Two ultimate categories of professionals get true respect forever, one the teacher who sows the seed of knowledge and the other is the doctor who saves life or provides relief. In our tradition, Guru was given an ultimate supremacy even over the goods. The meaning of Guru is "one who dispels darkness". Hence, considered the true representative of parabramha. Similarly a doctor has been equated with Narayana (Vaidyo Narayana Harihi), means through whom the grace is delivered.
Personally I have great regard and respect for both these professions. Sri Neelam Krishnaiah played a dual role both as a father and also an ideal teacher in my formative life. Later I too started my career as an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at NIMHANS. Academics and teaching continue to be a passion to me even now.
We do have many good teachers. They mould the children from different classes and walks of life. These children have varied degree of abilities. However, kids of the present generation are smarter than those of yester years. Teachers today have the challenge of training all of them equally and also prepare them for the next gen world.
Among the children, the mother always has an extra focus on the kid who is lagging or not up to general expectation. That's the true nature of a mother. An ideal teacher should always reflect this nature of a mother. The goal is to identify the children with different abilities and provide suitable and appropriate support to the needy. The real talent of a teacher is not making the bright kid brighter but to hold the suboptimal ones to cross the line of success. When such children become successful in life, then this is considered as a real contribution to the society and to the knowledge pool of the nation.
An expert teacher should make the complex subjects simple and easy for the child to imbibe. Though they are teaching the same subject year after year, it should not be considered as monotony, rather the experience should make the teaching more effective. Though the subjects remain the same, but for the new student it's a new subject. So the teachers' enthusiasm should not decline, rather make the complex topics simple like a child's play. We do have eminent teachers who can make complex mathematics most interesting and logical. In such struggle for excellence, it's mandatory that the teacher should remain healthy and fit, both physically and mentally. They not only educate but also mould the young minds and often make a mark as role models.
Teacher should lead a simple life and be an inspiration to all. They should make the students proficient not only in the prescribed curriculum but also in bringing about a comprehensive and overall development. They must identify the special talent in every child and help in nurturing them.
Above all, a teacher has yet another significant role to play. Apart from the knowledge that they impart, a teacher should also propagate the essence of our tradition, culture and heritage so that it helps the children to inculcate a sense of self pride and be the custodian of moral and ethical principles. This helps everyone to become not only knowledgeable but also wise, thus bringing laurels to the nation and pride to themselves.
Lord Krishna was considered the greatest and perfect of the teachers. His teachings to Arjuna through the "Bhagawat Gita" in the form of dialogue remain the prestigious document about the way of life. But at what circumstances it was taught? When Arjuna was in a state of confusion, Krishna's teachings not only enlightened but also enabled him to stand up backed by his own judgement. Such is the role of a teacher - a guiding light in complex circumstances. Such beneficiaries shall develop reverence and remain eternally grateful.
Our sincere salutations to all those teachers who are responsible for producing such diamonds who have made this country proud.
(The author is Founder and Chief Neurosurgeon, Brains Hospital, Bengaluru.)