Despite this week being half term for me and many others in Wales, it has occurred to me that teachers are finally being recognised for their diligence, commitment and creativity. The agenda seemed to be set in the video above when Ridley Scott in his fellowship award at the BAFTA’s acknowledged teaching as the most important profession.
In response to teachers requesting fairer pay in West Virginia a journalist wrote,
‘I will always be grateful to my seventh-grade English teacher, Dave Shahan, who also was an assistant coach for my junior high football and basketball teams. He inspired me in both academics and athletics, motivating me to do my best in school and in life.‘
In America, particularly Florida, we have learnt about the bravery of teachers.
Florida school shooting: Students share tales of heroism – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-43088825
They deserve the highest praise for their actions in saving the lives of others. They placed their pupils first and words are not enough to express the heroism that they demonstrated.
Teachers spend so much time with pupils that they naturally care for the well-being of everyone. I haven’t met many teachers who do not spend part if not most of their own time being concerned about the welfare of others. It seems to be a personality trait that many teachers share.
I began to think about the roles of teachers and I came across this definition by the Ministry of Education in Guyana,
‘Teachers play vital roles in the lives of the students in their classrooms. Teachers are best known for the role of educating the students that are placed in their care. Beyond that, teachers serve many other roles in the classroom. Teachers set the tone of their classrooms, build a warm environment, mentor and nurture students, become role models, and listen and look for signs of trouble.‘
As a definition, it is very difficult to disagree. Click on the link for further detail. We are certainly known for educating our pupils but it is so much more than that. We are role models, carers, first aiders and so much more. We safeguard the lives of our pupils and provide them with the skills to progress.
On ‘World Day’, last October, the United Nations clearly identified teachers as being crucial to the future success of every society across the globe,
‘Underscoring the critical important role teachers play in ensuring the future for every society, the United Nations today called for empowering educators with the freedom and support they need to undertake their vital mission.‘
When reading scholarly articles, I was interested in the quote below from
‘Australian Council for Educational Research
‘Even more intriguing is that the journey taken by researchers since the 1960s in search of answers appears, 40 years later, to have only begun casting light on what really matters in affecting students’ experiences and outcomes of schooling, namely, teacher quality.’
The above was written in 2003 and still rings true today. The greatest treasure any school can have and the best resource are teachers.
In Wales, we are in the process of developing a new curriculum yet Professor Graham Donaldson has recognised,
‘Ultimate success will depend on what happens in every classroom and every school across Wales. And that will depend on the extent to which teachers and educational practitioners more generally believe in the importance of the new curriculum and feel both confident and capable about their ability to make it real for the young people in their charge.‘
Quite simply, the agenda is changing and the role of teachers is being recognised across the globe. As the title of my blog implies, teachers really do make a difference.