Almost every adult can look back on the role of a teacher – that one particular, special teacher – in shaping their life for the better.
Today is the UK’s national teachers’ day, as part of UNESCO’s worldwide celebration of educators. So we thought we’d salute the caring individuals who look after your kids’ development for all those months of the year when they are not at a Barracudas Summer Camp.
The role of a teacher
The role of a teacher is to educate, to help your child develop intellectually and as an individual, to prepare your child for life.
Of course, that means teaching them to read and count, get active in PE and to enjoy art, music, history, geography … the list goes on.
This year’s World Teachers’ Day has the theme: “The right to an education means the right to a qualified teacher.”
But there’s something teachers do that is every bit as important as having a qualification. They wouldn’t be teachers if they didn’t do it. The thing teachers do best of all is care – about all aspects of kids’ development.
The role of a teacher would not exist if it were not for the fact that someone, somewhere, sometime decided they cared enough about younger people to pass on what they had learned.
Creating good memories
You can see that in the stories that people tell about their favourite teachers. Very rarely are those stories about a fact or process that the pupil learned. They are about the moments when the person shone through and the fact they cared was clear.
How many children over the years have been able to confide things in their teachers they could not tell anyone else – because of the trust the teacher had established and the care they had shown.
What lies at the heart of what teachers do is their ability to build a child’s confidence – in themselves as well as in a given subject.
A friend speaks glowingly of his English teacher, whose passion made the subject come to life, and told him – and crucially his parents – he could achieve anything he set his mind to. The friend went on to get a First in English.
Another speaks of her high school music teacher, who “treated people with human-to-human consistency” no matter their attitude and whose love of the subject shone through, winning pupils to her cause. She went on to study music, and later teaching.
And a third was able to talk to her history teacher about her eating disorder when speaking to her mother was just too much for her troubled young mind to achieve.
Each of those teachers helped with kids’ development not just as pupils but as people. They were there to help, advise and encourage. Each showed compassion and enthusiasm – plus confidence in the young people they worked with. They were friendly approachable and cared.
The importance of teaching
The importance of teaching is seen not just in pupils’ academic results but in their development as people, the way they approach their lives, and the manner in which they treat others.
So, this world teachers’ day, take a moment to consider the role of a teacher in your life who helped make you the person you are today. Happy World Teachers’ Day.