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Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions.

-- Unknown

Could you teach a classroom full of children ? or pre-teens ? teenagers ? and what about the late teens early 20’s age group ? Do you think you could handle that ? What does a teacher go through ?

We look at schools today and may point fingers at the teachers who are helping ‘mould’ the new generations … but do we really ever think about what they go through or endure through trying times of modern day education ?

A teacher has to not only look after the course curricular but also has the added emotional burdens that come along with the job.

In a classroom environment – you have the shy kids, the spoiled kids, the trouble makers and the nerdy ones. The nerdy ones are probably getting a lot of grief from the trouble makers – and their only way out is to go and talk to the teacher. So one of the things a teacher has to do is actually open their mind and heart to hearing this child talk through their problems and try to help them get out of the rut.

There’s a significant amount of emotional involvement when it comes to teaching. I don’t know much about teaching – never done that professionally but I used to tutor 2 children for a period of 1 year and I ended up getting very close to them.

Talk to a teacher, any teacher, and they’ll have a story to tell. Whether it’s a quick anecdote about a single student or a sprawling epic about the challenges and rewards of life as a teacher, you can be sure of one thing: it won’t be dull.

Since I was always the student but never the teacher (in a school environment that is hehe) – here are some of the fond memories that I have with my teachers.

I’ve had some brilliant teachers who till date – 10 years after I have finished high school – I make a point to be in touch with. I want them to know that even after all these years I have not forgotten them - that they were partly responsible for making me enjoy my school days.

I still remember my 3rd grade teacher from back in 1990. That lady was like an angel – she was tall, slim, fair skinned, soft spoken and had a certain charm about her that always had me going back to see her year after year even after I changed schools. One day, just as I was coming to my own high school graduation, I decided that I must visit her to let her know that I’m FINALLY finishing high school. I went over to my old school and walked up to her classroom and the look of JOY on her face when I told her that I was officially about to graduate and make my way into the big bad world of University and Colleges.

She introduced me to her current 3rd grade class and told them all who I was, that I was an old student of hers who hadn’t forgotten her teacher. And I just had to stand there with a look of pride and a sort of smugness on my face (even though they were 3rd graders!) thinking… I wonder which of them would do what I was doing. Perhaps they will do this – and others might be doing this too – but at the moment – I felt like I was the only one from that batch who had done that.

There’s another teacher of mine that I have only fond memories of – my Arabic teacher from Grade 7 till Grade 10. That lady was just hilarious and super trendy. Here’s an incident I can recall all too clearly …. We were sitting in our home-room which also happened to substitute as the Physics laboratory – and my Arabic teacher was substituting for our regular teacher. I noticed a gorgeous bracelet on her wrist – shining silver, with a snakes head on end and the other side a slight coil to represent the tail – and I asked her where she got it from. She was quite aware of my fancy of all silver jewellery and without hesitation took it off her wrist, handed it across to me and whilst I was looking at it more closely – she told me to try it on (which I more than happily did). Before I could even take it off – she smiled at me with a twinkle in her eye and told me that the bracelet looked very good on me – and that I should keep it.

I wore that bracelet every day from 1994 all the way till about 9 months ago on my left wrist without fail. It’s one of my favourite pieces of jewellery to wear. The only reason I stopped was because work has been getting very hectic and I don’t want to get scratches on any of my jewellery pieces.

This very same teacher – has invited her whole class to her home for a traditional dinner – we used to out once a semester on her personal time for mini-excursions around the city exploring the traditional ways of the Middle East. There was this one time, we went on a lovely Dhow Cruise with a typical Arabic buffet meal followed by some delicious ‘kahwah’ – Arabic coffee at her home.

Nowadays – 10 years after I have finished school – and 13 years after since when she first began teaching me – I drop her an email or make a personal visit to school when I am in the Middle East. Her kids are now about to graduate – I remember the times when they would come up to us in the corridors and treat us 8th graders as their older siblings – as they saw us at their home so often !

Speaking of trendy – not very many could beat my French teacher –now that lady was all about being Euro-chic !

So a big round of applause to all those men and women who I spent the better half of my school years referring to as ‘Sir / Ma’am’ … thank you for your part in shaping me during my formation years !