Please reflect idealistically, in exactly 100 words, on the important role of a schoolteacher in 21st century Australia.
I recently asked pre-service teachers to reflect about the role of a schoolteacher in Australia. I wondered what they’d say. Here are just a few responses and excerpts from the next generation of teachers:
…By supporting students in their pursuit of knowledge, teachers play an integral role in shaping the future. A successful teacher will do this in partnership and collaboration with engaged and willing students. EMILY
This week the media carried images of violent protest in Sydney, and while commentary on the event has reopened the barely-healed wounds of race and prejudice, my thoughts turned towards education. After all, most of the images featured young men. I wondered what kind of education those young men had been exposed. Had they been educated in an environment that encouraged them to develop and know their own voices? Had their education showed them the possibility of a world where they could raise these voices in critical engagement with issues they were passionate about, rather than lashing out in mad violence? Perhaps it is an idealistic hope, but I believe this is the kind of education an effective schoolteacher can deliver. MEG
…the first role of an effective teacher will be as an enthusiastic and dedicated learner. The teacher must then create effective ways to transmit new and established ideas both to transform the lives of students and build skills and resilience. Teachers’ qualities will include openness, imagination, innovation, and creativity as well as the ability to inculcate a lifelong love of learning. LYNDALL
Students are the most impressionable during high school. They need guidance in order to mentor them, in preparation for the world beyond school. A teacher should become a role model, emanating good attitudes and positive behaviour, poise, and a broad and ever-expanding knowledge of the world. I say this because the people that I have learnt the most from have been the people who I admire and aspire to be like. This is the type of teacher I want to be; not just teaching subject content in creative and interesting ways, but inspiring students to become successful members of society. GABRIELLE
The role of a school teacher is as important in the now as it has always been. Teachers are stalwarts in a comprehensive and progressive society. Teachers bear the vital responsibility of teaching and apart from parents are the main source of knowledge and values for children. The strengths and characters of a society represent the accumulation of those from its participating members; thus teachers are fundamental in educating and fuelling young minds to develop an acute and critical awareness of how and why the world is the way it is and how students have the capacity to change it. CAITLIN
…Teachers must ensure the use of appropriate pedagogies, adopting an approach that is thoughtful, intelligent and engaging for optimal student learning and success. Teachers must support notions of inclusivity, recognising and supporting students as individuals with differing personalities, abilities and talents….We are role models, carers and facilitators… STEPH
The school teacher has the power to shape the values and qualities of the next generation of 21st century citizens. One way the 21st century teacher can do this is by facilitating discussions on academic, social and political issues. By doing this not only are the students becoming educated on important topics but they are becoming informed, competent communicators. To encourage this learning it is essential that the teacher models the desired behaviour. To be a lifelong learner and teach the students as such, is a characteristic these students will imitate and take with them out into the wider community. MELODY
The role of teachers in Australian schools is more important than ever simply because there is so much more to learn. In this exciting, changing world we need to make sure that we not only learn from our past, but also look to the future. Teachers need to be more creative, knowledgeable and adaptable than ever before so that the next generation of students can reach their full potential. Whilst this immense responsibility would weigh on most people, it is the challenge that teachers revel in every day and if they are lucky, they are able to make the difference. MEL
What would you say?