What Teachers Really Want for Teachers’ Day

And what Teachers’ Day should actually mean..?

Originally created with the noble intention of celebrating the achievements of our teachers, some argue that Teachers’ Day is increasingly being commercially exploited. Just have a look at store promotions, and students spending exorbitant amounts on Teachers Day gifts, all because it is tradition to mindlessly show our appreciation for their efforts and passion through material means. Is this what teachers want? Most importantly, are you prepared to spend $15 for a box of cookies for your teacher, who will probably throw it away after deciding that she would actually stick to her diet (after eating maybe, 5)?


As students across the country put in hours rehearsing for the annual Teachers’ Day concert, could this mindless preparation and rehearsal erode the true meaning of this annual tradition? The results-oriented mindset of our culture perhaps steals us of the chance to stop and reflect on why we are even celebrating Teachers’ Day in the first place, while we strive to put up performances that are photo-worthy of a spot on the yearbook. Also, having Teachers’ Day near exam season is definitely not helpful. Some students may feel that valuable time could be better spent on last minute revision or attending crash course sessions to sharpen their exam techniques; but on the other hand, it could serve as motivation to other students to work and study harder, to honour their teachers’ efforts with their own. Or maybe, Teachers’ Day is strategically set close to exams to allow teachers to reply, ‘‘I just want good results and grades, do well in your prelims and exams!’’ when asked what they would like to receive on their special day… Conspiracy theory?


However, this raises the question of: what do teachers REALLY want on Teachers Day? (besides the day off). Are they merely working to raise the exam grade average of their class to meet targets or do they also want to bring out the best in each individual student? In that case, would they appreciate material appreciation in return for the improvement of grades, or is there a deeper meaning to this transaction?

So, instead of the typical recycled collective class card filled with generic appreciation messages and red pens, try some of these strange (quirky) but absolutely low budget ideas this 30th August (this Friday, get it together!!):

  1. A heartfelt letter. Just write that letter. Doesn’t need to be pages long, but a short note telling your teacher that you appreciate the efforts they make. Add anecdotes and inside jokes to make the message more personalised and less superficial. Your teacher may just like you a little
  2. A strange little essay. Specifically for history teachers, attempt this essay response to an SBQ. Collect sources (anecdotes or comments from other staff about your history teacher) and answer this question in response to the sources: How are Sources A, B, C… valuable in telling you about how great of a teacher ____ is?
  3. An odd poem. Unleash your inner Shakespeare and write a poem about your teacher. If you really can’t think of anything, imagine you’re Drake’s ghost-writer. The words don’t even need to rhyme, it’s all jokes at the end of the day. Your English/Lit teacher will especially love it.
  4. If you hate writing, try taking inspiration. Trade in the favour with your art friend and create a poster for your teacher’s classroom/desk!

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