The importance of our (TEACHERS) work is mostly misunderstood
Please remind yourself that your students’ results in a test, and your school’s ranking, are not the sum of your teaching!
IF there’s one thing that we all agree upon as teachers it’s that the depth and importance of our work is mostly misunderstood.
Some, mainly parents, think they could do a much better job. Some think it’s as simple as following a curriculum and assigning marks.
Many don’t understand that teachers are administrators, researchers, mentors, counsellors - and sometimes fill-in parents - AS WELL AS teachers.
Students look to us for so much more than knowledge: motivation, inspiration, support, care, security, praise and guidance are just a few. However, putting all this into practice is a fine art - and a challenge too.
Teachers are under much pressure to raise their school’s ranking, so they prioritise preparing their students for standardised tests, which has made it more difficult for teachers to fulfil all their other roles. It is now possible for a teacher to forgo nurturing a student’s individual interests and passions in order to focus on pushing them to do better in tests in order to improve their school’s ranking.
Please remind yourself that your students’ results in a test, and your school’s ranking, are not the sum of your teaching - nor are they the sum of your students’ abilities. We encourage you to be the rebel teacher [product push alert!] who educates their students to approach their learning with an open mind and creative and critical thinking – not merely “looking for the right answer” or regurgitating information just to get an ‘A’.
Don’t forget that, in some cases, we spend just as much time with our students as their own parents do, if not more. What we do now in the classroom dramatically affects our students in a future space and time … when this year’s NAPLAN scores and your school’s ranking will be long forgotten!
In the meantime, it’s okay to quietly rage against ‘the machine’ and re-order our priorities to what matters most for our students’ futures.