Teaching us the way to live

A classroom teacher in Laos. Image courtesy of pixabay.com

World Teachers’ Day, also known as International Teachers Day held annually on October 5 since 1994, commemorates teacher organizations worldwide. Its aim is to mobilize support for teachers and to ensure that the needs of future generations will continue to be met by teachers.  — World Teachers’ Day, Wikipedia

Do you remember the first time you stepped into school and you knew no one? How excited you were, or perhaps you were a little bit nervous, feeling uneasiness with the new acquaintances on those first days of classes. Do you remember the first time you encountered your teacher? How he or she welcomed you and the rest of the class to make you feel comfortable and at ease?  Little by little, as days and then months passed, you gained confidence, had fun inside and outside the classroom because you adjusted to the school environment. It was enough for us to cope with the demands of the classroom activities and eventually the time came when you felt at home with yourself, your teachers and classmates.

Today we give thanks to the first-hand educators of our life: our parents who taught us about how to deal with and live life.  We are also grateful to our teachers, whom we consider as our second parents, helping us at school. They challenged and inspired us, and they supported us when doing our projects, reports, assignments, evaluations and exams. As we went further in our learning, we experienced successes and failures in our studies – this became especially apparent during those hard days of our school life.  Yet with the help of our parents and teachers we were able to persevere up to the end and achieve a bachelors degree or a vocational certificate with a specialization that would help us to mould our self for the bright and beautiful future we have been dreaming of – the life that we want to have and the person we want to be.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (Ps 32:8)

Thanks to our teachers who discovered our talents, pushing us to the limits of our capacity and brought out the best in us as they guided and assisted us in our studies.  Our gratitude goes especially to those teachers who challenged and nurtured us the most.

It is good that the world recognises and gives honour to all teachers. Celebrating teachers on this October date or with a whole month of activities dedicated to them is a good idea. We are grateful that they have imparted their love, time, talents, sacrifice, intelligence, knowledge, and their teaching skills and knowledge for us to learn about life.

“Education of children is the art of arts, the science of sciences; no human art, painting and sculpture included, can reach the merits of those forming the children’s soul.” — St John Chrysostom

“One should be a theologian, philosopher and a great expert of the human heart and a saint to be a perfect educator of a child.” — St Annibale, Rogationist Anthology, p.206

As an educator, it is only my thought and suggestion that in general teaching, we are effective teachers when we find ways to educate people through integrating values in the fields of teaching mathematics, science, health, physical education, geography, etc. We need to continue inspiring, giving support to and appreciating each student’s individuality, we must strive to give them our attention, nurture them, and be self giving to our students.

To our dear teachers I say, keep committing the love and the source of happiness to your teaching, placing your students at the centre of the learning process.  I salute all the teachers who untiringly dedicate their life’s work to positively shaping the future of their students.

Thanks to you who are committed to your service, to your authentic and zealous witnessing of God’s love, to moulding a valued life, and in trying your best to be a good teacher.  Teachers, you will always be remembered because you take an important part in the life story of your students. You are always blessed and a blessing to many of us because you have given the very best part of yourself. Happy Teacher’s Day!

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