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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Guru


Reverence for Guru (Sanskrit word for teacher) can be found in the  most ancient literature of the world: VEDAS, where it has been  observed: Mathrudevo Bhava, Pitrudevo Bhava, Acharyadevo Bhava (meaning: Mother is God, Father is God, Teacher is God). 

Why teachers were venerated so much by people of an ancient civilization? What's so special about this profession? Why has respect for this profession diminished over the time period?

We all have read and heard these trite remarks that teaching is a noble profession; teachers shape the future of a nation, they prepare engineers, doctors, architects, senators, lawyers, actors.......and so on. But let's look at present scenario!  This is a bitter fact that very few countries like Finland & Japan hold this profession in high esteem; otherwise the incidents of 'teacher bashing' are much more rampant. How can any society think of marching ahead by undermining its educators?  Negative, non stop criticism is bad. It kills the spirit of a person. Let me tell you about a strange practice. There are Solomon Islands in the South Pacific region of the world. The villagers over there practice an atypical way of cutting the huge trees. Few menfolk possessing special powers climb the designated tree early in the morning and scream at it, at the top of their voices. They do this every day. After thirty days the tree dies and falls over. It works all the time! The villagers believe that screaming kills the spirit of the tree. Imagine, if negativity can kill big trees, then how much harm is done to the teacher community by ceaseless criticism from all quarters. 

By writing all this I'm not claiming that all teachers are angels. Like any other profession, teaching profession also has few 'rotten apples' that must be weeded out. But for God sake stop treating all teachers in same fashion!  Recognize and appreciate the force of innumerable hardworking, dedicated teachers who treat their profession nothing less than a social service. Don't kill the zeal of passionate, sincere, progressive educators who want to make a difference in their society. Remember, teachers are human beings too. They are not magicians from Harry Potter books who by waving their magic wands can transform every learner into Beethoven or Frank Sinatra or Einstein or Neil Armstrong! They cannot make up for the poverty and inequality existing in the society. What they can do is make an enormous difference in the life of learners by guiding them to uncover their hidden potential. Teachers can facilitate the discovery of knowledge.

After reading all this, someone might think *@#*@# why do people decide to teach if they find it so difficult and unappreciative? Well good teachers teach because they CARE. They CARE for the children of their community, their nation and they are READY to become the foundation stone of a glorious monument. Please let them do their job! Don't penalize them for their selfless decision.

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