By Shahid Shafi
In India, Teacher’s Day is celebrated on 5th of September every year to mark the birth anniversary of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and to realize the contribution and importance of teachers. Teachers play a significant role in shaping the future of students.
Teaching is a noble profession acknowledged as sacred in every religion and aspired by every successful person. APJ Kalam once said, “Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honour for me”.
After passing 12th Standard examinations, I was not really interested in joining college but still did. I joined Govt Degree College Sogam in 2020. That year was chaotic due to the Covid-19 pandemic. No one was expected to be attending. Yet, even in my second year, I skipped college because I had no interest in my course. However, things changed for good in the third year of my college.
We see it in movies and popular stories but we rarely think that we’d ever get to live to see ourselves get so inspired by a teacher’s guidance. For me, the unbelievable turned out to be believable when I met a veteran and venerable person, my mentor, Dr Tauseef Ahmad Parray, an Assistant Professor in the Islamic Studies department. Prof. Tauseef is known for being an accomplished author and promising scholar.
When I met him for the first time, I asked him several questions on writing skills. His patience baffled me at first and then kept inspiring me as we went on with the discussion. He shared his experiences with me and suggested different techniques.
As fate would have it, our college organized an essay competition on International Women’s Day in which I secured 2nd position, which was my first feat in writing.
After some time, I was told that I had become a Gender Ambassador for my college. For the same, I was required to turn in a 250 word blog. I completed it in a short span of time and couldn’t help but notice my phobia of writing evaporating and a renewed sense of confidence dawning on me. However, I knew who I needed to thank. It was Prof. Tauseef who gave me the confidence to think clearly, to write impactfully and to create confidently.
Last year, on the annual day’s felicitation ceremony at my college, I was awarded the ‘Best Writer of the Year” title. The victory made me remember being a student of 10th Standard, petrified at the thought of having to write something in English! From that scared student to now being published and awarded — it sure has been a long journey and successful journeys are rarely ever possible all alone. It is teachers like Prof. Tauseef who believes in giving every child a chance. Who bet their last penny on each one of us and inspire us through their hope in us.
While struggling with writing, I would contact Prof. Tauseef innumerable times at unusual hours. Yet, he would respond cordially and constantly gave me encouraging responses. This attribute is missing in many teachers.
In current times, most teachers castigate their students, whenever students ask questions in lieu of clarifying doubts. How can students stay in an unquestioning state, it’s their right! Instead of castigating and demoralizing, teachers should anchor students, talk to them politely and in a friendly manner as teachers are the only hope of students who can stride them from the swamp of darkness to the paradise of light.
I once read that APJ Kalam was asked, “who is a good teacher?” He replied, “A good teacher is one who radiates knowledge and radiates purity of life”. Fortunately I found both in my mentor, Tauseef sir.
- Shahid Shafi Shah is a student of BSc 6th semester at GDC Sogam and can be reached at [email protected]
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