I Teach, I Touch the Future

“I touch the future – I teach” Simple yet meaningful words printed on a souvenir item. Only few are given the chance to shape the future and teachers are privileged to be among them. Teachers bear a great responsibility – The future is inches away from their hands.

What kind of future will we have if we have monsters lurking inside the classrooms? Monsters who tear hearts and pierce minds. Monsters who ruin the dreams and scar the memories of innocent students, depriving them their bright future. Monsters who dare to call themselves teachers when they are not. They have sowed hatred and wished to reap love.

I can still remember the pain when my ear was almost ripped. The burning sting on m y cheek slapped with a plastic envelope and speaking the national language brings a lump to my throat. No one can think that I got these inside the classroom. I believe that there are many others who share my fate from these monsters who vent their frustrations in life to their students.

What lies ahead if we let these criminals on the loose? They do not just touch the future; they already smashed it before somebody gets there.

On the other hand, another hand can touch the future. A hand that brings hope to the future, a hand that belongs to a real teacher – teachers who leave their families and teach others first. They spend more time with other children rather than their own.

I am proud to say that my mother is one of them. She was teaching in the mountainous area of our then municipality when I was a child. Transportation was next to impossible so mother had to go by Sunday morning and be back home by Saturday, mostly in the evening. I could barely see her home. It was always my father who was at my side. He was the one who taught me my first ABC’s on a piece of paper while mother taught hundreds of children how to read and write. I did not resent this; I was proud because my mother’s a teacher.

Most of the teachers are living miserably because of overwhelming debts. People console them by hailing them heroes and by telling them that teaching is a noble profession. For these, they are paid meager salaries and offered every loan available.

Indeed they are heroes! They live and die unnoticed and the fruits of their labors and endeavors are enjoyed by others still. (During elections, teachers are made scapegoats by politicians. They are accused of cheating which they did not commit. Some even died in horrible ways in this mock exercise of suffrage.)

Parents and teachers have the obligation to educate the children. Parents sometimes tend to do away with their responsibilities. They send their children to school and let the teachers carry the burden of their deficiencies to their children. Parents forgot that education and discipline begin at home. When their children perform poorly, they blame the teachers. (A friend of mine was mauled by a father in front of horrified pupils for this reason.) It is really very hard to be a real teacher…

The future does not belong to any of us. We only touch it. The children are our future. Given these hands to choose from, we can still dream of a brighter future ahead of us. We can mold the future by using the hands of a real teacher.

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