A nod to the teachers

A dancer's silhouette

It was Teachers’ Day 2020 today. In this peculiar time that 2020 has presented us, the focus on teaching and education makes it particularly important that we acknowledge the role that teachers play.

Often teachers simply do not get the recognition which should be their due – at least in my opinion. I do not refer here to the demands that have been placed upon them by this pandemic, I mean instead the normal daily demands which relate to teaching the younger generation.

Facing a group of children which are not related to you, that you bear responsibility for, and that you need to mould and shape into thinking and thoughtful human beings is daunting. Then add the particular subject or subjects that needs to be absorbed so they can successfully achieve in exams. It is quite the task.

The formal education system is one thing, but what many people miss is that we are also all teachers. What we do in the course of our daily lives has an influence and an impact. Set a good example and others have one to follow, a bad example provides the same.

While studying in the formal space certainly adds value, it is the life skills we all require that are not officially and formally presented in the education environment. From tasks as simple as tying our shoelaces to knowing how to deal with salespeople and bank loans. Much of what we need to know isn’t taught in a classroom, or if it is is only taught to but a few.

Education in the classroom is what helps us learn many things, to broaden our depth and breadth of knowledge, form careers and help us in ways which should ultimately help to advance humanity. A side-effect is that we learn about hierarchy, dealing with others, building our social skills and finding our own way of integrating with society.

As adults, we teach those around us whether we realise and like it, or not. Having a bad day, behaving badly, not showing your best side? There’s always someone watching, someone learning and someone who will follow your example.

That’s the trouble with being a teacher, here I return specifically to those in the classroom. Without choice, each of their days needs to be the best, a bad day isn’t easily allowed or forgiven. That’s despite facing multiple challenges every day. I remember teachers having to deal with us. Angels, not so much.

On a final note, just a few days ago Einride applied for a test permit for their new truck. Swedish authorities refused to issue a permit so the company can test their truck on public roads, because this autonomous (self-driving) truck cannot undergo an alcohol test. Yes, that’s right, the Swedes refused to allow a robot truck on their roads because it couldn’t take a breathalyser.

Author: Morné Condon

Automotive journalist in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, following new models, old cars, car clubs and motorsport. My interests are not restricted to the automotive environment, although this is where I am mostly to be found.

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