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Byron Shire
September 21, 2023

Say thank you to our educators on World Teachers’ Day – Australia!

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Local high school teacher David Ramsey took time out of his busy World Teachers’ Day morning to give a student the opportunity to snap this shot for The Echo. ‘It is an incredible privilege and an honour to work in a profession that involves forging respectful relationships with our young people, the leaders of tomorrow.’ Photo – Student with an iPhone.

Think about it: if we didn’t have teachers to educate our children, to nurture them, to guide and protect them, to (cleverly and patiently) deal with their tantrums and their upsets, to remind them to eat their lunch, to settle their fights and to clean up their messes, then, we’d have to do it – and now, thanks to the pandemic, we all know how that feels…

But seriously, the profound and lasting effect that teachers have on the lives of our children cannot be quantified and certainly not in dollars. They all deserve a pay rise!

Put your sunnies on

Today, as a part of its bright future campaign for World Teachers’ Day, the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) is encouraging communities and teachers to post a photo in their sunglasses on social media to thank teachers and celebrate teaching.

One of Australia’s most famous teachers, Eddie Woo, is the campaign ambassador.

‘Teachers pour themselves out every day to support children and students. Being engaged in work that is so rich in purpose is its own reward, but it is even better knowing that the community you serve recognises the impact of what you do.

‘To me, having a dedicated moment to signal that recognition is what World Teachers’ Day is all about,’ said Eddie.

‘As part of the campaign, AITSL is aiming to collect 1 million virtual apples to thank teachers across Australia. I love numbers, so as part of reaching 1 million apples, I’m sharing some interesting numbers about teaching in Australia. These numbers highlight the vital role teachers play in our community.’

Sarah Mitchell says thank you

Meanwhile, the not entirely popular NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, Sarah Mitchell, is also encouraging the community to let our 160, 000 teachers know how important they are.

‘Great teachers are at the heart of our schools and have a significant impact on young peoples’ lives every day,’ said Ms Mitchell.

‘They have shown this throughout the pandemic with their tireless commitment to their students.

‘More than anything, I am delighted that students are now back in the classroom, where they learn best, and able to celebrate World Teachers’ Day in person with their favourite teachers.

Ms Mitchell has been in the news of late, about her attitude to both the Murwillumbah ‘mega’ school and unvaccinated teachers, but today on a more positive note, she is encouraging everyone to take the time to recognise a teacher who has made a positive difference to their own life or the life of their child.’

Being a teacher means everything

One local primary level teacher who chose not to be named, said that being a teacher means everything to her.  ’It’s become part of my identity and something I am so proud to call myself. It is an opportunity to inspire, to make lifelong friendships and be a positive role model in the lives of students who might not otherwise have them.

She also said it’s a challenge to engage students who think school isn’t for them, to show them a joy and love of learning that will set them up for success. ‘It is the most incredible opportunity to join the families of every student in your class. Being a teacher is the best job in the world.’

An incredible privilege and an honour

Lismore area high school teacher David Ramsey said it is an incredible privilege and an honour to work in a profession that involves forging respectful relationships with our young people, the leaders of tomorrow. ‘Among the important work I do I believe that teaching the skills of critical literacy (the thorough questioning of sources of information) is paramount.

‘I can’t think of a more rewarding profession and I hope the resources and opportunities will be provided to attract new teachers and retain the many fine teachers we have.’

The AITSL campaign website  makes it easy for schools to celebrate the #BrightFuture of teaching today, including a virtual photo booth, celebration kit, and the 1 million apples game. You can follow along on Twitter using #BrightFuture or on the campaign website.

Find the virtual photo booth, 1 million apples game and more at www.worldteachersday.edu.au.

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  1. How can this be written today and no mention be made of the teachers going through hell with current mandates on vaccines???!! What has happened to the Echo? 41 staff from my daughter’s school are leaving from November 8th due to these mandates. It is devastating the school and its community. Have some compassion Eve. Maybe write a story about them.

  2. Teachers are already paid well.

    Why not campaign for pay rises for those who more urgently need them – aged care and child care workers, landscape and farm labourers, etc?

  3. Great article. Great feature teacher.

    Today was a sad day for many though with many experienced teachers, office, groundsmen, canteen volunteers soon to be lost.

    I know two local school soon to lose 1/3 of staff, others just one but most schools impacted in some way.

    We are in the middle of a teacher shortage. They are importing teachers from overseas and head office.

    These quality and highly experienced school staff are willing to wear PPE, undertake rapid antigen testing, teach in alternative rooms or modified timetables.

    Some of these teachers have medical conditions that would usually afford them exemptions- but the exemptions are very limited- and Department of Education is turning even really valid ones down.

    Today was a sad day for many, many education staff.

  4. So great to see great teachers being showcased.

    It would be pretty powerful to show teachers who are being lost on Nov 9 as well.

    The front office staff with 20 years of service. The breastfeeding teacher mum just not willing to take a vaccination at this stage. The teacher with trauma or mental health issues (that in no way affect their role) that prevent the vaccination. Those who can’t comply on religious grounds. Those who are worried about the fact they are being mandated to take a injection still technically in trial phase. Those who simply object to mandating health choices. Those very willing to do antigen tests/PPE/alternative classes or locations- but are lost with a flick of a pen.

    Maybe then interview the staff left behind at school to fill the gaps- support grieving students, carry additional workloads.

    Today should be a day to celebrate. But sadly it is not for many.

  5. Let us not forget the seat warmers and bludgers in it for the holidays.
    A lot of my teachers were fools and violent incompetents, but that was a long time ago.

  6. So this once a year thanks for all teachers doing their best to provide knowledge and understanding in very challenging times is being turned into an anti vax apologist theme?
    Shame on you all, preschoolers have to be vaccinated, roll up and get it sorted! This is not about your ignorance and entitlement, is about protecting children, colleagues and the wider community. This isn’t public school teachers, who are almost all vaccinated and back trying to get their students into the flow, so which schools are being discussed?
    Please don’t tar all teachers as anti vaxers, the majority have done the right thing.
    Please get yourselves sorted, our regional hospitals are already overwhelmed without you and those you infect taking up beds!

  7. For those that didn’t skip maths at school, you will note that the risk of covid for most healthy individuals under 70 is very negligible.

    To lose teachers due to Govt prick mandates is a disgrace on Govt, not the teachers for refusing the pricks.

    Covid and jabs aside – any democratically elected Govt that mandates anything upon the people, but not upon themselves, is no longer a democratic Govt by definition and practice.


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