Mushtaq Hurra

Teacher through my eyes

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Great teachers aspire and inspire people to attain the desired levels of efficiency, valour and courage.

Continuation of human existence on the planet is subject to biological process of reproduction while as the continuation of humanity is subject to the inculcation of values, morals and ethics in human beings.  Every human being is capable of producing progeny but only a few are chosen to infuse virtues, values and morals in human progeny. We are mere toys of mud if we are bereft of human principles and values. We share common traits like growth, reproduction etc with other species of animals. So, in biological terms, we are mere animals. But, Allah (SWT) has elevated us to the highest level of hierarchy in the biological world. We are the kings, and every creature though monstrous in constitution, is subordinate to us.  This stature is the reward for our ability to transform homo sapiens into man.  For this purpose, a selected bunch of people among us have been entrusted with the job to remove animal traits from our hearts and add angelic ones, there. And those who have been cherry-picked to ensure the continuance of humanity in human beings, are known to the world as teachers.

After the creation of Adam (AS), Allah (SWT) became his first teacher. The inception of this world began with teaching. Thus, teaching is a divine attribute, and only a few are blessed to own it. A teacher is not only supposed to let children recognise particular signs and scripts, make them understand scientific phenomena, enable them to remember certain tales and formulas, let them comprehend prose and poetry, or to share his/her wisdom with them. But, a teacher is someone who takes you to the ocean of wisdom, and dips you deep into it. A teacher is someone who ripples your mind to the extent that it brings dynamism and curiosity in you. A teacher is someone who takes you above eagled elevations. A teacher is someone who stirs your heart and leaves you eager and restless. A teacher is someone who lets you know yourself. A teacher is someone who leads you to the path of salvation.

Thus, it is clear that teaching is not just a job. So, in the selection of a teacher, academics should not be made the only criterion. Honesty, perseverance, dedication and determination should be given some weight-age. Multinational companies of the world look for all these virtues in a candidate other than prominent academic career when they wish to recruit workforce. A dishonest teacher, though laden with strong academic background, will surely fail to produce the desired results. I don’t mean that we should compromise with the academics of a teacher but other parameters must be taken into consideration equally. But, when the people at the helm are recruiting teachers for rupees 1500 or 3000, how is it supposed to bring miraculous changes in the system. So, we must go for a complete reorganization and overhauling of the system.

I consider myself fortunate to be associated with the noble mission but I often feel vacillated and perplexed because teaching is more than a source of earning livelihood. I often give a serious thought to the fact that if I really deserve to win the noble appellation of teacher. It is not all about passing certain examinations, acquiring degrees and certificates, attending duties and imparting instructions to your students. You can be a good engineer though you may not love your profession but you can’t be a good teacher unless and until you love your profession. A teacher needs to love his/her profession as a fanatic. A teacher must be driven by passion, commitment and dedication to serve. Though I always try to better my own teaching standards but I never enjoy the contentment and satisfaction. Every evening, when gloomy night wraps everything into black, my conscience rinses me, and everything is displayed before my eyes. It flashes dozens of questions upon the canvas of my mind, asking me if I have been honest and sincere with my duties and professional assignments. Teachers are the trustees and the guardians of a prophetic mission. It is the prophetic heredity and legacy which adds to the status, dignity and charisma of a teacher. Thus, teacher is the cynosure in a society.

A teacher must not be only an individual-maker but a nation-maker. Pages of history are testimony to the fact that teachers have been instrumental in different revolutions of the world. A teacher is better than hundreds of patriots, soldiers and revolutionaries because a single teacher can produce thousands of patriots and revolutionaries in a classroom. True teachers can change the fate of a nation and can lift it to sky heights. But, if the teachers of a nation are inefficient and dishonest, the nation they belong to, is sure to perish and fall. Dishonesty of a teacher should not be measured only through the prism of attending duties but it must be seen through compassionate and generous angle as well. If a teacher has no love, dedication and commitment towards his/her job, then such a teacher is dishonest and can’t live up to the expectations of a nation.

A teacher is a human engineer who shapes up human souls and characters within the four walls of a classroom. Our biological fathers acquaint us with the earth but our teachers elevate us to the skies. Our biological fathers nourish our physical bodies but our teachers nurture and nutrify our souls. Famous poet and scholar Dr Allama Iqbal (RA) has beautifully summed up the essence of a good teacher in this couplet. (Shaikhi Maktab Hai Ik Imaarat Ghar, Jiss Kee Sannat Hai Ruhi Insaani). Teacher is an architect whose trade is the construction of human soul. Our schools, colleges and universities will continue to produce human robots who are capable of reading and writing only, unless and until there are great teachers available to our students.

Underdevelopment of a nation should not be attributed to its poor resources but to its inefficient workforce. Brave and honest men can exploit ordinary things for extraordinary results. People are not born efficacious or inefficacious but the environment they live in, the training and knowledge they receive, decides their fate as effective or ineffective. History bears witness to the fact that nations which have produced extraordinary teachers, have been the owners of crown and throne. Great teachers aspire and inspire people to attain the desired levels of efficiency, valour and courage. Thus, the level of efficiency of a nation is subject to its ability to produce great teachers. Efficient and patriotic people can pierce chests of mountains to carve out the stairs through rock cliffs, leading them to hidden treasures where ordinary men can’t reach. And it is a teacher who moulds raw and blunt stuff into an efficient and sharp one. A teacher hones the skills of men to become great men.

Role of a teacher is extremely vital in causing a social change. Teachers have helped nations to end different vices and evils. Superstitions, dowry, corruption, caste-rigidity, illiteracy, gender bias, political and economic injustice etc, are some important evils, we are fighting with. We can’t win this war without having exceptional and committed teachers. We as a nation must strive to have the best brains as our teachers otherwise we are sure to lag behind. People who tumble in a race,  are trampled under boots by the triumphant.

Both parents and people at the helm must persuade and motivate our youth to take teaching seriously. It is difficult because civil services, medicine, engineering and corporate world offers our youth charismatic and luxurious career options. How can they be motivated and persuaded to take teaching as a career. Our youth will surely prioritize teaching as a career if it is brought at par with civil services and other elite career options. Let’s all pledge to end the stigma etched to the profession. Let there be no term as poor masterji. Wish, we could change the jinx of stereotype prevalent in our society. We need great teachers to become a great nation.

– The writer is a teacher and can be reached at [email protected]

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