It was Teachers’ Day and the teachers put up a grand show. But the students had something for the teachers too!
Those school girl days of telling tales and biting nails are gone,
But in my mind, they live on and on...
So sang my students. This adaptation of the song originally comes from the hit movie, “To Sir, with Love”. As a teacher, I can appreciate the genuine warmth with which my students sang this song to me on Teachers’ Day last year.
“But why is Teachers’ Day celebrated on September 5 in India?” I asked.
Dolly, with her quick wit and keen interest replied, “It is because it is the birth anniversary of one of India’s greatest political stalwarts, also a former President of India, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan.”
“Now can any one tell me about another Indian President who also extolled the virtues of teachers?”
Renu said, “Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who loved the inquisitive and innocent minds of children.”
“Yes,” I said. “Please read his autobiography, Wings of Fire.”
“Ma’am, what has the school organised for us, this Teachers’ Day?” asked Bindu.
“A skit and a cultural programme by the teachers.”
Time to celebrate
The bell rang, indicating that all the classes should assemble in the auditorium for the Teachers’ Day celebration. After some commotion, the girls were all there and the principal welcomed everyone.
The curtains swung open — the show had started! It was a cameo to show how education had evolved over the years. In the background was a huge picture of trees and mountains and rivers. In the foreground, there were teachers dressed up as students learning from a guru.
The backdrop kept changing as the skit showed how the teacher-student relationship evolved over the years, with outstanding examples, like that of the questioning methodology of Socrates, the guru-student rapport in ancient India, like that at Nalanda University, and the open air education at Santiniketan by Rabindranath Tagore. The teachers then performed a South Indian dance. The students clapped their hands keeping time to the beat. No one could believe that the teachers were so talented and capable of putting up such a good show as it is earnestly believed that, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach”.
Finally, the surprise! The teachers were requested to take their students to their respective classrooms. What was this surprise?
One of my students, Nexy, said, "For Ma’am, we have a wonderful gift. Ma’am, can you guess what it is?" she asked me.
"Give me a clue."
"Well, it is something very beautiful."
"I know, it must be a bouquet of beautiful red roses."`
"No, ma’am, it’s something which is beautiful but more enduring."
"A pair of diamond earrings?"
"Good try, ma’am. But you know we’ll never be able to afford diamonds, though they are a girl’s best friend. I’ve kept you guessing for too long. It is beautiful, enduring and a wonderful companion. We’re presenting to you a kitten with orange and white fur, who will be your faithful and lovable friend and companion. We know you love cats. That is why this choice of gift."
Nexy gave me the kitten and the whole class applauded. I was touched by this wonderful gesture.
Truly, Teachers’ Day is all about loving and caring and sharing between the teacher and the students.