| 07 April 2017
They teach children to read and write, to paint, play and share with others. They help children up when they fall, expand their minds and become part of your family for the school year. But as you’ll soon discover, they do so much more.
As the last class is taught for Term 1 – and students and staff prepare for school holidays – we wondered, what it is that makes teachers teach*?
*The school holidays are not why they do it, although we do envy those!
Here are 7 excellent reasons:
1.You change lives
Cathy Howard from Ranford Primary School says her own Year 2 teacher – Mrs Dorothy Wardale – changed her life.
“She made me aware of my potential, built my self-esteem, and educated and motivated my parents,” Ms Howard says.
“Thanks to her I became the first in my family to get a university degree, and then a diploma in teaching – she was the starting point of my successful academic career.
“I hope I can have the same impact on the students I now have the opportunity to teach.”
2.Education is power
“Education is power,” Caroline D’Mellow from East Hamilton Hill Primary School says.
“Through teaching, I’m able to make changes to lives and a difference to our big wide world.”
Ranford Primary School teacher Danika Wylie believes everyone is entitled to an education.
“If I can help just one person discover their love of learning and help them build their understanding of the world around, allowing them to better their own life, then it is all worth it,” she says.
3.You get to witness magic everyday
Katherine Russo from Ashdale Secondary College says she teaches for the light bulb moments.
“When you see the penny drop and everything click into place, it’s a feeling of satisfaction I cannot describe.”
For Sandy Wingfield of Aubin Grove Primary School, its “because of the magical feeling a teacher gets when a child's eyes sparkle like diamonds and they realise they have achieved a goal.”
"There is nothing quite like seeing the spark in a student's eyes when they learn something new and exciting,” says Rebecca Lanzel of East Hamilton Hill Primary School.
“The joy and excitement when a student achieves a learning goal which they have been working towards or does something independently (even tying a shoelace) is infectious. The positive relationship that you as a teacher work to build, develop and maintain with a student allows you to share in this moment – sometimes as a participant other times as an observer – but both are equally as magical,” says Kathy Hall of Aubin Grove Primary School.
4.You don’t just teach, you learn too
“Teaching is a job that always keeps your mind captivated. You’re constantly problem solving – how can I get around this, what’s going on here, why did this not work, how can I get it to work, why are they not getting it, what if I try this?” says Eliza Paterson of East Kalgoorlie Primary School.
“Teaching not only provides me with opportunities to guide students along their lifelong learning journey, but enables me to learn from and along with them,” says Deb Ferridge of Ranford Primary School.
“I’m a graduate teacher and this year I’ve moved from a big school teaching junior primary to a small school teaching upper primary! As well as supporting my students on their journey of discovery they are supporting me on mine,” says Helen Burridge of East Hamilton Hill Primary School.
5.You give gifts worth more than money
“I had inspirational teachers who developed my confidence and nurtured my self-esteem, encouraged me to dream big and persevere with challenges. I aim to be that teacher for my students,” says Joanne Edgar of Aubin Grove Primary School.
“I teach because I love to help shape my students’ dreams. They know that in my classroom, they can truly be themselves and learn in an inspiring environment,” says Ivona Jercic-McFadyen of Aubin Grove Primary School.
“There is nothing better than helping a student discover their own abilities and strengths. Being part of each student’s journey, getting to know them and empowering them to strive to be the best they can be is why I’m a teacher,” says Helen Burridge of East Hamilton Hill Primary School.
“I teach because I enjoy the learning experiences, conversations and laughter my students and I share each day,” says Kat Simmons of East Hamilton Hill Primary School.
"I could never see myself doing anything else, it doesn’t feel like a job, but more like a vocation,” says Matt Paparone of Aubin Grove Primary School.
“There is nothing else I would rather be doing,” says Jen Wake of Bruce Rock District High School.
“Being with the young keeps me young. Every single day I can help someone improve their skills, find wonder in the world and reach their goals,” says Sarah Springett of Aubin Grove Primary School.
"To help shape and influence a child's pathway in life and to give them the skills, knowledge and desire to succeed is what excites me every time I walk through the classroom doors," says Nikki Sandilands of Ocean Road Primary School.
7.You can change the world
"Where would our world be if all children had a little more faith in themselves, were inspired and curious, recognised their own capabilities and had an aspiration to be someone valuable?” Susan Woon, Aubin Grove Primary School.
Ms Woon says children need people who believe in them, particularly during times when it feels like the world is on their shoulders.
“Humankind can only improve with inspirational leaders and advancing skills and knowledge,” she says.
“I like to think that teachers are at the forefront of adding to this idealistic world."
Christine Walsh from Aubin Grove Primary School says teaching is a privilege.
“What other profession enables you to have such an impact and influence on the future generation?” she says.
“My job is not only to teach students the curriculum but to teach the children to be kind to themselves and each other so that – as cliche as it sounds – we can make the world a better place.”