18 MAY 2021 TEACHER’S DAY

They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, many of them interestingly and colourfully dressed, either with or without a bag, but almost surely with armfuls of books, which some of us have the initiative to relieve them of. Some of their voices we can hear even before they appear, and the immediate concerted reaction would be a frantic scrambling to get back into our seats, either in happy anticipation or with extreme dread (this depends entirely on how well we’d been faring in terms of our personality and performance). Some breeze in with a bounce and a smile like a ray of sunshine. Some stomp in with frowns upon their brows (not necessarily anything to do with us individually, usually). Yet others walk in like military commanders and evoke instant fear and cause quietness all around.

And they all come bringing with them their very own sets of beliefs, ideals and perspectives. As hard as we might try, we can never find two exactly the same. And yet in their entire multitude, they are all alike. They have one united goal, which is the education of minds. And they have one united vision, which is that one day, we would all do them proud with our success, whether or not we ever acknowledge them for being instrumental in the making of us.

How much time have we spent thinking about just how they have sacrificed their time, their voices, their hearts and their souls, just so we could learn? It is true that many things we learned in school don’t play a very big role in our daily lives when we’re so much older. But that’s not the point. The point is that they could all have chosen easier jobs where at the end of the work-day, everything is left at the office.

But no. They chose their daily drudgery of waking up early, of sleeping late, of always taking their work home with them. They chose to care, for those of us who have the privilege of valuing them, for those of us who could’ve cared a little more, for those of us who didn’t have the wisdom to care at all, for those of us who infuriated their efforts (whether inadvertently or on purpose), for those of us who had the occasional audacity to incite their anger. They were only ever angry because they cared.

And then when they left us and we felt feelings of either gratitude for a lesson learned or instant relief from either boredom or struggle, did we ever know that they brought us home with them in their hearts? That some of them wept for some of us because they thought they were failing us (failing us in both senses of the term)? That they spent their time trying to figure out how to save us from ourselves? That all that mattered to them was our success in learning? Because how much money can a teacher ever make anyway.

Take a moment now to reflect, to remember them. We really shouldn’t be surprised if our memories of them begin to tug at our hearts, or if tears well up in our eyes, or if we are suddenly filled with regret for not having thanked them enough with just a little card or a little note, or even simply to look them in the eyes and say, “Thank you, Teacher, for all you’ve done for me.”

Our Teachers are some of the most wonderful blessings in this life. Where would we be today without them? Nowhere, really. We didn’t get here on our own. We couldn’t have made it this far without them.

SEGi Group of Colleges salutes all teachers everywhere for their wonderful sacrifices without which none of us would be anywhere at all. Words are not enough. We love you, Teachers All.

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