The first thing that I noticed this Teacher’s Day on 05th September was updates literally tumbling out of my Facebook page… no they were not meant for me. They were all by teachers themselves and said the same thing. A great number of them said: “If you can read this, thank a teacher!”

The entire day was flooded with these inane and meaningless messages and by the end of the day my first conclusion was that teachers of today had ceased to generate original thought. Why must all of them say the same thing? In fact, why must they say it at all? A teacher putting up that kind of a social media update would appear to be a braggart who is up to no good. If you are a teacher would you really want to write this? It will surely make you appear rather funny. Hey teachers, you’ve had your say inside the classroom… let the students say this. Funnier still is that I discovered a whole lot of other teachers patting such updates and lifting it for their own wall. No, I’m not accusing them of plagiarism but for being such an idiot!

I’m sure some aggressive teacher souls will turn back and say: ‘You know, I am not just a teacher, but have been a student as well.’ Quite right… and anyway, aren’t we all students for life? On a metaphysical plane, we need to thank life for being the best teacher. However, I believe that those who are presently ‘teachers’ in a formal sense of the word need to step aside for a day and let the messages flow from the ‘students’ of TODAY.

What’s the matter with you, teacher ji? You were the one who told me that a birthday boy never gets up on the chair to announce that it was his birthday on a particular day. You taught me lessons on subtlety. You taught me all there was to be learned about being humble and that it was far better doing something creative than just shouting about something just to get attention.

This Teacher’s Day I found a lot of teachers going all out seeking attention. All is not well, I said to myself. These teacher appear too eager to gather Facebook ‘likes’ and want to cling on to their proverbial 15 minutes of fame. Do teachers today simply dream of opening a shop selling mugs, photo frames, and notepads? This obvious wish to get attention was alarming… making them all appear so untrue, so much like an unbelievable character from some work of fiction.

Teachers must never be mercenaries wanting to facilitate a change for a fee. Would you want the word ‘teacher’ to transform into some hybrid new-age word like ‘a facilitator’? The change must start with teachers getting less titillated by self-promotion online. I wish the teachers get real soon enough…

2012_09_10_The Education Post_Whats the matter with you teacher ji

2012_09_10_The Education Post_Whats the matter with you teacher ji


Arvind Passey
Written on 06 September 2012
Published in ‘The Education Post’ dated 10 September 2012