Teachers play an important role in moulding young minds and inspiring them to greater heights.

Teacher’s day is celebrated on September 5 in India. It commemorates the birthday of Professor S. Radhakrishnan, who was the second President of India. A scholar of philosophy and comparative literature, Dr. Radhakrishnan is a recipient of the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, besides several international honours such as the Templeton prize and the Commonwealth Order of Merit.

Global festivity

Teacher’s day is celebrated around the world on different days. The first President of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk stated, “the new generation will be created by teachers”. Ataturk was named the nation’s head teacher on November 24 which is celebrated as Teacher’s Day in Turkey.

September 11 is celebrated as Teacher’s Day in Argentina to honour its former President, intellectual and activist Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, who opened schools and free public libraries.

Brazil declared October 15 as Teacher Appreciation Day in 1963. Emperor Pedro I introduced a law that created schools for the lower classes in the 19th century.

Australia celebrates this day on the last Friday of October.

UNESCO recognises October 5 as World Teacher’s Day to acknowledge teachers’ contribution to education and development.

A good school or college is known by the quality of its teachers. A number of distinguished people acknowledge the influence their teachers have had on them. These include scientist, Albert Einstein, philosopher Khalil Gibran, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, among others.

Novelist John Steinbeck, said, “I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.”

Students spend a major portion of their day at school. So, the people they spend time with in school has an impact on how they develop as human beings. Many teachers share their views and experiences with students which help them learn about life. Others set an example for students by the manner in which they conduct themselves.

Some students find a mentor in their teachers, while many others find a life-long friend in them.

“Teachers are often the people who inspire us the most. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Duncan. She so believed in me, and for the first time, made me embrace the idea of learning. I learned to love learning because of Mrs. Duncan from Wharton Elementary School.”

Talk show host, Oprah Winfrey