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Teachers build nations

October 06, 2018

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Illustration by Ahmed Amin
Illustration by Ahmed Amin

Teachers are important for us in many ways, yet we fail to grasp their true value in our lives

“This is not good enough,” my English teacher looked clearly dissatisfied with the story I had submitted.

“For creative writing you need to come up with the new ideas, explore new avenues, think out of the box …,” she went on and on and I just felt bad.

My creative writing assignments offered nothing new and looked ordinary at times. I was disappointed also because I had fallen short of the standards that I set for myself. So, I resolved to pay heed to Miss Amber’s advice and do something different on my next assignment.

and do something different on my next assignment.

Incidentally, the topic I was writing on was Teachers’ Day. The first logical step was to think about the topic and collect all information on it. So I collected the following information:

• The definition of teacher, according to Oxford dictionary, is “a person who imparts knowledge to or instructs someone as to how to do something; and/or causes someone to learn or understand something by example or experience.”

• World Teachers’ Day commemorates the signing of a recommendation by UNESCO (a United Nations’ body) members in 1966. This recommendation upholds the status and situation of teachers around the world. The day was established in 1994 and is celebrated annually on October 5, in majority of the countries of the world.

From a simple “Thank you” card to a school event promoting the value of teachers, there are a number of things we can all do to tell our teachers what they mean to us. This show of gratitude should also tell them that we would always be indebted to them in making us proper human beings by the knowledge they impart

• Teachers are important for us in many ways, yet we fail to grasp their true importance in our lives.

Collecting all that information got me thinking. Ever since first grade, all that I have learnt in life about different subjects was only due to the efforts of my teachers. And that includes the language skills and the application of the academic knowledge in my daily life. My abilities to read, write and speak were imparted to me by teachers.

And as the realisation hit me, I resolved that I would show utmost respect to my teachers all my life. Only that would do full justice to all the efforts of my teachers and the spirit of World Teachers’ Day.

Once I had established that, I began to write. And I started as follows:

“No words can do full justice to the importance of teachers and the spirit of the World Teachers’ Day. The words are limited in their essence and meaning to fully explain the true status and importance of teachers in one’s life. All the words and writing skills at my disposal could have been a lot better, and this is where I feel bad, for somewhere in my student life, there was a deficiency or lack of effort on my part that makes my writing skills and this composition so limited.

“The least I can do is to give my maximum effort in learning what my teachers teach me. At the same time, I need to realise that teachers are the builders of a nation. Whether it is doctors, engineers, economists, accountants, artists, etc., they all become what they are due to the efforts of teachers. It is time to give teachers the respect that they truly deserve. And learning and practicing what they teach is an essential part of the respect for them.”

I paused and thought about what I had written. I remembered the requirement of my teacher that the creative composition needed to be different. In this regard, an idea that flashed in my mind was to describe the method and process of my creation, while pouring my heart out to show the true feelings that any student with conscience should have.

As I am already more than half way into doing it, here are some important points that are worth noting:

• What teachers teach you will last for a lifetime. The other day I got evidence of this fact when I witnessed the Old Students’ Reunion session of my school. The attendees were full of respect for their school teachers as what they had achieved in life was due to the teachings by the school teachers. They all regretted their failure to show their utmost respect and care for teachers during their time in school. We can all learn from their experiences and mistakes, and give teachers their due respect.

• Even when we explore the moral grounds or the norms of any civilised society regarding teachers, we come to know about the true respect they should command. They deserve respect similar to the one that we show to our parents.

Illustration by Ahmed Amin
Illustration by Ahmed Amin

• All that your teachers do is for your betterment. Even when they punish you, it is just meant to make you work harder or correct your behaviour.

• Showing our gratitude to the people that matter in our lives is very important. Showing this gratitude towards our teachers may take any form. From a simple “Thank you” card to a school event promoting the value of teachers, there are a number of things we can all do to tell our teachers what they mean to us. This show of gratitude should also tell them that we would always be indebted to them in making us proper human beings by the education they impart.

• It is never too late to correct one’s behaviour and apologise, if necessary, for your mistakes. Life gives you more than one chance and so do our teachers. In fact, whatever you do, they never totally give up on you.

In conclusion, I would like to just agree with my English teacher’s idea. Learning is nothing without applying it and striving for better ideas. It is only through pushing one’s limits and exploring new horizons that one becomes a better human being. And that exactly is what a teacher’s task is.

Published in Dawn, Young World, October 6th, 2018