September 5 is round the corner. But what’s special about that day? Well, it’s Teachers’ Day, a day to remember your teachers and say a big ‘Thank you’! It salutes a great teacher, philosopher and statesman - Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, whose birth anniversary falls on this day.

September 5! An important day for all of us. It is the day set aside to remember our teachers. For the time they spent with us, for what they taught us and finally for what we are today. It is Teachers' Day to commemorate a great teacher, philosopher and statesman - Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, whose birth anniversary falls on this day.

Ask any adult. They may not remember what they learnt in school, but every one of them will tell you the name of the teacher they admired the most. They will tell you why they remember that teacher after all these years. Goes to show how much our teachers are part of our growing years! Our school life (with so much to study) is happy because of our teachers. You do have a teacher you think is special, right?

“My favourite? My Science teacher,” said Naren, a Std. VIII student. “She is very strict, doesn’t spare anyone who misbehaves or comes without doing home-work. You miss home-work, you lose marks. You delay it, she won’t even accept it.” But the kids love her because she is fair to all. She allows time for students to chatter in the class. “She teaches the principles of science in a fun way,” he says. “She shows videos to explain scientific principles.” Once she made them do a children’s book about cells in a way that small children could understand. “I wrote about an adventure of a boy named Max who is whisked away by the amazing Professor Cellular in a small spaceship travelling through cells. On the way, he explains things like the mitochondria, nucleus and the golgi bodies.”

Overall, a good teacher is strict and fun at the same time, knows how to get along with kids, has a vast knowledge of her subject, thinks of the quality of the students’ education first, gives students fair and just punishment for academic crime — forgetting home-work, misbehaving and chattering when you should be working, not respecting the rules of the school.

Me? I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.

Teacher, Philosopher, Statesman

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s birthday (September 5, 1888), is celebrated as Teacher’s Day. He was born into a middle class family at Tirutani in Tamil Nadu state, a town in Madras Presidency, British India. Radhakrishnan went through most of his education on scholarships. He joined the Voorhee’s College in Vellore but switched to the Madras Christian College. He graduated with a Master’s degree in Philosophy from the Madras Christian College in 1906.

In 1921, he was appointed as a professor in philosophy to occupy the King George V Chair of Mental and Moral Science at the University of Calcutta. In 1929, Radhakrishnan was invited to take the post vacated by Principal J. Estlin Carpenter in Manchester College, Oxford. For his services to education, he was knighted by the British Government in 1931, but did not use the title in personal life preferring instead his academic title ‘Doctor’. He was the Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University from 1931 to 1936. In 1936, Radhakrishnan was named Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at the University of Oxford, and was elected a Fellow of All Souls College. In 1939, Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya invited him to become Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University. He continued as its Vice-Chancellor till January, 1948. When India became independent in 1947, Radhakrishnan represented India at UNESCO, and was later Ambassador of India to the Soviet Union, from 1949 to 1952. He was also elected to the Constituent Assembly of India. Radhakrishnan was elected as the first Vice President of India in 1952.

He was elected as the second President of India (1962-1967). When he became President, some of his students and friends requested him to allow them to celebrate his birthday. He replied, “Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if September 5 is observed as Teachers’ Day.”