Issue of January 8, 2017

66th Courier Anniversary Issue
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A teacher’s table

A teacher’s table is one of the most wonderful pieces of furniture fashioned by human hands.

Its beauty does not issue from its design, for a teacher’s table, especially in our country, is so plain and simple compared to other tables. Other tables are highly polished or painted, others have beautiful carvings or designs on the legs or the fringes. Others are given graceful curves and others are given a variety of shapes. A teacher’s table, however, has none of these ornaments. It is not ostentatious; it is content with a plastic cover or a piece of clean cloth draped over it. It is satisfied with its rectangular, nay, boxlike, appearance.

Neither does a teacher’s table draw admiration for its material. While other tables are carved from choice woods – camagong, narra, or yakal – a teacher’s table is made out of cheap plywood. It may even be formed out of pieces of scrap wood from discarded furniture, painstakingly put together in a school’s carpentry room. Moreover, it does not have those shiny metal fittings or borders; it does not have a glass or granite top. A teacher’s table may even pale in comparison to the Formica-topped tables of today’s fast food restaurants. It is as austere in material as in appearance.

Its function, rather, makes a teacher’s table so wonderful. It is here where a conscientious teacher carefully and methodically plans his or her lessons, selects the most suitable teaching techniques or methods, phrases appropriate questions, and programs the activities that accompany each lesson. Like an anvil, a teacher’s table serves as the platform in shaping characters, molding values, and developing the intellect. Plans for humanity and its future are deliberated and made on a teacher’s table. It is no exaggeration, therefore, to say that the weight and breadth of the world are set forth on a teacher’s table.

The most effective medicines that give relief to many of the world’s ills have been formulated on laboratory tables. Many of the important laws that govern the world’s peoples were penned on some lawyer’s or judge’s or magistrate’s table. The blueprints of magnificent homes, roads, bridges, and skyscrapers were all drawn on an architect’s or engineer’s table. But the plans that made everyone who they are – including the chemist, lawyer, judge, magistrate, engineer, or architect – were all done at a teacher’s table.

Everything that is done at a teacher’s table is aboveboard. It is alien to deception, corruption, malice, and vice. Curse be upon him or her who makes the teacher’s table an instrument of corruption, for a teacher’s table should be treated like an altar.

Not everyone is given such a wonderful gift as a teacher’s table; thus, those who have been given a teacher’s table are truly blessed. May they, therefore, find joy in it, using it in the way it should be used, knowing that the fate of the world rests on it.

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