I never thought of this day as something special. When I was in school this was the day when kids would totally suck up (in my opinion of course) to the teachers by giving them flowers or making cards. I think the only people I have wished Happy Teacher’s Day to are – my 9th grade chemistry teacher and my 10th grade English teacher – and I wished them almost like an after thought more than anything else. I appreciated the effort they invested in me but I honestly did not think much about it.
I do not feel guilty about it or look behind and wish I had done better.
Today I am a teacher. Even today this day is not very special for me. But for very different reasons.
As I go into class every single day I cannot help but to think of how each day I cannot afford to be anything less than my bestest self. Simply because the alternative means short changing 41 people who choose to spend their time in my class over being at home or selling stuff on the street and making money. Every single day, I do not give these people something new to do and learn is seen by them as one more tick against why they do not need to be in school.
It is like being a salesperson every single minute. My consumers – my students. My product – my message. My promise- to change their lives. It is like trying to grab attention, deliver message and seek action (purchase-decision model in consumer behaviour) in 30 min of every lesson. I did not know how much I learnt about marketing till I started selling to these kids.
When one of my students confides in me about how she wants to be a scientist but is worried that she will not be able to get married and have kids (10 years old) I do not have answers but in my mind I know I have planted the seed which if nurtured can change a future. I know the message has been delivered. I know my promise is on its way to being fulfilled. But this is 1 out of 41. So I have 40 more to go.
Which simply means, every single day will have to be Teacher’s Day till my 40 learn to dream and change their lives.