What Does it Mean to be a Teacher?

education Sep 1, 2022

Happy Teachers' Day to all teachers.

Hermann Hesse said, "Teachers are more essential than anything else, men and women who can give the young the ability to judge and distinguish, who serve them as examples of the honouring of truth, obedience to the things of the spirit..."

Teachers and administrators (us) are essentially humans. We are people before we are teachers. And the failings and travails of being human cannot be discarded in the process of becoming a teacher.But being a teacher demands that one rises higher, things that are irrelevant to other professions become critical in ours. Whether one likes it or not, teachers are thrust into nobility. While you may not want this 'burden', it is yours to carry. You have also enjoyed the fruits of it when a child trusts you with her deepest vulnerabilities, when she comes to you running with tears in her eyes and hugs you knowing that you are her safety, when she makes cards for you, when her parents tell you that the child is more attached to you than them. These all provide the deepest meaning to our profession. It no longer feels like a profession; it becomes a calling. But it has its cost and one must pay it. 2020 and 2021 were difficult years. All memory is fickle, and hence we forget.

At Northstar, we stood with each other. We held on to each other when there were hundreds of lay-offs and pay-cuts elsewhere. Over the last few months, my faith in teaching has been shaken. Teacher poaching is rampant. Organisations and teachers flout all obligations. I guess this is all part of the game.

My faith in schools and teachers may be shaken, but not lost. Only tested. Our promise is, first and foremost, to our kids. Teaching forces you to become role-models, whether you like it or not.

At Northstar, we walk together, in this caravan that goes to nowhere in particular. And we take our kids with us and show them the sights and sounds of a beautiful world. You and I will and must walk together. In search of our True North.