I still remember my first day at school. Surrounded by some crying children, who were attending the school, for the very first time. It was not the school that scared them, it was perhaps the possibility of spending some hours alone, amidst strangers without the protective embrace of their parents that scared them.
But then there came a caring lady, who was complete stranger to us and yet she was motherly. It was perhaps the first time a we understood that strangers can be friendly too, it was the first time that most of us developed a bond with a person who is not our kin.
I have seen and endured that school life incepts with tears and ends with tears as well, we start our journey with tears of insecurity and end it with tears of separation.
But what makes those first few hours at school so delightful or what makes those years at school so memorable?
The answer must be friends and teachers offcourse, yes that friendly lady who accepts us from our parents and leads us to our class is the very first friend that we have in school, atleast it happened in my case.
As years passes on, life introduces us to various teachers, some we grow fond of, some we feared and some simply disgusted us. Yet each one of them leaves some sort of impression upon us.
A common accusation by teachers in our school days was,
“This is the worst batch I’ve ever seen”, and we consoled ourselves by saying, ‘wait till the next batch shows up’. However now I have matured enough to understand that the problem with comparing the current batch of kids to an earlier group is that it puts a negative lens in front of our eyes. Through that lens, we start to view even ordinary, age-appropriate behavior as bad. Maybe our teachers just used to say that to instill a sense of discipline into us.
But could we deny those silly complaints that we used to make? or those chides that struck fear among us whenever we missed homeworks?
Those encouraging words, just before the rehearsals at school’s function or those mischiefs that many of us played on our teachers?
Those made school-life memorable. Many of us would get a hero-worship in return of arguing with the teacher over small topics, which at times was utterly unnecessary but such was the amusements of those days.
After we hit our teens, many of us got involved in school crushes or the very first relationship at school. Do we remember those epic moments when we evaded our teacher’s eyes and perhaps achieved momentary salvation. As years went on, those people tirelessly worked to prepare us for the outside world and its perils. Perhaps they were the only people besides our parents who had the right to scold us, to groom us for the future.
As more years passed by, we outgrew school, entered college, university but the basic principle of the relationship remained same. People upon whom we can rely on, people who had something to offer us.
As we grow up, experiences serves as the most important teacher. But still someday we may be standing at the same place where our parents stood, firmly holding the hands of a kid, who is unsure of leaving us for school and a similar caring woman would make him comfortable at school. I can’t say if that would be the same teacher who became our first friend but I can only hope that our kids would also develop similar bonds, and would do things that we did, learn from their mistakes, learn new things and simply repeat us but in their own unique way. For we can stay assured that there’s someone other than us out there, who would show our next generation the right way, such is the beauty of the ‘cycle of life’.
So this teacher’s day, just pick up the phone and either call or message those people a little thank you, for those friends philosophers and guides deserves this.