World Teacher's Day is held annually on 5 October. This UNESCO initiative is devoted to appreciating, assessing, and improving the educators of the world. According to UNESCO:
Teachers are an investment for the future of countries. What today’s children will face in adult life cannot be predicted and so the teachers of today and tomorrow need the skills, knowledge and support that will enable them to meet the diverse learning needs of every girl and boy.
Many countries around the world celebrate a Teachers' Day at different times throughout the year.
The United States celebrates National Teacher Appreciation Day on the first Tuesday in May. In 2014, President Barack Obama recognized the contributions of teachers by saying:
"Now, it’s been a while since I was in school, but I still remember all the wonderful teachers who made me who I am, who opened the world up to me, who made me feel that maybe I had something to offer, and maybe saw things in me before I saw them in myself. We all had teachers like that. Talk to anybody who’s succeeded in business, or written a play, or invented an app, or broken an athletic record, and they’ll tell you about a teacher or a coach who inspired them and who challenged them, and taught them values, and encouraged them to be curious and ask questions, and explore new realms and new ideas. Everybody has got somebody like that in their lives.
"That’s what great teachers do. They set us on a better path. And they do it even though we ask so much of them. Teachers don’t get an off day - even when they're exhausted, even when you’re up all night with your own kid, even if you’ve got bills or something personal on your mind. Once you’re in front of that class, you’ve got eager minds depending on you. And what a lot of people may not realize is how emotionally taxing teaching can be, because great teachers really care about their students.
"You carry their struggles with you well after the school day ends. You worry about them. You’re often the ones they go to with their troubles and their fears. And sometimes, you can see that they’ve got something on their minds even if they don't talk to you about it. Sometimes they even reach back after they’ve gone off to college and may need a little advice.
"And it’s that all-encompassing commitment - that love that you feel for your students - that makes so many teachers go the extra mile. It’s why many of you dip into your own pockets to pay for classroom supplies. It’s why you spend your nights and weekends thinking about new ways to make your lessons come alive, and why you work hard to build relationships with your students’ families - because you want to make sure they all have the support that they need outside of the classroom, as well as in it."
India celebrates Teacher's Day every September 5 which the birthdate of the second president of India, academic philosopher Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. His deep understanding of Indian and Hindi culture as well as his ability to embrace western ideas made him one of India's most influential twentieth-century scholars of comparative religion and philosophy.
On Teacher's Day in 2014, India's President Narendra Modi emailed a letter to teachers where he explained:
From time immemorial, ours is a society where the "Guru" or teacher has played a very important role in shaping individuals in their formative years. In our culture, teaching is not just another profession. It is a divine responsibility to guide and enlighten. ...We must once again accord such respect to the teachers and thereby regain that status where India becomes the beacon of knowledge for the entire world.
Teachers, coaches, professors and mentors have the capacity to make an indelible impact in the lives of students. Here are some of our favorite Bollywood film characters that show what quality educators looks like.
Release Date: 27 October 2000
About the Teacher: Professor Raj Aryan (Shah Rukh Khan) ostensibly arrives at the prestigious all-boys university Gurukal to teach music, bit he has a hidden agenda that challenges the status quo. He shakes up the lives of those around him by encouraging students to follow their youthful hearts and teachers to embrace their joie de vivre. When he confronts strict authoritarian headmaster Narayan Shankar (Amitabh Bachchan) with his philosophy and certain truths about the past, walls are broken down and Shankar begins to live life again.
- "There is so much hatred in the world, but still there is love in the heart. Even if the people you love die and your friends disappear, their love always remains alive."
- "Love is just like life, it's not always easy and it doesn't always bring happiness. But when we don't stop living, why should we stop loving?"
Film: Main Hoon Na
Release Date: 30 April 2004
About the Teacher: Chemistry teacher Ms. Chandini (Sushmita Sen) has a poise and confidence that inspires those around her. As a smart, talented and candid person she seems to be able to handle any situation with strength and grace. When Major Ram Prasad Sharma (Shah Rukh Khan) falls for her while on an official mission, she ends up being the support he needs to complete a personal mission as well.
Film: Swades: We the People
Release Date: 17 December 2004
About the Teacher: Having returned from university to help her widowed mother run the village school, Gita (Gayatri Joshi) is a no-nonsense teacher who views books as a source of knowledge and knowledge as strength. She has strong principles, is passionate about teaching and believes women should have the same rights as men. She is a modern woman who embraces local tradition and culture while instilling civic responsibility and knowledge in the next generation. She isn't afraid to confront anyone who speaks ill of others or her country. Her strong worldview helps reconnect NRI Mohan Bhargava (Shah Rukh Khan) with his roots.
- "The government is a system, of which the public is also a part. You, me, this village ... all of us! Now if the system is lacking in certain things, then to rectify its weaknesses is our responsibility as well."
- "Habits can be altered over time but narrow opinions and beliefs cannot be."
- "Without culture and tradition the country would be left with no soul."
Release Date: 4 February 2005
About the Teacher: Eccentric alcoholic teacher Debraj Sahai (Amitabh Bachchan) is brought to the home of Michelle McNally (Ayesha Kapur, Rani Mukherjee) when her parents realize they cannot manage the blind and deaf girl alone. Debraj brings years of experience working with deaf and blind students along with a strong determination and willingness to confront Michelle and her parents. His firm stance on how to teach the lost and directionless girl challenges Michelle and her family. Debraj's refusal to give up on the girl or change his teaching methods enables him to break through the Michelle's darkness. Inspired by the true story of Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller.
- "You are different and are proud that you're different."
- "Your world is not black!"
- "Life is an ice-cream. Enjoy it before it melts."
Release Date: 26 August 2005
About the Teacher: Mohit's (Naseeruddin Shah) path to become a memorable coach is a difficult one. Deaf and mute Iqbal (Shreyas Talpade) doesn't want to give up on his dream to be a professional cricket bowler, but his attempts to get a formal coach have failed. When he discovers that the local town drunk Mohit is a former professional bowler, he pursues the man until he agrees to coach him. It is Iqbal's faith and persistence that turns this drunkard into a dedicated coach. Mohit, in turn, does everything he can to protect Iqbal's dream and ensure that he gets his chance to play for the national team.
- "This is a mind game that is played from the heart. "
- "Each one of us has been sent into this world to do one special thing."
Film: Chak De! India
Release Date: 10 August 2007
About the Teacher: From the first moment coach Kabir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) is introduced as the new girl's field hockey coach, the girls realize it has to be his way or the highway. He lays down the rules and sticks to them. Those who challenge him endure the consequences. He is not there to be their friend, but their coach. Though he is tough by anyone's standards, Kabir Khan ultimately teaches the female athletes to respect the sport, their country, each other and themselves.
- "This team needs only those plays who first play for India then for their teammates and then, if they have any life left, for themselves."
- "... to make a team you don't need strength ... you need intention"
Film: Taare Zameen Par (International title: "Like Stars on Earth")
Release Date: 21 December 2007
About the Teacher: An enthusiastic art instructor, Ram Shankar Nikumbh (Aamir Khan) loves children and believes every child deserves to be happy regardless of the student's circumstances. While his somewhat unconventional teaching style challenges his colleagues, his experience working with disadvantaged students helps him to see the world and his students in a different way. When he encounters the sad and silent Ishaan Nandkishore Awasthi (Darsheel Safary), Ram meets with the boy's family to find out more about this enigmatic student. Realizing that Ishaan is emotionally shut down because of the overwhelming challenges of undiagnosed dyslexia, Ram sets aside time to personally tutor Ishaan to help him understand and work through his learning challenges.
- "There are various diamonds that have been born in this world, who have changed the map of this whole world ... because they were able to see this world from a different angle."
- "Putting the weight of your ambitions on the delicate shoulders of your child - it's worse than child labour."
- "Every child is different. Sooner or later all of them learn each at his own pace. Five uneven fingers make up the hand."
Film: Stanley Ka Dabba ("Stanley's Tiffin Box")
Release Date: 13 May 2011
About the Teacher: English teacher Rosy Miss (Divya Dutta) always greets her 4th standard students with a big smile and a "How are my babies?" or "Good morning my children!" She sees the incredible imagination and intellectual potential in Stanley (Partho Gupte) even when others see him as an outrageous nonconformist who doesn't always follow the rules.
- "Stanley, you've written a lovely essay. Children you must hear what Stanley has written."
- "Stanley. Hey, you were so good! It was so nice to see you like that. So special!"
Release Date: 12 August 2011
About the Teacher: The principal of the non-governmental Shakuntala Thakral Mahavidyalal (STM) College for 32 years, Prabhakar Anand (Amitabh Bachchan) has the heart of a teacher. He believes in furthering educational opportunities based on achievement regardless of background. A deeply thoughtful and principled man whose motto for learning is Q.E.D. ("Quite Easily Done"), he is a gifted mathematics professor who knows how to make his subject accessible and enjoyable to his students. When political machinations turn against him and leave him homeless and demoralized, he turns the tables on his haters by successfully implementing his vision of providing quality educational opportunities to everyone.
- "I am a teacher. My responsibility towards each child is the same. Proud as I am of my successful and privileged students, I am equally concerned about the weaker and poor students of society. Two Indias co-exist in our country ... if we want our country to genuinely progress, then we shall have to eliminate the gap between the two."
Film: English Vinglish
Release Date: 14 September 2012
About the Teacher: As an teacher of english as a second language, David Fischer (Cory Hibbs) meets a variety of people from different countries, cultures and education. He teaches by demonstration and his bubbly enthusiastic energy generates excitement among his students. He corrects gently and never puts his students down. Just as eager to learn from his students as he is to teach them, he gives his students opportunities to participate in their education. He inspires confidence in Shashi Godbole (Sridevi) and when she runs into difficulty finishing the course due to personal commitments, he does everything to make sure she achieves her goal.
- "We have an entrepreneur in the class! En-tre-pre-neur. It's a person who runs his or her own business. Shashi, you are an entrepreneur!"
- "An exam is not a matter of life and death. It's about the joy of telling yourself that you have done it!"
If you liked this, please share and visit our other posts.