I knew that I wanted to ‘grow up to be a teacher’ when I was ten years old. In Year 6 I attended a small rural school in Victoria where I was one of 6, Year 6 students. The school consisted of two classrooms, two teachers, a small staffroom and a huge playground. Whenever the teacher of the junior class, which consisted of students from Preparatory to Year 3, was absent I was chosen to take the class for the day. Whilst I cannot recall exactly what activities we did, I do remember reading quite a few picture books to the students. More than that, I recall how much I loved working with these young children, and how excited I would feel when my teacher asked me to take them. My future profession was chosen, I would teach.
It is quite a few years since my first taste of classroom teaching as a Year 6 student, and much has changed. In those days teaching tools that are now considered obsolete including spirit duplicators, blackboards, chalk, dusters and typewriters. Yearly planners were often completed over the Summer holiday break, prior to even meeting or knowing the students and semester reports were written by hand. At the start of my teaching career, I could not have forseen that my teaching tools would include a mouse and an apple TV, and that I would be completing AirDrops on most days in the classroom.
Despite the huge number of changes I have witnessed in education throughout my career, my passion for the profession of teaching remains. Unfortunately many new teaching graduates seem to be losing passion for their profession fairly quickly. I feel perturbed to read the statistics that show between 40-50% of young teachers leave the classroom after just 5 years. They are leaving for various reasons, but similar themes recur: they feel burnt out, unsupported, frustrated and disillusioned. It is so important for teachers to support each other, just as they support their students.
Today is World Teachers’ Day. World Teachers’ Day, also known as International Teachers’ Day, is held annually on October 5. World Teachers’ Day acknowledges and recognises the efforts and vital contributions that teachers make to society. This day also provides students, parents and community members with the opportunity to demonstrate their appreciation to teachers for the contributions that they have made and continue to make.
World Teachers’ Day was inaugurated on 5 October 1994 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to commemorate the 1966 joint signing of the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers.
On behalf of the team at Optimise Learning – THANK YOU to teachers across the globe for the amazing and vital work they do, and continue to do each and every day. HAPPY WORLD TEACHERS’ DAY!