For me Teachers' Day is one of the most anticipated days of the year. I don't look forward to this day because this day offers us a chance to express our gratitude to our teachers and tell them how great they are. That should be done everyday. We need to thank our teachers 365 days a year from the bottom of our heart. We deliver some very emotional speeches on this day but once the day is over do we really believe in what we said?
Everyday, there's a news headline indicating the steadily deteriorating teacher-pupil relationship. What is the significance of September 5 if students don't respect their teachers as much as they should? We need to observe Teachers' Day everyday by being obedient to them and showing them proper respect, not by giving them flower bouquets. I'm not saying that giving them flower bouquets is not a good thing to do, it'd just be better if the bouquets were accompanied by true respect and love. Otherwise, the observance of Teachers' Day becomes an exercise in pointlessness and falsehood.
However, I await September 5 with intense anticipation because of the mad celebration that takes place in our school. "Dazzling" would be another word to describe it aptly. We have, to use a much-abused phrase, loads of fun on this day and today was no exception.
The most awesome part of the Teachers' Day celebration is Teacher-for-a-Day programme. Till 2007, the senior students took up the job of teaching us for a period or two. When a senior taught us, a teacher of the same subject sat with us and judged his performance as a teacher. Sometimes, some of my classmates would pull the legs of the senior by asking them particularly difficult questions in front of the teacher. But I had never done anything to embarrass the seniors as I knew how difficult it was for them to teach us in front of the teacher.
Since 2008, I have officially been a "senior". So I got the chance to teach the younger folks for two years. Last year my mathematics class won me the prize for best teacher. Today I was given the responsibility to teach class VIII students mathematics. Maths is one of my favourite subjects, so I wasn't anxious at all and it didn't take me a second to decide what I was going to teach.
So I entered the classroom with my maths teacher. The teacher sat behind them and my students said to me, 'Good morning, Sir!' Just imagine this scene! It was a great session. Thankfully, the students I got were not mischievous. They asked me questions, but never to pull my legs. It was very fun teaching them. At moments I wanted to look in the eyes of my teacher and ask him (with eyes, of course), 'Sir, am I doing alright? Have I successfully learnt everything you taught us?' But I controlled myself. Even after the teacher went out from the classroom with my marks safely clutched in his hands, I taught them on for a couple of minutes before the next teacher-for-a-day entered the classroom, because I felt that I should be sincere to the profession of teaching, even though it was for a day.
Some of my friends stood outside the classroom watching me teaching. One of them even recorded a video of me giving lecture and writing on the board. But never did they become a source of annoyance or distraction.
I was very happy after my session as a teacher. I heard funny anecdotes from the friends who took up this job. Some of the non-teaching seniors taught the juniors some tricky questions which they asked to the senior teaching them and embarrassed him no end. One of my friends had a hilarious experience:
He was teaching class X students history. The students decided to play a prank on him. He asked his students, 'What did K. C. Das do?' One of the students replied, 'He invented rosogolla (a famous Bengali sweet, which is often portrayed elsewhere as the only thing in the Universe Bengalis know and care about).' This one had everyone of us (including him) in splits.
This is the degree of fun and enjoyment we have every year. There was a short and pleasant programme after this. The programme became all the more enjoyable for me as I won another prize this year for teaching. There's a friendly football match between teachers and senior students every year, which I love watching.
But I haven't yet told you the most special aspect of Teachers' Day, have I? The Teachers' Day reminds me of my pre-school Teachers' Day celebration with the best teacher I've ever had: my grandfather.