Growing Up: Life-long Learning with The Teacher

In the name of Allah, The Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful

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Once a year, we celebrate the efforts of our teachers for their hard work and dedication to moulding minds and shaping characters of our individual selves as well as our generation. There is so much to be thankful to god for, as their passion for imparting knowledge and making the world a better place helped us grow; and for some, survived. We also acknowledge the struggles of our teachers in juggling their work and family life while trying to facilitate us in our education so that we may achieve a few of these difficult things: the best results in our examinations so that we can move institutionally, reaching our fullest potential as academics or scholars and graduating as useful citizens of the world and society.

There is also another important group of people who are often forgotten for their roles as our primary source of education and knowledge: Our parents. Biological or adoptive parents, grandparents and every adult to have raised us under their care are important in forming our worldview and hence our receiving and acceptance of knowledge. In psychology, our socialization process kick-starts with them.

Our beloved prophet, Muhammad s.a.w. has once said “Attainment of knowledge is a must of every Muslim.” (Ibn Majah)

In various translations of the hadith, the word “compulsory” was also used. The importance of teachers is related to the importance of seeking knowledge. The more we understand the need for seeking knowledge, the more we need and respect our teachers. What more of our parents who has overlapping duties and roles. Raising us and trying to impart as many important knowledge and skills into us are tough jobs. Most of them are not even trained to be teachers. It requires an unending perseverance and patience as well as constant self-reflections and upgrades. They are trying to so hard for us with no guarantee that we would be a good learner or good person.

Our relationship with our First Teachers can be strained and stressful because of life. But do not let that be an excuse to abuse them, neglect them, be rude to them or treat them anything less than they should have been treated. We have to remember this: they are learning too. They are growing up with us. They are also making mistakes. They are trying to advise you best according to what they have learnt in life. At times they even have to put their learning at a stop so that you may have your opportunity to learn.

In the Quran we have been reminded, “And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, “My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.” (Quran 17:23-24)

We should not forget to be tender towards them, to be ready to share new things we learn and have with them, to be a listening ear to them and offers them as many kind words as we can. Express our gratitude both verbally and through our actions. Like you, they make mistakes too. The struggle to be a good and better person is a shared dream. There is no need to idolise them but humanize their struggle. It is happening every day. They are learning new things and growing together with you, so stand in solidarity. Remember to let your teachers be learners too. 

Written by: Sofia Ayu – Guest Writer

This article is contributed by a young enthusiastic writer who was a Business Process and Systems Engineering student from Temasek Polytechnic.