On This Teachers’ Day

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A Tribute:

Remembering some amazing teachers who have left their indelible mark on my life:

Kochamani teacher from Nalleppilly – my balawadi teacher, who has still not really forgiven me for quitting my bank job – she asked me how I could do (back in 1998) that when I met her last December!

My 7th and 10th grade English teacher Ms Kalyani Nambiar who not only showed me the beauty of English language, but also forced some vestige of discipline into my otherwise all-over-the-place life

And Linda Roth who taught me to teach, and in the process changed the course of my life forever.

I’m blessed. Thank you for coming into my life.

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A Memory:

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It’s teachers’ day once again, and I’m reminded of all those years at Our Own when teachers’ day was as awaited by teachers as they were by students. It used to be such a multi-faceted event! Students would unleash all their no-holds-barred emotions in the form of cards, flowers, gifts, hugs…you name it! And teachers would feel like queens – loved and adored and all dressed up.

The senior students would take over our classes for half a day, leaving us free to attend thoughtfully put together programmes by grade 11 students. Now this had double benefits: for teachers, it was some much-needed respite from responsibilities, and for the senior girls, well, it was their chance to be the divaS, queen bees to an adoring set of juniors, some even going to the extend of getting autographs from their more glamourous seniors. I remember the pure adoration that gleamed in adolescent eyes staring at sareed, high heeled and hair done older sisters.

I still have in my dresser draw a whole lot of lovingly handmade cards that I cherish – gifted to me over the years for teachers’ day, birthday and farewell… To be a teacher is a wonderful thing – and I’ll always be grateful for those years when I had that privilege. Those years shaped me, chipping away the rough edges slowly, systematically.

Sending forth a lot of love and gratitude to all my students on this day, which began with a beautiful message from a beautiful girl – Malvikha Manoj. Thank you, and I love you.

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A Request:

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On this teachers’ day, here’s what I request of whoever has the power to listen and make a difference:

Please allow teachers to retain the pride they have in their chosen profession – their impact on young minds is lasting, whether positive or negative. Don’t let teachers be so stressed out on all fronts that they look at their jobs as something to get done with or get out of – it’s cruel and it affects generations.

I have read that in Finland, a teacher’s position is a coveted one – on par with that of a doctor. And that is one of the reasons Finland has transitioned from being an industrialised nation to one of innovations. They got their priorities right, and it changed their economy and political stature. It’s time the rest of the world did too.

P.S. Substitute ‘America’ with ‘rest of the world, including Dubai’ in the picture above.

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