A friend of mine, with whom I frequently get into unwinnable squables, once stated an outrageous comment which I could not counter at the spur of the moment due to other pressing tasks at hand( mainly attending classes). The question was whether anyone should, after years of study and mastery over a subject, use up their skills in teaching. She found it laughable that anyone was ready to waste their talent by teaching, which obviously leads many of us to wonder whether these teachers were actually as accomplished as they appear to be. That was one of the most ignorant comments on her part; but she has such amazing convincing skills and I am in possession of such a pitiable debating ability that I gave up any idea of arguing over the topic. But that did not mean that I was in any ways less motivated to state my opinion. I have that burning desire to be heard, and even if no one is ready to listen, I do voice it out to myself ( when I am old, I am certainly going to be that delusional lady who speaks to the figments of her senile imagination).
Anyway, upon talking it out with myself, I found, by digging into the deep fold of my 15 year old memory, that she was not the only person to have been misled by inherent stereotypes. It is natural for anyone to believe, at least in the date and time and place of my existence, that a teacher’s is the profession you choose when you find yourself uncapable of finding other jobs. There actually might have been people who chose that as their last resort: such beliefs just don’t pop out of nowhere! But there are teachers, professors and others who even have a doctorate in the subject they teach. Now anyone who has such aptitude in a field will have an array of opportunities waiting at their doorstep. They would not have chosen to teach had they not wanted to, out of their hearts. They are not held at gunpoint by a criminal-cum-education fanatic who has compelled them to teach their kids in exchange for a few extra hours of life. That could have happened but we are not looking at the worst case scenarios, right now. The thing is that no one is ready to believe that simply a love for children-or teens-could be a driving factor for our mentors. Aren’t there people, who after years of wasting life, doings all sorts of mundane jobs, realise in moments of self discovery that all they want from life is to stay in the company of young people? Now we are not sure what goes on through their minds during these self realization periods, but there are theories. They may want to learn to look through a child’s eye, mainly to wonder at the world around; or from older kids, they may want the knowledge of new fads and techs. But a few conspiracy theorists choose to believe that they may not have any fresh topics to discuss at their clubs or kitty parties so they might want to target the flaws of the younger generation: a probable and compelling factor, this is. There also could be their wish to shield their wrinkles and sagging skin behind the youth’s evergreen youth (!) or to forget the troubles of their life amidst their laughter. Well, there is the theory too that they may be attracted towards the dynamic thoughts of children and their neverending curiosity, but even I, with my truckload of respect for teachers am doubtful about that ( my apologies to all my teachers; this is meant to be a lighthearted, well meaning review of your lives).
Now, whatever their motive might be, the fact remains that all of us ( even the unsuccessful lot) are indebted by them. If they had not chosen to teach us, we would very likely be studying on our own self or would have to render the services of rather incompetent green horns of whichever field we are interested in. We would have to be our own mentors , which is a good thing in a way, but mostly, we would remain confused, half-skilled, dimwitted nincompoops. So, all we are right now is because of them.Not only do they get our thanks, but also, sometimes, quite a few times, they are tagged as the reason why we fail. That is another usefulness of our teachers: we get someone to blame for all our failures 😑.