The importance of teachers was once again emphasized when I got home yesterday to find out that there would be no school today in the name of ‘Teachers Day’. There was an initial state of panic before alternate plans were made. It got me thinking however about the amount of time our kids spend at school and consequently the amount of time they spend with their teachers. In fact, these days, it’s beginning to seem alarming but that is gist for another day.
Today, let us focus on celebrating teachers, the people who besides our immediate and extended families and all those who contribute to our “village”; joined in molding us into the individuals that we are today.
I have to start with my private tutor from way back. She was a huge part of our lives. “Make hay when the sun shines” she would say. In reply, my sisters and I would shout out ‘hey’ even though we knew exactly what she meant. With her firm sweet ways, she would teach and instruct. I hope she sees this and knows that when we think of her, it’s with fondness in our hearts.
Another tutor’s favorite song still makes us laugh anytime we remember the words. # When we are eating, we are many friends, when we are sleeping, we are many friends. When trouble comes, when trials come, they will all forsake you and say they know you not #. It was not just about the words of the song but also because of the manner with which he sang it.
My parents introduced us to books as kids, our aunties contributed to our increased love for books. We had friends along the way who increased our access to a variety of books. Still my Literature teacher in Secondary School made even the most boring literature books have an interesting edge. It was not just about teaching about similes and metaphors; she took genuine interests in her students especially the girls, teaching us to sit right. These are motherly figures in my past that I would not forget.
As I write this, many of them come racing into my mind. I realize now that it was a mistake trying to take these influential individuals one after the other analyzing each one’s input into my life. There were the teachers who made Mathematics seem so easy, they smiled and cracked jokes as they taught it. There were the women who comported themselves in manners we emulated immediately. We still see them today and are grateful for mothers away from home. There were the scholars amongst them who just talked and taught without us understanding a word of what they said. Years later, we would have eureka moments where some of the things they had described in class would suddenly ring true.
It was not all perfect peaches and cream. Some of our teachers said various things in the name of prayers for us calling some goats and sheep and talking about keeping seats in the same classes for students to return to instead of them moving ahead to the next class. How about those teachers whom we saw coming from one end making us realize the great urgent need for us to go in the opposite direction as we would be bruised by darts of fire from their eyes or mouths or an actual physical ‘Mr Do Good’, ‘Koboko’ (feel free to write its many other titles in the comment section). We know now that deep down, these teachers had our interests at heart and said the most gruesome of things to push us ahead.
When my kid started school, I had the usual worries, would he eat, would he be okay, would he come back every day with boo-boos that I wasn’t there to fuss about? Getting to his school and realizing that his teachers had the same concerns was surprising. They would worry about how he hadn’t gotten used to school yet while reassuring Papa Bear and me that he would settle down soon. Their genuine joy at watching him grow and do new things mirrored my own. It’s highly commendable.
Cheers to teachers who are able to get our kids to write and draw at school even when this seems to be a herculean task at home. Cheers to the numerous assignments we the parents now do in the name of ‘home work’- for real though – topic of discussion for another time. Cheers to teachers who create the warm and gentle environment needed at school to nurture the young minds of kids everywhere. We are especially grateful to those who give extra and even after giving their all, give some more. With this we say Happy Teachers Day.
Now it’s your turn to drop your comments about your teachers or your kids’ teachers in the comment section below. Tag your teachers and celebrate them.