A teacher disgraces no one to correct the wrong

Looking Back

with Ding Yahya

Teaching is the oldest profession in the world. For a long time, teachers are important part of man’s life. They greatly contribute to shaping his future, his way of life, achievement, and failure.

Despite their pivotal roles in training us for the future, most of us wait for teachers’ day to appreciate their valuable contribution and to express our love, gratitude, and respect towards them.

Even the teachers know that while they strictly teach their students to be disciplined, courteous, obedient, and channelized, the students don’t realize that they are being prepared for the bigger challenges of life.

World Teacher’s Day

World Teachers’ Day, also known as International Teachers Day, by the way, is an international day held annually on the 5th October. Established in 1994, it commemorates the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which is a standard-setting instrument that addresses the status and situations of teachers around the world.

The annual worldwide celebration aims to mobilize support for teachers, and ensure that their needs are met to carry out their important role of molding the minds of the country’s youth. It also aims to focus on “appreciating, assessing and improving the educators of the world” and to provide an opportunity to consider issues related to teachers and teaching.

For its part, the Philippines, led by the Department of Education (DepEd), has instituted the National Teacher’s Month observed annually from September 5 culminating on World Teacher’s Day on October 5.

During this day, the teachers are honored and their achievements recognized. Students normally give gifts to their teachers. Organizations either government or not present awards to deserving teachers in recognition of important achievements or contributions to the community.

It may be early for the greetings but just the same I have to post this piece. Anyway, to me, everyday is a teacher’s day and a teacher does not only do mentoring in the four corner of a classroom but in any place and at any time.

I have been a teacher myself aside from being a publisher and a journalist. I know how difficult it is to teach, especially giving instructions to students from all walks of life with varied outlooks, with the inherent responsibility that entails it.

The teacher who knows how to teach

As part of my respect and salute to our teachers, I am reposting below an inspirational piece I read regarding a conversation of an old mentor and a young man. I don’t remember the author of this story but to him I give credit. Here is the story:

When the two meet, the young man asks:

“Do you remember me?”

And the old man says no. Then the young man tells him he was his student. And the teacher asks:

“What do you do, what do you do in life?”

The young man answers:

“Well, I became a teacher.”

“Ah, how good, like me?” Asks the old man.

“Well, yes. In fact, I became a teacher because you inspired me to be like you.”

The old man, curious, asks the young man when he decided to become a teacher. And the young man tells him the following story:

“One day, a friend of mine, also a student, came in with a nice new watch, and I decided I wanted it.

“I stole it, I took it out of his pocket.

“Shortly after, my friend noticed his watch was missing and immediately complained to our teacher, who was you.

“Then you addressed the class saying, ‘This student’s watch was stolen during classes today. Whoever stole it, please return it.’

“I didn’t give it back because I didn’t want to.

“You closed the door and told us all to stand up and form a circle.

“You were going to search our pockets one by one until the watch was found.

“However, you told us to close our eyes, because you would only look for his watch if we all had our eyes closed.

“We did as instructed.

“You went from pocket to pocket, and when you went through my pocket, you found the watch and took it. You kept searching everyone’s pockets, and when you were done you said ‘open your eyes. We have the watch.’

“You didn’t tell on me, and you never mentioned the episode. You never said who stole the watch either. That day you saved my dignity forever. It was the most shameful day of my life.

“But this is also the day I decided not to become a thief, a bad person, etc. You never said anything, nor did you even scold me or take me aside to give me a moral lesson.

“I received your message clearly.

“Thanks to you, I understood what a real educator needs to do.

“Do you remember this episode, professor?”

The old professor answered, “Yes, I remember the situation with the stolen watch, which I was looking for in everyone’s pocket. I didn’t remember you because I also closed my eyes while looking.”

This is the essence of teaching: If to correct you must humiliate; you don’t know how to teach.

In my time, I experienced humiliation a few times from my management bosses and students as well. But I just took it aside for the truth is that it did not hurt me at all, although to others it may sometime.

Happy teacher’s day to all teachers in the world. (MNY)

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