It was in the year 2001 when I first heard the word, ‘Teacher’s Day.’ I was in fifth standard then. When the head master of the school announced that the 2nd May will be celebrated as teacher’s day, pupil went on whispering on each other’s ears, except the ones at the front of the line. They would not stir, let alone talk and whisper as they had the attention of every teacher in the assembly.

“Besides the usual celebration of the Birth Anniversary of the Third Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, it’s the day to pay tribute and gratitude to your teachers,” the headmaster continued. And silence prevailed everywhere.

None of us in the school had a bit of clue about what was the day all about. And nobody had any idea of what should have been done. So it passed like the headmaster had never announced during the assembly. And exactly the same thing happened the following year; just nothing, but a day off from the study.

It was when I reached the seventh standard that I had the slightest clue about the day. 
A little contribution from each student for a small tea party and a simple gift as a token of gratitude to the teachers. We liked the idea of decorating the classrooms with chart papers with different wordings on it. 2nd May started to have more sense since then. And I just realized how so dumb we had been during our primary school years.

So, Teacher’s Day, slowly it began to form the shape, colour and taste in our mind and the essence of the day was slowly getting into our bone marrow. And now I believe that each and every student understands what it is all about, that the simplest of the students’ efforts to show how grateful they are can move any teacher and bring tears in their eyes.

TEACHER, for Tenderness, Empowering, Able, Changer, Hardworking, Enriching and Resourceful, this is what I look up to for a teacher. A man I know closely once told me that every person who teaches something new or who shows the right path is a teacher. He need not necessarily has to come to school and sit with bunch of kids to be qualified enough for a teacher, but teacher, they are everywhere around us.

A teacher is poor yet rich. 

Poor because teacher doesn’t earn a good money out of the heavy work they do, but rich in knowledge. Knowledge to brighten the clouded minds of others. I know this because I had been a teacher once, in a far flung land of smiles, Thailand. Even though every bit of hard work a teacher puts deserves equal incentives, they are modest enough not to ask and fight for it, because the joy and pleasure they reap in educating the dumbest of minds is enough of reward.  If a teacher is paid for every extra work, then the teachers would become the richest in the entire world. But teachers, they are kind enough to let go and be kindest human ever. 

I have realized in those two years that the moment you decides to be a teacher, you decide to be a parent, a guardian, a master, a preacher, and lot more. Name what professions you may, being a teacher is being everyone, being the Universe.
In Bhutan teaching profession is considered cheap. Even in the job market, if there’s nothing left, we tend to opt for teaching profession, not by passion but under serious compulsion of being jobless.  But I say this, by taking the risk of becoming a teacher, we go one step further in life and we begin to rise. That’s it, the very first step in learning and imparting what we already know. Because by becoming a teacher, willingly or unwillingly, we begin to learn the road to perfection begins just by deciding to be a teacher.

I have heard people say this over and over again that ‘Teachers live poor life but they die Rich’ and this is the truest words of the wise ever.

"May the ignorance be cleared by a wise word of a teacher. May we all rise, together with our teacher." 


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