World Teachers’ Day

It’s time to celebrate. It’s our annual, global opportunity to celebrate and recognise the contributions that teachers make in our schools and colleges.

It isn’t fanciful to suggest that teachers are the glue which holds firm communities, societies and even countries. It’s been no accident that some of history’s greatest tyrants have gone after teachers in their early rounds of terror. We look across at Afghanistan and we see teachers being targeted in the fight for control of the country; for hearts and minds. As societies we ignore, at our cultural peril, the impact that teachers make in classrooms around the world. They not only shape the individual but they, most importantly, give that individual the tools which allows them to shape their own futures and the futures of those around them.

It frustrates me that we do not, in this country, always recognise all that our teachers do. I felt a warm glow, early in the pandemic, when teachers and teaching were/ was rightly lauded. However, and this is cynical I know, there seemed to be an orchestrated counterattack launched, using ‘friendly’ formal media and the less formal social-media platforms to undermine teachers, to rubbish the work being under-taken and to intentionally devalue the profession – maybe it doesn’t suit the national narrative to have children and young people being taught to think independently, freely?

Maybe UNESCO does understand and do know what’s needed – and who’s to argue with that august body? UNESCO wants us all to celebrate teachers stating that one and a half years into the COVID crisis, the 2021 World Teachers’ Day will focus on the support teachers need to fully contribute to the recovery process under the theme “Teachers at the heart of education recovery”.

On Tuesday 5th October UNESCO wants us all to showcase “the effect that the pandemic has had on the teaching profession, highlight effective and promising policy responses, and aim to establish the steps that need to be taken to ensure that teaching personnel develop their full potential” – excellent!

On our websites you can find information which promotes new routes into teaching. We will work with local and regional partners in encouraging those not qualified as teachers, but who might show some inclination, desire or ability to join the most honourable of professions. Please nudge your friends and colleagues towards these opportunities. Working with others we can identify an introduction to ‘preparation for teaching’ CPD activities, aimed at experienced colleagues currently working in an unqualified teacher role, or equivalent. This suite of CPD sessions, based around the ITT Core Content framework, is designed to be a precursor to an Assessment Only route into teaching. In addition, we alert you to the Primary teacher apprenticeship (salaried) route.

And so on behalf of all of our children and young people, on behalf of their parents and carers and on behalf of this community, I say thank you to our teachers; keep up the amazing work, you’re great! We’ll all raise a glass, with whatever tipple takes your fancy, to the teachers of Sitwell Junior School, Oakwood High School and Thomas Rotherham College. We say thank you to them all and extend our warmest thanks to all teachers locally, nationally and globally.

‘I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit’. John Steinbeck

‘A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops’. Henry Adams