There are days that I miss my Dad very much. Even after almost three years after his death, I find myself with the desire to call him and ask for advice. I miss his short and to the point replies. He was a man with few words, or rather few useless words. He talked when he had something to say. He was one of the nameless heroes of this country, who considered being in service to his country and people more important than his personal interests. Maybe this habit causes many wonderful men and women to remain anonymous. However, their energy and efforts are appreciated by the Universe. Energy is never lost and a positive energy put to use causes positive ripple effects until the end of time.
My Dad had his unique approach to life. He was a wonderful teacher. A tough and wonderful teacher. He taught both my example and by making his trainee “do”. He taught through the magic of “doing”. My father was not a teacher, but he was one of the best that I ever had.
I admire teachers for putting similar efforts to help others make the best of their lives. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I know. I try to keep this in mind. There are also times that I feel pessimistic of my own contribution to this world. What difference do my efforts make? How many people am I able to reach out to and even if I do, what difference does it really make? I had many teachers who were around me as if to make sure that I take the next step, so that I surely moved ahead.
It was an English math teacher that made me love math in 6th grade. It was with the motivation from an art teacher in 11th grade that I completed my first oil painting. My piano teacher told me that I could pursue a career as a pianist if I wanted when I was 8 or 9. A swimming teacher saved my life when I was drowning at summer school when I was 7. My math teacher in 11th grade convinced me that I could go to an Ivy League University in the USA and with a scholarship. And I did. My first art teacher outside of school allowed me to express myself freely and made it possible for me to go after my love of abstract art. My creative writing teacher told me that it was safe to be truly myself in my writing and that it was the only way. My English literature professor in my freshman year in college appreciated my desire for writing in English, even if I was a Turkish native speaker. She allowed me to express my own views of literature from her native country Brazil. My primary school teacher trusted me enough to allow me to correct the exams of my classmates. My Reiki teacher made me see that life without physical pain was possible, and that we are empowered beings to create the best lives for ourselves. My theology teacher in 8th grade wrote my name with special calligraphy like a sultan’s tughra as a present for getting the best point in an examination and made me feel like a sultan. I was lucky. I had the chance to get the taste of being with a great teacher, many teachers. Some of my teachers were my heroes, some were my friends, and some were not even teachers. There are so many people who helped my along the way; I consider all of them to be my teachers. I am thankful to them all.
Then, what makes a teacher special? How does a teacher make a student want to learn and learn more? How is it possible for a teacher to create the desire to make the student believe that she can overcome all boundaries and all limits?
Not everyone can be a teacher. Teaching is not and cannot be about the act of transferring information. There is more to it. A teacher creates the desire to learn. The actual teaching of a material and learning of it seems so trivial once the desire is there. That is where the magic of teaching and learning lies.
A new school year is here with us. Many of you have kids and you would like to make sure that they move ahead. You want the best for them. You want them to go to the best schools and have the best teachers. That is fair. I would like to request you to be the best teacher that you can be to your kids as well. They need all the teachers that they can get. Maybe for the next milestone, your energy is the one they need more than anything else.
May your life be full of new days of learning and sharing.
Affirmation of the Week:
“I allow only positive thoughts to enter my mind. I welcome joy and prosperity into my life on a level higher than ever before.”
By Louise L. Hay
Quote of the Week:
“No one has ever found a new world by worrying about it.”
“The Spontaneous Fulfilment of Desire” By Deepak Chopra.
The Turkish translation of the book may be found under the name “Yeter ki İste”.