A ‘Tr’ prefix may be the ideal gift on Teachers’ Day

William Shakespeare once questioned the significance of a name, but it seems that prefixes hold great importance in addressing professionals. From the traditional ‘Dr’ for doctors and ‘Adv’ for lawyers to the more recent ‘CA’ for chartered accountants and ‘Arch’ for architects, prefixes have become a way to denote professional qualifications and expertise.

Now, a new prefix is emerging on the scene – ‘Tr’, sought after by educators who feel that the title of “teacher” no longer commands the respect and esteem it once did. In observance of Teachers’ Day, certain state governments may introduce the ‘Tr’ prefix in felicitation certificates presented to teachers as a means to acknowledge and honor their contributions.

The aim of the ‘Tr’ prefix is to boost the morale of schoolteachers who often go unrecognized for the crucial role they play in shaping future professionals. Devish Gala, CEO of Navneet Education Ltd., has taken the initiative by using the ‘Tr’ prefix on visiting cards and personalized stationery kits that will be gifted to teaching staff in government schools. Gala has also written to state governments and the President’s office, urging them to adopt the ‘Tr’ prefix in certificates bestowed upon outstanding teachers recognized for their service.

Gala stated that the concept has gained traction, with schools in the UAE and Israel expressing interest in adopting the initiative as well. The objective behind this move, according to Gala, is to garner more respect for teachers, without seeking any personal gain. Linguist Peggy Mohan also supported the idea, highlighting that teachers have not received the level of respect they deserve. She stated that this small change would ensure that teachers are recognized and valued for their work.

Many teachers agree that the teaching profession, particularly in schools, lacks the recognition and privileges afforded to professors in higher education. The introduction of a prefix is seen as a significant step forward, not only in securing society’s respect but also as a morale booster for teachers. Avnita Bir, Director-Principal of R.N. Podar School, emphasized the importance of a prefix in fostering a sense of community among teachers who now collaborate more extensively and attend training workshops together.