It is almost a cliché that teaching happens to be one of the most thankless jobs in the world. Why would you thank a person who is trying to make the world a better place; why would you thank a person who is crazy to pull an all-nighter just to make a class of half-grown homo-sapiens make sense of something that could probably help them throughout their lives; why would you thank a person who smiles through all the chaos and has the patience to answer a million questions; and most importantly, why would you ever thank a person who never expects to be thanked..!
Turns out, Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan found a solution to this. When a group of individuals approached him to celebrate his birthday, he in turn requested them to celebrate his birthday as teachers’ day and thus, a day was born to celebrate those individuals who are never thanked enough - A day when teachers are showered with gratitude that they truly deserve and love from all the students.
The students at Citizens high school (a partner school with MANTRA) had been planning teachers’ day for a long time. They took it upon themselves to make this day a grand success (which it was). Past two weeks looked very normal to the teachers - they were teaching and the students were learning, but what they missed to notice were the secret hushes, the small group meetings and the hidden smiles among their students. As a spectator to all the happenings in the school, it gave me an immense sense of pride to witness the amount of energy, effort and enthusiasm that these tiny people were putting in to make their teachers feel special.
The plan was skilfully crafted out, the tasks were divided equally and everyone held each other accountable for their jobs. It surprised me to see the amount of maturity and professionalism with which these children took up their jobs. There was a decoration committee, an arts and craft committee, a logistics committee a performance committee and obviously, the fun committee. I was also given a task to take pictures of their teachers in class as they wanted to create a photo gallery of their teachers as part of the surprise package.
As the “D-day” started approaching, the intensity of their work also started increasing; of course, there were many glitches in the way, but this did not dampen the spirit of these children. They planned and they rehearsed until it was perfect. They ran, they jumped, they skipped and they danced but not once did they run out of energy. They happily did their jobs and kept nagging for more.
Finally the day had arrived and you could sense a weird mix of nervousness and pride in the air. The school ground got a makeover with a splash of colours in the form of balloons and streamers and the beautiful teacher gallery. Students were busy making the day perfect. The teachers started entering one by one and each one of them had a big wide smile on their faces. They stared in disbelief at the work their children had put up. The program they had put up was splendid and the teachers participated with a lot of enthusiasm. The school vibrated with fun and energy.
This day made me realize something - teaching might not be the most rewarding job in the world but it is definitely the most satisfying one.
- The blog piece has been written by Ms. Revathi Menon, who works as the School Transformation lead at Mantra4Change. It captures the moments from teachers' day preparations and celebrations at a partner school.