Maata Pita Guru Daivam

"Maata Pita Guru Daivam"
Meaning mother father teacher are next to god. This was the sloka that Anoop once recited to me after coming from a tutorial class, of which he was a TA. He spoke eloquently of the aptness of the sloka. He was referring particularly about the inclusion of teacher in it along with mother and father.
What makes a teacher so great to be considered next to god? It is his ability to give knowledge in such a manner that the pupil understands. To ensure that the student gets what is being taught, requires a lot of hard work and patience. There are times in the class when the student acts adversely. He may be physically present but mentally absent. Or he may ask the teacher a question out of the blue which is not at all relevant to what is being taught at that moment. In such circumstances is the real test of a teacher. How he reacts to these situations?
On an average most of the teachers behave in an indifferent manner. They tend to neglect the student. These teachers are next to god only to those who attend the class carefully and are up-to-date in the subject, because they will understand each and every word that is being taught. And hence fulfil the basic necessity - comprehension of knowledge being imparted - of teacher-student relationship.
Few are the teachers who try to see the situation from a different angle. They realise that the absent-mindedness of the student is actually a mistake of their own. They try to change the style of teaching so that the class becomes interested in the topic, however boring it may be, whatever the time it is being taught. Such teachers require lot of patience and preparation to get the student in line with the flow in which the subject is being taught. These are the teachers who are actually next to god in true sense. And they are the same for all. They are liked by all. But they are few. Very few!!
There are teachers who react to the adverse situations in negative manner. They scold the student for not being attentive, make fun of the question being asked. Imagine the kind of feeling he generates in the minds of the student. How neglected he will feel? And how disinterested he will become towards the teacher as well as the subject. Such teachers are the ones who take up teaching as a profession because they didnt get anything else. Or because they thought it is the easiest thing to do - blabber, blabber and blabber. But luckily such teachers are also few. Very few!!

If you are thinking why I wrote such an essay on teachers, it is because of my meeting with one of my old teachers. When I informed him that I am doing PhD and want to opt for a teaching career, he was stunned. He actually got angry with me. He said "Why are you wasting your life by becoming a teacher?". Can you imagine a teacher saying this? Demotivating his student from becoming a teacher! All I remebered at that time was how wrong it is to say 'Maata Pita Guru Daivam'. How can such a teacher be put in that list of mother and father?

For all teachers I would say, Remember the sloka and assess yourselves how apt you are.


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