’s because, notwithstanding the moral obligation of taking a bow before them as a token of respect, how would the function and passage of knowledge come to pass if it wasn’t for teachers?

We observe; we experience; we think; and we learn. This is how all the knowledge in the world has been learned, true. But what part do the teachers play if all must embark on a similar course?

They save you the time to get through the rudimentary observations, old experiences, redundant thinking, and then reaching conclusions as Don Quixote would. So you know you are not the first one ever to have been exposed. A headstart, if you must. Streamlining of thoughts to shape a cohesive course ahead.

You still do all the four bases for more and advanced learning but if it wasn’t for the saved time, you might still be stuck with some algebra theorem, an elementary physics law, or even a plain chemistry formula.

Also, even for humanities, social sciences, and arts, we have rules and principles laid out and our teachers impart as much to us.

The diplomacy, the sociology, the culture, the history that we learn in the present to contemplate our futures, we all owe it to our teachers, now don’t we.

As Francisco Sionil José, a globally acclaimed Filipino author, would say, “The influence of teachers extends beyond the classroom, well into the future.”

ALSO READ: World Radio Day: What’s in store for radio broadcasters?

Yes, there are examples of self-didacts but even for them, the only exception is they did not have one formal teacher to tell it all to them. But even the sources of knowledge they refer to and infer from were charted out by teachers and experts. So there’s that.

Let’s look at some of the tweets people have written to bid their respects to their teachers today.

A personalized look at why would certain people relate more with the teachers than the others. They cannot take the profession of pedagogy and what challenges it poses very casually. Because they know a pedagogue or two quite intimately.

Another writes, “When we fell, they picked us up. They encouraged us and taught us how to walk the right path. Whatever we are, we owe it to our teachers and their counsel. This day is dedicated to them. Salute to all beloved teachers.”

Who would know better than teachers what it is like to be one? the above one is posted tweeted by a university lecturer herself and she doesn’t seem to think twice in attributing her critical thinking to all her teachers.

She sets the records straight. Again a teacher herself in an arts college, she credits her educators for becoming one.

And yes, life is a teacher nevertheless. But its cost can weigh heavily on us. It sometimes demands we wring lessons from it at the expense of our emotional grinding and this can be exacting. What, instead, the teachers do is, they make life easier, more convenient and without the cost really.

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