On Teachers and Mentors: Beyond the Classroom

On Teachers and Mentors: Beyond the Classroom
Photo by Diego PH / Unsplash

Teacher's Day, a reminder blinks on my phone. I spend a few moments reflecting on how we would celebrate our teachers in school, with acts of gratitude. We curated plays, poems and worked on handmade cards. The essence being, 'Thank you for this, this classroom and all that you do for us". I would have to contend that a lot of teachers had a difficult time putting up with us, as with all the other batches. They loved teaching us, nonetheless. I laugh about it as I write this.

I think about how I have found teachers and mentors in different capacities. Through this piece, I hold gratitude for the people I've crossed paths with, whose lives and stories I have learnt so much from.

My roommates, and the strangers who have become family. I notice how my first lessons outside of home, began with them. We taught each other how to cook, figure out the bills, hold space for the rough days, and learn to trust each other. With every year, I hold stories of a different family that I have come to experience with them. Our families and homes took on a new meaning. Your people, whoever this phrase reminds you of, have nurtured all that you have become today.

Managers. Through the one-on-one meetings and feedback sessions, they allowed me to firsthand witness what transformative leadership looks like. These individuals curate safe spaces for growth and foster our skills, allowing us to thrive. As I write out messages to them, I acknowledge how their sharing of stories and personal journeys, has helped me carve my own.

The internet, social media, and all the mentors I've chanced upon online. The internet has shaped my late teens and early adulthood. It allowed me to connect and meet virtually, people from so many paths different from my own. In the quiet recognition that we're all very same, all of us trying to find some part of ourselves, build relationships, seek something that keeps us going, in some capacity. Sharing knowledge, and seeking that, helps us discover new paths, cultivate interests. I'd thank the internet and the amazing communities I'm a part of, for that discovery.

Yourselves. I have learnt over the years, that I am trying to be my strongest supporter, a friend, and a safe space. This Teacher's Day, I thank myself too.

To learning, unlearning, relearning, always.

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