With a student’s life tipping over on one hand, and his own life suspended on the other, it is no secret that a teacher’s day is an elemental dilemma.
Dragged upon by a heavy rock of self-complications, there will never be a moment’s hesitation to bind himself with the predicaments of his students in school, or even outside of it. It is with a surprising but never-ending eagerness to create more space for the disputes of these youthful intellects in his already troubled heart. Even more jolting is the fact that he holds himself accountable for the constructive failures of his students and spends sleepless nights thinking and sighing over it.
But the carousel does not stop there. In a society of rash judgements and discombobulated customs, teachers are negatively magnified in a civilization that is too lazy to dig deeper than what they nakedly see and hear. Comprehending the mentor’s guiding light is essential, but understanding who they are creates another dimension that sets them apart from anyone else.
1. A teacher is everyone’s bus driver.
As his students hop aboard the life bus, he intently spends nights of studying every highway and alley, overly-careful so that his students do not take any misleading shortcuts to success.
2. He is the tour guide, too.
In every scene of reality that the students partake their curiosity and excitement into, the teacher promptly gets up from his seat to enlighten their innocent young minds about each infrastructure of life.
3. A teacher is a gatekeeper.
As the life bus filled with youthful animosity approaches the gates, the students see a silhouette of a figure, not knowing that it has been patiently standing there for countless hours. The figure is that of a teacher as he opens the high gates, warmly welcoming the youth to the ups and downs of life, and guarding them from any deception that might present itself.
4. A teacher is an everyday actor.
Without any forethought about personal intricacies, a teacher continues his vocation because his students’ lives do not take a break. A classroom transforms into a stage and he becomes an actor. Any hint of distress and pang of anxiety does not show as he puts on a warm smile as he lovingly looks at each child.
5. A teacher is an aspiring millionaire…for good reasons.
Dedicated to the well-being and safety of his students, he sincerely wishes he could put to ease all their burdens – a dying relative in a hospital bed without a single dime to pay, their projects that cost them more than they could afford, or their aching stomachs screaming for food. Even without something to spare, he unhesitatingly lends a hand, knowing that they need it more.
6. He is a time machine.
A teacher does not always have the time, but he sees to it to constantly make time. His work comes without a trace of a timeline. With his life hanging on a thread and needing for immediate solutions, he painfully prolongs his time for the students, and lessens his time for his own problems. But problems do not solve on its own, taking a heavy toll to the teacher’s everyday life.
7. He is a living punching bag.
Even with all the good intentions of his sickened heart, he takes all the blame and carries them throughout his life. He makes a single mistake, and everyone cries their hearts out in anger and forgets just about everything he has sacrificed for them. But no matter how unfair, he does not let anyone bear the burden for him and continues his life, knowing that he will always have a target on his back.
8. Most importantly, he is just a human being.
I wholeheartedly wish that there is an ideal world where teachers can be perfect, as what their students expect them to be. I hope that there will come a time that teachers follow each and every rule in the book, as what the society judges them to do. But the thing is, this world is real. Some days, a teacher looks at himself in the mirror and sadly desires for people to see him not just as a teacher, but as a human being. He longs to be regarded as a mere human being, capable to love and be loved, able to hurt and be hurt. The undying scrutiny that a teacher is placed upon is unjustifiable and inhumane. People would always notice the wrongdoings and mistakes, but never the anxieties and the depression that heavily blanket the teacher every given day.
Appreciation is not the engine that drives the teacher to function, nor is it a necessity for him to pull off tricks from his sleeves just to do what his calling influences him to do. But to hear a word of gratitude as he makes his way out of the classroom after a draining lecture, to see warm smiles from his students as he passes through the hall, or just simply to see his attentive pupils intently carrying out a difficult activity is food for his burnt out soul.
No matter the title or the position, every person is born a person from day one. Along with all the accolades and recognition one achieves from years of diligent labor and rigid work is an emptied, innocent heart that yearns for undressed and unbiased appreciation.