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Retired Teachers' Day Celebrated at Haigazian University
Retired Teachers' Day Celebrated at Haigazian University

"We thought we had been forgotten, and those long years of service were gone without appreciation and recognition", "I never felt as proud as today for being a teacher and educator", "if I were to come to life once again, I would definitely choose to be a teacher again and again."

Those were some of the statements of teachers expressed during a celebration of Teachers'' Day at Haigazian University.

On Saturday the 4th of March, 2006, Haigazian University celebrated Teachers'' Day by hosting and recognizing the retired Armenian teachers of the community. Around thirty teachers had accepted the university''s open invitation.

The program started with a word of welcome by Mira Yardemian, the university''s Public Relations Director, who acknowledged the special role of teachers in society in educating and preparing the future generations. She called on everyone to actively support teachers and consider their role as sacred service.

President Paul Haidostian expressed his words of gratitude to the audience and considered teaching as a real vocation, thus surpassing the material status of a mere job. Haidostian stressed that it''s not enough to only consider that retired teachers should psychologically feel fulfilled, but instead, communities should appreciate, acknowledge and honor their long years of service.

Ms. Arpie Hamparian, a teacher at the Armenian Evangelical Central High School, introduced the three members of the panel that focused on "The Teacher as an Educator." She noted that the teacher''s mission grows and expands throughout a whole lifetime.

In their turn, each speaker respectively presented his/her topic. Mr. Bebo Simonian, a writer and retired teacher and school principal, tackled the issue of "The teacher as a responsible educator in the classroom." He noted that a teacher''s mission as an educator coincides with the school''s educational mission. Simonian added that formal education occupies a most important place in shaping the individual''s social, spiritual and human attributes.

Mrs. Shaghig Meguerditchian, a French literature teacher, presented the topic of "Transmission of Knowledge and Education." She noted that the concept of education goes much beyond the concept of the simple transmission of information. She presented a long list of values that determine a fully-educated person.

Mr. Armen Urneshlian, an Armenian Literature teacher, presented the topic "The Teacher and Current Educational Problems." He questioned the degree to which current teachers succeed in fulfilling their duties as educators and moreover, as represent the role of second parents to the children. What should teachers'' duties include, and what is acceptable by the students as well as their parents? How has the role of the educator changed from days past? All these questions Urneshlian discussed by sharing with the audience the outcomes of a questionnaire filled by high school students of a number of Armenian schools in Beirut.

The program of the day also included poetry and music by Haigazian University students Tamar Nalbandian and Aline Rusialian followed by an enthusiastic sharing time by the teachers themselves presenting each person''s background, years and fields of experience, in addition to some anecdotes.

The event ended with a luncheon, during which teachers received bouquets of flowers in addition to souvenir gifts from the university.

Mira Yardemian
Public Relations Director
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