Few people in our lives shape us the way we are today and have a much larger role to play in the future as well. One such relationship is between a teacher and a student. No matter where we are, there is always one teacher in our life who we can never forget.
From the archives, we made a list of Indian and international celebrities thanking their favourite teachers who have changed their life for the better.
1. Vir Das
The famous comedian has thanked his teacher, Mrs Surjeet Khanna, more than once. Be it in an appearance on a chat show or through a tweet, Das makes sure he thanks his DPS Noida teacher for standing up for him when nobody really believed in his acting talent. “Big shout-out to Mrs Surjeet Khanna at DPS Noida who fought with my family when I was failing exams to let me do theatre,” he once tweeted.
2. Oprah Winfrey
The celebrated and widely looked up to chat show host and philanthropist never fails to mention her teacher, Mrs Duncan, when speaking of her growing up days. “I always, because of Mrs Duncan, felt I could take on the world. She did exactly what teachers are supposed to do, they create a spark for learning that lives with you from then on. It’s why I have a talk show today,” said Winfrey in an interview.
3. John Legend
American singer and songwriter, John Legend, has thanked his English teacher for making him believe in his writing skills. Legend shared, “My English teacher, Mrs Bodey, was instrumental in the educational journey that carried me through school and into my career. Until her class, I hadn’t believed in my ability as a writer. She recognized my potential and showed me that I could write with creativity, with clarity, with passion.”
4. Sir Patrick Stewart
For the British actor, producer, and director, there would be no filmy career had it not been for his English teacher, Mr Cecil Dormand. Stewart once said, “It wasn’t until many years later that I worked out that Mr Dormand and my school had paid the fees for my acting course. So no Cecil Dormand, no acting career for Patrick Stewart. Everything began with him, as I reminded him when I called him on his 90th birthday this past summer.” He has often mentioned that it was Mr Dormand, who recognised his potential as an actor and introduced him to Shakespeare and also helped by paying for his first acting class.
5. Bill Gates
The Microsoft owner, one of the richest men in the world, Bill Gates says that his success wouldn’t have been possible without his Mathematics and English school teachers. While one taught numbers, the other taught the power of language. “There was a math teacher, Fred Wright, who asked me to push a little bit harder. My high school geometry teacher inspired my love for computers. Ann Stephens, who taught English and also drama, got me to sign up for drama. I didn't have to do drama. I didn't have a lot of skill in that. But she had built a strong relationship with me, and she made me want to give it a try. I got to be the star of the play. There's no way there'd be a Microsoft without them doing what they did,” he reminisced.
6. Maya Angelou
A writer whose words motivate and emotionally charge the world says it is the result of the love for poetry her teacher, Mrs Flower, inculcated in her. Angelou had mentioned that Mrs Flower would take her to the library and encourage her to read all the books and read the poetry aloud along with her, which ultimately deepened Angelou’s love for the latter.
7. Sachin Tendulkar
One of the finest cricketers in the world, the man with the best techniques, has always expressed his profound respect and admiration for his coach, Ramakant Achrekar. In fact, they are one of the most famous student-teacher duos from the cricket world. He trained young Sachin at Shivaji Park, Dadar, Mumbai. When Mr Ramakant passed away last year, Tendulkar put up a heartwarming post in his remembrance. He wrote: “Achrekar Sir taught us the virtues of playing straight and living straight. Thank you for making us a part of your life and enriching us with your coaching manual. Well played Sir and May you coach more wherever you are.". He added, “His contribution to my life cannot be captured in words. He built the foundation that I stand on."
8. Karan Johar
For the notable director and producer, Karan Johar, a fellow director, Aditya Chopra, is his biggest inspiration and his finest teacher. Johar began his career under his expertise when he joined him as an assistant director and says he learned filmmaking from him. Johar, in fact, wished him “Happy Teacher’s Day” on his social media quite recently.
9. Bipasha Basu
Actress Bipasha Basu credits her teacher back in school for grooming her personality and making her the confident person that she is today. She had once mentioned that though she was academically sharp, she was a pretty awkward and shy child. While she is grateful to all of her teachers, she often especially thanks her English teacher, Patrali Sarkar, for grooming her.
10. Shabana Azmi
Without mentioning a lot, veteran actor Shabana Azmi considers her FTTI professor, Roshan Taneja, her guru. She once said that he, even after his death, inspires her to learn every day.
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