Usually people consider Teachers to be a special blessing of an Almighty. As they should too, owing to the fact that they are the ones responsible for shaping young minds, who in turn shape the great future of the country. Starting from a young age you experience the joys of life when you sit in a classroom and a teacher is explaining things to you. It is at that point, we feel that teachers can be put on the same step as a parent, it is then that you realise the importance of an educator.

But, when you go to middle school, you grow reckless and it sometimes feels that you can teach yourself the things which your teacher is teaching you. Their importance in your life as a student begins to wane. It gradually fades away when you begin your education at a university because by that time you have gotten used to learning everything by yourself.

Almost all of my peers and myself included, I have lived the same life and felt the same way as stated above. I always thought and to a great extent have too, taught myself everything instead of relying on a teacher. This went on till a great period of life until I encountered a professor who turned out to be a polar opposite of a traditional teacher. The one who did not care if anybody liked him, but was there just to execute his job exceptionally well. He did not seek appreciation, nor did he need it, but his presence was so comforting, that he just deserved appreciation.

I often look back, retrospectively, at my initial interactions with him. It was the first day of my second year and I was about to enter my class when a professor stopped me. Holding a cup of coffee in his hand, asked me –

  • “Which year are you in?”
  • “Second year”
  • “Being a citizen of India, how much do you know of the Constitution?”
  • “Quite less than you, I am sure, sir.”

He chuckled and said “you’re about to learn a lot more.”

My takeaway from what he said was that because I am in second year now, I will be getting to learn a lot about the Constitution of India, therefore he told me the remark. But it was something else.

I sat in my class and the first hour was Constitutional Law. It had been ten minutes and the professor was late. I was about to go outside the class, when I bumped into the same professor. He said “aren’t you leaving too soon?” I got extremely embarrassed and went back to my seat. I connected the dots and everything made sense to me. He began his class with a quiz and he grudgingly wished to target me with all the questions. When I couldn’t answer, I became even more humiliated. When the class ended, I had a strong dislike for him.

Later I thought to myself that I have two options, either I can stop attending his class or vow to answer every question he would ever pose to me about the Constitution. I took up reading – cases, judgements, articles, notes – trying to understand everything and learn on my own. Once again I felt, what is the need of a professor even? Over the next few classes, the professor started his classes with the quizzes and then he used to teach, where I still observed that he was targeting me for all the questions, but now I was prepared. I answered with full vigour and responded as much as I could.

Two weeks later, he stopped me on the way to class, and asked, “how well do you know the Constitution now?” I told him, “Still less than you, sir” He smiled and went. His classes had always been a pleasure to me, the way he delivered lectures, while keeping the class engaged was so amazing.

Later in that year, I wished to participate in a moot court competition, whose problem was entirely based on Constitutional Law. For the purposes of faculty guidance, I could have gone to any professor, but I chose to go to my Constitutional Law professor because I wanted to prove him wrong for some reason. I visited him about the competition and I used to do my research with him. The way he guided me was another amazing aspect about him. He never gave me the answer, instead he gave me clues about it, but compelled me to find it on my own, which was frustrating when it was happening, but as I grew up, I realised its importance.

Often while going about the research, he used to express his views on an Article and its impact on the current society. Like Article 15 & 16. He used to speak at great lengths when appreciating the minds of the framers of the Constitution. His views and discussions compelled me to develop opinions of my own, which added to personality and character. It was then, I truly understood the importance of a teacher, That they are not meant to merely excite about the subject, and execute it, they are really supposed to ignite your minds and shape your character so that you can contribute to the society and the country more efficiently and effectively.

Further interactions with my professor just made me more intrigued by law and its various tangents. I started looking forward to my conversations with him. I discussed any new developments in law or even in the country, be it political matters, societal or even philosophical. It became so much fun to engage in conversations with him. I started appreciating whenever he would ask me questions in class, and got even more attentive. I enjoyed the subject more when I started enjoying his teaching methodology. I wrote the exam well and overall had a great semester.

After we came back from a long break when the semester ended, I found out he had quit teaching and had gotten an amazing job at a top tier law firm. I initially felt sad, but I then felt grateful for my experiences.

So, my kind reader, believe me when I say this, teachers are treasures. One should always appreciate them as much as we can, no matter how hard it may seem. I hope you find a guide and mentor like my professor, one who can challenge you and also enlighten you.

Reach out to Author : Diksha Pherwani | LinkedIn

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