Life lessons learned from teachers
Teachers bring out the best in us. On the occasion of Teacher’s Day, Hindustan Times speaks to students who have emerged successful in their chosen fields and asks them about their favourite teachers and the values they taught that they still cherish.
‘He showed us the right path, left indelible mark in formative years’
VP Singh Badnore, Punjab governor and Chandigarh administrator
A teacher I remember the most: JTM Gibson (Jack Gibson) Principal of Mayo College, Ajmer, Rajasthan, from 1954-69
The values he taught that I still cherish the most: He focused on simultaneous development of the student’s mind, body and character. He showed us the right path, something for which we Mayo boys will always remain indebted. His towering personality had an indelible mark on me, especially during the formative years. I attribute each of my achievements and position in life to this great teacher of mine and the Mayo College faculty. Gibson is credited to have brought Mayo College to national prominence.
‘Teachers shape tomorrow’s leaders’
Jai Ram Thakur, Himachal Pradesh chief minister
The teacher I remember the most: Bihari Lal Sharma, headmaster
Institution: Government High School, Bagsaid
Year: In the ’70s
The values he taught me: A disciplinarian, he taught me punctuality, patience, compassion, understanding, and the willingness to put in my best. A teacher can transform lives and guide students to achieve their goals. Teachers shape leaders of the future and inspire generations. In a way, they design society both at the local and on the global scale.
‘Leadership should be for the common good’
Sanjay Kundu, director general of police, Himachal Pradesh
The teacher I remember the most: Professor John M Bryson, former McKnight presidential professor of planning and public affairs at the Hubert H Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA.
Subject: Public management; policy and programme implementation; strategic planning; collaborative governance; and integrative leadership.
Class: Hubert H Humphrey Fellowship year 2005-06 (under Fulbright Scholarship Scheme).
The values he taught that I still cherish: Professor Bryson taught me that leadership should be for common good. Leadership is not just about holding a position. He taught us to think and plan strategically. His classes helped us improve our communications skills, write lucidly and speak clearly.
‘Be punctual, consistent and focused’
Dushyant Chautala, Haryana deputy chief minister
The teacher I remember the most: Inder Raj Singh Sahu
The values he taught that I still cherish: Sahu sir taught me how to compose and present my thoughts with clarity and laid the foundation of my oratory skills in English. Besides academics, I learnt the value of punctuality, consistency and focus from him. I learnt a lot about Ch Devi Lal, the former deputy PM and my great grandfather, from Sahu sir. Though I went to the US and the UK, the kind of shiksha and gyan I got from him in my formative years continues to help me every day.
‘Serve society and earn respect’
Keshni Anand Arora, Haryana chief secretary
The teacher I remember the most: Professor Jagdish Chander Anand
Subject: Political science
Class: MA, MPhil
Place: Panjab University, Chandigarh
The values he taught that I still cherish: My father, professor Jagdish Chander Anand, was also my political science teacher and guide at Panjab University, Chandigarh. He would say: Always be useful to society if you want society to look up to you. Maintain integrity and honesty in all spheres of life.
‘Humanity, hard work and integrity go hand in hand’
Vini Mahajan, Punjab chief secretary
The teacher I remember the most: Urmila Mahajan, my mother
The values she taught that I still cherish: Our parents, particularly our mothers, are our greatest teachers in so many ways because we learn from seeing their behaviour towards us and other people. She taught me the values of humanity, integrity and hard work.
‘Speak up, stand by the truth’
Manish Tewari, Anandpur Sahib Congress MP
The teacher I remember the most: Ms Winnie Anderson
Class: Standard 1
School: St John’s High School, Chandigarh
The values she taught that I still cherish: She taught me to speak the truth and stand by it. For Class 1 students, the most intimidating presence is of a stern school teacher. Yet, she encouraged us to speak up and never be afraid. While teaching, she would give us examples and her lessons have stayed with us for life. Today, whatever I am is because of her guidance.
‘Be empathetic towards one and all’
Dr Dinesh Kumar Singh, executive director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bathinda
The teacher I remember the most: Jatashankar ji
Institution: Government Primary School, Deruwan village, Bhadoi district in Uttar Pradesh
The values he taught that I still cherish: Jatashankar ji played a key role in shaping my life. My family had financial constraints, so my teacher not only gave extra attention to my studies but also supported our family. He gave me the confidence to overcome the odds due to limited resources and emerge successful. I imbibed the value of being empathetic towards all from his life. He is like an extended family member and I’m in touch with him even today.
‘Hard work, sincerity will never let you down’
Kuldeep Handoo, the first Dronacharya awardee of Jammu and Kashmir
The teacher I remember the most: Late Vishal Sharma
Class: Wushu and taekwondo training
Place: Training at Shri Raghunath Temple, Jammu
The values he taught that I still cherish: He taught me that hard work, dedication and sincerity will never let me down. He encouraged me to keep moving on despite the financial constraints my family was undergoing in my formative years. Whatever I’ve achieved is because of his support. He died in a road accident in 2006 at the age of 40.