Teaching is one of the most noble of professions. As Henry Adams once said, “A teacher affects eternity. He can never tell when his influence stops.”
Teachers have the potential to open the minds of young children to a beautiful world of learning and to instill in them a lifelong joy and thirst for knowledge.
They have the opportunity to teach children to enjoy and revel in their successes and achievements, and to also pick themselves up and move forward when they face failures and challenges.
They have the space to teach children positive values, attitudes and skills that will help them grow and develop into individuals that care about the world and about each other.
And it is not by any means an easy profession. Teaching requires preparation, determination, fortitude and lots of energy – when parents even find it difficult to actively engage three to four children for 15 minutes, imagine just how much more difficult it must be for a teacher to have to teach and manage an energetic classroom of 40 children for 45 minutes at a time.
Teachers often spend more waking hours with children than parents do. They are parents themselves but often they are so busy educating other people’s children that they have limited time for their own. Early mornings to school, after school programs and meetings, paper / exam correction in the weekends, preparation and lesson planning, these keep teachers well on their toes the whole year through. Then there are challenges related to large class room sizes, limited facilities and support services.
So, as parents, we must appreciate the people who dedicate their lives and waking hours to nurture and care for those whom we love the best – our children. We need to give the teachers our full support. We need to reach out to them to see what we as parents and teachers can jointly do to educate our children – as they say it takes a village to bring up a child.
And to the teacher I say - never undermine the value that you have in nation building. In the words of Malala Yousafzai, “One book, one pen, one teacher can change the world.”
To every child you teach, you are a role model. You have potential to inspire them and to make a positive difference in their lives.
Our children look up to you. They watch you. They emulate your actions. They echo your thoughts. How many times have I heard my child say that the answer to a question is what the teacher says it is, and that we must do things a certain way because that is how the teacher says it must be done. In the eyes of our children, the teacher can do no wrong.
And within the frame of the immense responsibility that you have, please do also remember that every child is different. See the beauty in each child and value the difference in aptitudes and abilities. Teach their minds and nurture their souls, for the nurtured soul is the true wealth of humanity.