Doctor Heal Thyself
Only last week, the nation celebrated Teachers’ Day to commemorate the memory of the legendary teacher and philosopher, Dr. Sarvepalli Radha Krishnan, the second President of India.
On the 5th of September every year, the grateful members of society acknowledge their debt towards the teachers for dispelling the darkness of their minds and leading them from ignorance to knowledge and awakening. They seek to discharge this debt by honoring and praising teachers in glowing terms – equating them to even gods.
Whether society is really sincere in showering praise and respect on its teachers or it is only a ritual to be observed every year – I would restrain myself from commenting.
Doctor Heal ThyselfBut I would surely appeal to my friends in this noble profession that on this auspicious day, they should seek to rededicate themselves to their task of nation-building and discharging all their responsibilities to the best of their abilities. They should for once on this day forget all their grudges – all the injustices meted out to them.
Know Thyself: – On this day, we should do a little introspection – some soul- searching and try to know how far we are living up to our ideals. Do we have the passion to give our best to our students, passion to grow and evolve and passion to excel. Do we realize that nothing worthwhile is ever realized or achieved without enthusiasm, without determination and without hard work. Do we really have the passion, the urge and the fire in us to make ourmark in life? There are instances where teachers don’t go to classes and when they do, they just beat about the bush and while away the time. Many senior teachers send their juniors to classes on one pretext or the other. Very few teachers make a lesson plan in advance and go to their classes well prepared. So the doctor heal thyself.
KYC – Know your client: -The word KYC which is in the air today was practiced much before in ancient India when we had a Gurukul system of education. Far from the maddening crowd, the students lived in the sylvan surroundings. The constant care of their guru who knew them intimately – their talents, their innate qualities/ weaknesses, their previous knowledge, and their experiences. He would know their cravings, their ambitions, their needs, their requirements and impart instructions accordingly. So Arjuna became an archer; Yudhishter, a spokesman and Bhima, a mace-wielder. There is hardly any teacher – taught relationship these days. We hardly know the material,the pupils that we work on. The intimacy, the friendly ambiance, the caring and sharing of students’ joys and sorrows, knowing and solving their personal problems is sadly missing. We do have mentoring – system in schools and colleges but just for recording their profile. There is no serious attempt to become friendly, of course with a respectable distance.
Seeking Job Satisfaction:-One should always seek pleasure in what one does for earning one’s livelihood. A teacher should also seek job satisfaction in his work. Teaching is not a vocation, it is a calling, requiring dedication, devotion and a sense of sacrifice. A true teacher never takes teaching as a task, an ordeal but a passion to impart and share his treasure of knowledge. He fully enjoys his work and has a glow of true happiness on his face when he leaves the classroom. Such a teacher always has a proud feeling that one day from amongst his students, a few will occupy positions of distinction and glory.
Doctor Heal Thyself
Sharpening the Saw:– A disused knife, sword or scissors soon get rusted and become blunt. Similarly, an idle mind, not sharing, learning or updating will also lose its sharpness and soon forget all the knowledge and scholarship that he gained over the years. Therefore, a good teacher always keeps sharpening the saw. He always keeps himself abreast of the emerging trends, latest developments, new updations, revisions and discoveries in his domain knowledge. A good teacher never ceases to be a student. He/she constantly keeps his/her notes revising, incorporating the latest updations in the field.
So, the teacher knows thyself – know your strengths, your weaknesses. Shed off all that is evil or dross in you to bring purity, dignity, and nobility to the profession so as to become worthy of all the epithets attributed and praises showered on us on Teachers’ Day.
By: Prof. D.K. Chugh
Department of Humanities