Of course when Teacher’s Day makes its annual round, the importance of the teacher is hiked up a notch or two. Don’t be fooled though. It is never this great for 364 days. If you are a teacher on this day everyone wants to kiss you.
Everyone wants you to believe you contributed greatly to their lives even those deep in Criminalland. People in wanted posters at the post office will be ringing out the plaudits like, ‘I am what I am because of you my teacher’. You almost feel like replying, ‘Don’t blame me. I tried my best’.
One of the unofficial reasons I quit teaching was because an animated student met me in the mall accompanied by his mother. His eyes flashed with all the excitement of a pig sneaking into a fat farm. In great detail he narrated to the mother how I had influenced his life and how I inspired him to be a better citizen. Proud of how he’s gotten along in life he showed me a stall of fruits and vegetables with that, ‘As you can see I am trying’ refrain.
The mother gave me one long stare like I was the devil himself complete with horns and tail. You know that look that says, ‘look what problem your effort resulted in’. If eyes could kill, I would have been one of the first victims.
This is a day in the life of a teacher and there are many such episodes. Sad episodes! I mean how do you think Mike Tyson’s teachers felt when in an interview he said, ‘I am going to fade into Bolivian’. Just when did oblivion start sounding like a country? Okay, we might forgive him for not finishing high school but surely for someone living in America not knowing a country in the Americas is strange. Somehow they need to relook and revise that Geography curriculum.
Usually the sharpest
Not to be left behind, the politicians will wade in. Usually those in power almost on a yearly basis will promise how they will improve the teacher’s conditions. Better accommodation, better salaries, better promotion opportunities.
But it never really gets to that as most teachers will attest. This is usually the standard script for officials officiating at Teachers’ Day events.
Those in opposition will also have their own side show. Their theme is usually that when they attain power they will make it legal to boil in oil whoever tries to shortchange teachers. Then they will hire people to boil oil and dunk the transgressors. Something similar to a hangman but much more vicious! This version would have received their training from Lucifer himself in the course Boilingteacherhaters 401: Advanced Diploma.
But we are teachers. The epitome of doing more with less – in fact our less (which we have to work with on a daily) is much less than an average government worker’s less. Teachers are known to steal things from home and take them to work. In any profession the traffic is moving the other way, that is work to home.
But we soldier on nevertheless. We are just a few fries short of being happy. We will get there. We hope one day we will be on a scale of happiness like that of Dracula after being given the keys to a blood bank. Just give us those missing French fries.
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