As teachers all over the world are busy preparing and planning exciting new ways to welcome students in a socially distanced manner, a tragedy struck in Ramle, Israel last week, when a teacher lost her life due to a stray bullet. Now this didn’t happen in her classroom, but that doesn’t make it any less of a tragedy.
It got me thinking of all those times that teachers have risked their lives or lost their lives by putting their own well-being on the back-burner while wanting to protect kids. Sharifa Abu Muammar, the 30 year old Ramla teacher who lost her life to a stray gun bullet, had earlier prepared individually addressed packages for her class and decorated her classroom with balloons.
In 2018, Scott Beigel, Aaron Feis and Chris Hixon were killed during a school shooting while trying to shield their kids from getting shot at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. Several teachers over the years have reportedly saved kids from things like choking and other mishaps in their classrooms all over the world.
So personally, I feel it is especially important now, more than ever to recognize everything that good teachers and educators do.
In India, Sept. 5 is celebrated as Teachers’ Day in honour of the second President of India, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s birthday. The day came and went amidst the mess that the pandemic has made and not many in India were even talking about what this day means or should mean.
When I was in school, Teachers’ Day was celebrated with students from high school donning the roles of teachers and teaching for the day, honouring the work teachers and educators do and as sort of a salute to them.
That was my first taste in teaching and that’s when I realized for the first time how difficult a job of a teacher is; and at that time I hadn’t even thought of the several other risks that teachers have to take. The job of all educators everywhere has increased manifolds over the years.
Canadian Teachers’ Day, celebrated on Oct. 5 as the World Teachers’ Day is just around the corner and maybe it is time to pull out those thinking caps and plan to make your, or your kids’ teachers’ day special and appreciate everything they are trying to do during these testing times, and otherwise.