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Teachers day

Teachers day

One occasion that calls for honouring some of the best people in our lives falls on teacher’s day. Tanner Colby has rightly said that “you are the sum total of the people you meet and interact with in the world. Whether it's your family, peers, or co-workers, the opportunities you have and the things that you learn all come through the doors that other people open for you”. Teachers, nonetheless, take a big chunk of what we make ourselves by instigating and introducing many topics one is unaware that even exist. Teacher’s day is a day kept aside for commemorating the significant contribution of teachers in building a person’s life. A day to show gratitude, acknowledge and celebrate the efforts of a teacher.

Around the world, teacher’s day is celebrated at different points of the year, each carrying its own national significance. UNESCO, on the other hand, has tried to unite the teacher’s day celebration by marking October 5th as World Teacher’s Day. This day is chosen to commemorate the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. 1994 marks the year from which teacher’s day is celebrated globally, appreciating the significant contributions teachers make and encouraging others to step up to the noble profession of teaching. The theme adopted by UNESCO last year was, “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future”. Every year a theme is chosen to accommodate the contemporary issues and the day is also set aside to resolve certain crises concerning the teaching profession. Every two years, Outstanding Teachers are awarded the UNESCO Hamdan bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Prize of amount US $300,000 during the teacher’s day celebrations. UNESCO collaborates with the International Labour Organisation, UNICEF and Education International to commemorate the teacher’s day worldwide.

In India, teacher’s day falls on the birth anniversary of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan on the fifth of September every year. An interesting story lies behind the celebration of the birthday of India’s first Vice-President as national teacher’s day. Being popular with students, Radhakrishnan was approached by some students, requesting him to allow him to celebrate his birthday annually. In response he asked that it would be his privilege if his birth date is celebrated as Teacher’s day, remembering the contributions teachers made before him and those yet to make. Thus, India was granted a day to honour the efforts of teachers through the visionary leader and pathfinder since 1965 and the day is still practised with great splendour and pomp. 

Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan firmly believed in the value of education and dedicated the majority of his life to the teaching of students. He was a well-known scholar, diplomat and had been ascended to the position of vice-president and president of India. He did his graduation in philosophy and true to his education, he remains one of the great philosophers the country ever had. Radhakrishnan enjoyed himself as a professor in various colleges and universities, before taking up the rank of vice-chancellor of Andra Pradesh University and later Banarus Hindu University. The nobility in the profession and the drive to instil the importance of education has made Radhakrishnan an endearing personality, and which triggers the children of today to understand the significance of teachers and appreciate their presence for enhancing the quality of their life. 

The tradition of honouring teachers in India have a long history with people of different religions celebrating Guru Purnima, to pay obeisance to their spiritual and academic teachers. The festival is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Ashadha, which often falls on the Gregorian months of June or July. The occasion is observed by followers of Hindu, Buddhism and Jainism. In a land where paying tribute to teachers was a custom, National Teachers’ Day widened the scope and incorporated all religions and sections of people to celebrate the contributions of teachers on a grand scale.  

Teachers are the large spectrum in one’s life that guide, direct and develop ones being and personality. Imparting knowledge is not an action that has the immediate results on the question paper, it is the shaping of the future, instilling the basics and the complex, of what, where, when, how, and why. A teacher does not stay in classrooms and end with school learning as it is often understood, rather they are omnipresent in every step one takes, offering help, guidance, assurance and encouragement, to lead a life with righteousness and more confidence. Robert Frost once famously declared that he is not a teacher, but an awakener, summarising the task of a teacher is not merely to teach concepts, but to awaken the people to a new direction and light. In every walk of one life, teachers appear to enlighten and steer us in the right direction. It is the divine and the supreme duty one can assume in life. 

Teacher’s day is celebrated in most educational institutions by conducting a lot of activities. On those days children may dress as teachers and take sessions in lower classes. Teachers may attend these fun sessions along with other students. Sometimes teachers may perform dance and sing songs to entertain the children. Teachers distribute sweets and spent a day amusing students. Children may also engage in different activities to make the teachers feel special and loved. One of the most common ways is by presenting gifts as a souvenir. There exist many items in the market today that can be gifted to teachers on a day specially set aside for them. 

An appealing and typical gift that can be presented to a teacher is greeting cards. Children often indulge in making greeting cards to convey their warm wishes and a beautiful message. They exhibit their creative outputs in designing these greeting cards to let their favourite teacher know the significance he/she has in life. E-cards today are a facility through which cards can be sent easily to their teachers making them efficient, simple and less complex. Different layouts are available which can be selected by the card-giver and systematically delivered. These cards can also be personalised which make the cards unique, close-to-heart and endearing. Stickers are another type of gift that can be gifted to teachers with love and admiration. They are cheerful, fun-loving and a little playful which makes it a perfect gift for a teacher from a naughty child. These are the things that make a teacher-student relation magnificent and attractive. The digital world demands newer types of gifts and stickers act as an apt medium through which emotions and feelings could be conveyed. These are non-formal and brings in joy and utmost affection between the gift exchanges. 

Teachers from one of the major parts of school and college life. They are the masons that strengthen the foundational stone of our character and knowledge system. Teachers are the frontline educators who have the capacity to make a difference in the lives of students. To capture and remember the most important people in our lives, there is no other method or way other than to click pictures. The pictures have the capacity to speak millions of words without actually wording it all. A perfect way to gift a teacher would be to present him or her with a photo book that can remind innumerable moments of mischief and joy. The photos can also be printed onto mugs, making it special with a simple memory. A teacher may come across numerous students in his/her life. They may remember the batch, significant events of that year, but there exist certain moments which are not great as a whole, rather trivial incidents which can elicit warmth-filled recollections. These moments if captured can be printed onto mugs and presented as a gift to your teacher on teacher’s day. This will forever stay in the hearts and minds of the teacher and niche your own place among the countless students the teacher may have taught. Apart from photo-printed mugs, they can also be designed with certain quotes, token words of the teacher that are repeatedly used, or a message from a class etc. Magic mugs are also a current trend that can be proudly gifted to a teacher. These mugs when filled with hot water will pop in a photo, or writing that can have exclusive meanings for the teacher and her/his bunch of students. These are interesting, impeccable and impactful for preserving a memory that can stay lifelong. 

Teachers are intricately connected with books and these are bound to create a quick spark in the hearts of teachers if presented as gifts. Notebooks are the items on which one jot down notes, doodle, or express the innermost feelings. Delicately designed notebooks could be an ideal gift for a teacher. Today customised first pages can be created and the intricate patterns or subtle designs represented on notebooks may work as a perfect reminder for the rest of the years. 

Teachers are the ones who ignite the first fires of knowledge and; a celebration of their work underlines the principle of teacher’s day. It is a day that demands appreciation and acknowledgement of their work. Gifts act as an ideal medium to convey the rich feelings students cherish for their teachers. 

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