Our teachers – be it the ones in school, out of school or life itself have shaped us into what we are today. This teacher’s day, let’s explore their role in our lives.
“The true teacher’s are those who help us think for ourselves.”
– Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrisnan
Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, once the President of India was born on September 5, 1888. He stands as an epitome of teaching values. It is his birthday that we celebrate today, in respect of those teachers who have made us what we are in our lives at this every moment.
In 1965, at a gathering of his students, Dr. Radhakrishnan emphasised that if they wanted to celebrate his birthday, the best way would be to celebrate it by marking the day as teacher’s day in history. Ever since then, September fifth is celebrated as Teacher’s day.
There are a number of celebrities who credit their achievements to their teachers. For example, Bill Clinton credits the growth of his character to his high school teacher, Mr. Virgil Spurlin. But there is one teacher that we should thank the most today, our experiences.
Long after we are out of school and other educational institutions, we continue learning. In fact, we continue learning until the moment we die. Who teaches us then? Our experiences in life. They are the best teachers. The only way we can pay homage to experiences is by remembering the fact bad ones, shape us and the good ones make us.
There is something that Benjamin Franklin said. He said, “Experience is the best teacher, but a fool will learn from no other.”
So here we are, talking about the lives of the 3 greatest teachers in India’s history:
Guru Dronacharya and Eklavya’s tale is very famous. Apart from that, Guru Dronacharya was a master in military arts. He taught the Kauravas and the Pandavas and is believed to have been the incarnation of Bramha himself. He is also known to have immense knowledge about the divine weapons.
Guru Dronacharya was among the very first teachers in history who plays a very important role in the Indian epic – Mahabharata. His teachings had a major influence on almost every person in the Mahabharata.
Chanakya’s Arthashastra that lays out the ‘Chanakya Neeti’ was a great economist and philosopher. Very few people that he was also a professor at the famous and one of the oldest educational institutions – Taxila University.
The wisdom that he passed down generations, throbs in the hearts of Indians even today. His take on politics and policy continues to be the guiding principles for many across the nation and some across the globe.
3. Savitribai Phule:
She was the first Indian female teacher who made great contributions to education. She was also the pioneer for girls’ education, setting up the very first girls school in the country. Her revolutionary actions in the 20th century made her the target of many ‘conventional and rigid’ people in the society who tried to stop her and her husband from educating females. However, they continued their fight against the mentality of the society and formed five more schools for the education of the girl child, setting a precedent for us to follow.
4. Rabindranath Tagore:
Rabindranath Tagore established Santiniketan near Bolpur in Birbhum district of West Bengal, now known as Visva-Bharati University. This school was a revolutionary step back then because Tagore encouraged ‘open-air learning’ taking the students out of the ‘four walls of confinement’ of a classroom.
His literary works like the Gitanjali, are read even today. Tagore’s system of education was the gurukul way that was followed in ancient India.
5. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam:
Late Dr. Kalam was the people’s President. When he served as the President Of India, he won the hearts of many people. After the end of his term, he began educating and spreading his knowledge at various different educational institutions of India.
In fact, his last speech was at IIM Shillong – he passed away while doing something that was his passion – teaching. Even today, scores of people love Dr. Kalam for the legacy he left behind. He had an art of connecting with his students instantly.
Happy Teacher’s Day!