Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wind beneath Wings!


TEACHERS ARE THOSE WHO USE THEMSELVES AS BRIDGES OVER WHICH THEY INVITE THEIR STUDENTS TO CROSS; THEN HAVING FACILITATED THEIR CROSSING, JOYFULLY COLLAPSE, ENCOURAGING THEM TO CREATE BRIDGES OF THEIR OWN.
- Nicos Kazantzakis

Whenever I read this quotation of Kazantzakis, I remember how much I depended upon my teachers and still depend on them for most of the knowledge I have and try to achieve. I remember my teachers who are so much supporting, inspiring and always encouraging us to move forward and give a power to dream and hope for the best. They are so much dedicated in what they do. Lucky me… I have living heroes in my life! They have been and they are wind beneath my wings!!

However, not everyone is lucky!!!

During this Deusi-Bhailo Program in Tihar, I met with Sak Bahadur Magar, to whom I adoringly call “dai” as he makes me feel like his younger sister. He is a teacher by profession and yet a student himself doing his master level in the same college of mine. I don’t know how but during the loud celebration of Tihar we end up talking about serious subject.

I had genuinely told him how tough it is to be a ‘Teacher’ and taking the responsibility of being teacher. I had told him at that time and I still think I am not ready for that role yet and I am not sure if I can take that responsibility of being Teacher to the coming generation even in the future.

In our culture, Guru (teacher) has been put above our own parents and worshipped as a god from its origin. They are the source of knowledge. They are heroes in their students’ eyes. During the growing up, a child spends more time with his teachers than with his own parents now days so it is for sure that they depend upon their teacher wholly. If there is conflict between the sayings of our own parents and teachers, we believe in our teachers than to our parents. This also shows how important role teachers play in child’s development and in shaping the child’s mind for life long. How the child turns in the future depends also on the teacher who taught him. So, if the teacher takes the responsibility by heart then students are in good hands but if it is taken lightly, one teacher can damage the whole future of students.

Today, the subject matter came again when Jayaram Lamsal, one of my classmates talked about his teacher in college (+2) who had said “If you (Jayaram) were good-enough then you would have taken Science instead of Humanities faculty.” The teacher used to teach English to both science and humanities faculty. This shows how humanities faculty (art and social science) and its students are looked down by our society, even the teacher who teaches the same subject. As well, my friend got discouraged by that teacher with that kind of insulting comment for following his dream and his interest.

Same way, my brother Ajay was told by his one teacher that he should change his subject to Commerce as he thought Ajay was incompetent to study Science. Of course my brother was shocked and hurt by that (I had seen it in his eyes while he told me about it). But, he took it as a challenge as I knew my brother would. Now, he is one of the toppers in his class and already working in projects as an Architect. Therefore, I am sure, no matter how painful the comment was for my friend Jayaram too; he will take it as a challenge rather than being frustrated and believing in what a ‘so-called teacher’ had said to him because no genuine teacher would have told such things to his own student.

At the end, all I want to say to those who are teachers just by name/status is that: If you can not encourage your students to do their best in their dreams; at least; please do not discourage them! If you are not able to use yourself as bridge and can not bring yourself to encourage your students to create bridges of their own, the least you can do for taking the responsibility of being teacher to them is not to discourage those students who want to create bridges by themselves. That will be the noble act of anyone for taking the responsibility of teacher while not actually being ‘Teacher’ as an innocent eye of learning hearts sees.

Never forget, teachers are wind beneath their students’ wings. This fact should not be forgotten by anyone when becoming teacher and while taking the responsibility of being Teacher.