Held annually since 1994, World Teachers’ Day commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 International Labour Organisation/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisaiton (ILO/UNESCO) Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers.
It is a chance to celebrate the teaching profession worldwide, to take stock of achievements, and to consider how our schools attract and keep the brightest minds and young talents in the profession.
This year’s theme, Young Teachers: The future of the Profession, reminds us that we must encourage and nurture our young teachers to give them opportunity to make a genuine contribution to quality schooling.
Teaching is more than a profession; it is a passion, and for many a vocation.
Our teachers are spread throughout Western Australia at CEWA’s 162 Catholic schools, including some of the most remote in the country.
Many young teachers embrace the opportunity to work in remote, rural and regional schools, an experience that helps them to develop their professional skills, but also promotes personal growth, sometimes life-changing, as they make a positive difference to the lives of their students. These opportunities also enable our teachers to come to know Jesus and contribute to understanding their vocation.
As educators, we strive to develop the whole child, to create well-rounded adults who will live and lead with care and responsibility.
Launching the Global Educational Alliance last month, Pope Francis said it takes a village to educate a child.
“We have to create such a village before we can educate,” He said.
Central to our Christ-centred school communities are our teachers, those with whom we trust our children’s education in their formative years.
Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, has called for society to reaffirm the value of the teaching mission and encourage governments to make teaching a profession of first choice.
“Above all, we celebrate the work of dedicated teachers around the world who continue to strive every day to ensure that ‘inclusive and equitable quality education’ and the promotion of ‘lifelong learning opportunities for all’ become a reality in every corner of the globe,” Ms Azoulay said in a joint statement with International Labour Organisation Director-General Guy Ryder, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore, United Nations Development Programme administrator Achim Steiner, and Education International General Secretary David Edwards.
Teachers must be celebrated and supported so that they can do what they do best – to teach and inspire children and young people, and to support them with a strong foundation to live their best possible life both now and in the future.
So, on this World Teachers’ Day, I say thank you to our teachers, past, present and future, for going above and beyond to instill joy in learning.
Thank you for instilling in your students a joy in learning, for creating in your classrooms a sense of belonging, for enabling each student to discover their God-given potential. Thank you for marking assignments, for being there to cheer students on at sports carnivals. Thank you for dressing up for Book Week. Thank you for listening. Thank you for caring.
And thank you for dedicating your lives to shaping those of the next generation.