Yesterday, one of my students wrote: "A teacher is like a candle who burns him/herself to brighten others." When we came back to school this morning, I asked him to explain the origin of this saying.
He said that teachers are revered in his home country of Afghanistan. As a result, his culture has produced many proverbs and sayings that honor teachers.
At my request, my student reproduced the saying in its original language. He explained that the Dari language is one of the official languages of Afghanistan, and it is also closely related to Persian. The Dari language uses an Arabic script, even though the two languages are very different.
One of my favorite parts of working at the college is that I get to meet people from so many different cultures, languages, religions, and beliefs. My students become my teachers, and like the proverb declares, they brighten my world.
"A teacher is like a candle who burns himself to brighten others."