21-Gun Salute

Prompt: The Twenty-one gun salute is the military’s way of honoring someone. Who would you like to honor? Who do you consider a hero? Write about him or her.

Those who read my other whiny blog will know that I moan about my colleagues A LOT. My life is full of challenges, and work is definitely one of my biggest. There are a few though, with whom I work really well, and one in particular that I admire and have the greatest respect for.

She is a Grade 1 educator, and is also on our school management team as the Head of Department (HOD) for our Foundation Phase (Grades R – 3, which in the US is referred to as Elementary school). I have had the pleasure of working with her for 6 and a half years, and I have never come across a kinder, more professional, and more selfless person.

I have never before met someone who takes as much pride in her work, who invests so much in and is so committed to her students; who, despite abuse from colleagues and parents, I have never heard shout or curse at anyone in anger – she is always polite and always ready to help the next person. She has an amazing gift of being able to recognise and bring out the best in her little students, and her colleagues.

She is generous with her knowledge and expertise (she takes all the new teachers under her tiny wings) and yet is willing to learn a new thing from anyone. She is respectful of another’s time and skill, appreciative of any assistance she receives.

For her dedication to her vocation, for her commitment to her school and her colleagues, for always being a team player, cheerleader and champion, she is my heroine.


Mrs W, you are the ideal Educator. You are confident in your knowledge, but are always ready to learn more. You find something unique in even the worst of your students – and never make them feel lesser. You lead your colleagues by example, and always acknowledge the strengths and contributions of others. Your job is not just a pay cheque at month-end; it is a calling, and one that you answer in a truly remarkable way.

You are what all educators should aspire to be.

We are lucky to have you. And it is a privilege for me to serve beside you.

3 thoughts on “21-Gun Salute

  1. Hi Miriam! I think teachers are the best. even another blogger Linda has written about a teacher whome she wants to give 21 Gun salute. though i have not written in response to this challenge, I too think of my English teacher the same way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Teachers are the backbone of society.. they do the biggest job, but sadly are the most under-appreciated members (I do know that this is not necessarily the case in India – my principal visited some schools there a few years back, and he was completely amazed at how much respect is given to educators).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, that’s a universal fact.

        In general teachers are INDEED respected highly in India. Giving and receiving knowledge is considered sacred and hence the giver of it is valued immensely in Indian culture.

        It is only in recent 10 years that due to some reasons student-teacher relation is affected in India.

        1) Excessive influence of the west through TV and other social media that kids learn to be disrespecting towards their teachers

        2) Commercialization of knowledge system. Fees are increasing and teachers are paid less. Hence importance of coaching classes increases. Also no permanent teachers at many schools for some subjects due to less pay. So no deserving candidate would opt for this profession.

        3) Changing priorities. Earlier there were teachers, who dedicated themselves to their work and students however less they were paid. But now due to economical reasons such people are rare to be found.

        But despite all this, I can say that teachers are still respected. Because I myself am a teacher and my students (who are all elder to me) bow down to me when they meet me.

        Liked by 1 person

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