March 18, 2020

Celebrating Our Greatest Assets – Our Teachers

My teacher, my hero.

Most of us, if not all professionals have one thing in common: we had teachers to educate and guide us in our chosen profession. From kindergarten teachers handing out those coveted star stamps of approval to university professors providing guidance and sharing their expertise, our economy, our country, nay, our entire civilization owes much to our educators.

My teacher, my hero.

Not all heroes wear capes. Sadly, not all heroes are appreciated as well. In a study, titled Perceptions of Teachers and Teaching in Australia published on 2019 by Amanda Heffernan, Fiona Longmur, David Bright, and Misol Kim, while most teachers are satisfied with their job, it is concerning that a third of teachers expressed dissatisfaction (in a field of 2,444 teachers that were surveyed). “I feel as though there is very little trust in teachers- this comes from parents, leadership within the school, government, general public and older students. I feel constantly criticized and as though I need to prove myself worthy over and over again. It is absolutely shattering when you’re working hard and with passion, following best practice, constantly building skills to ensure you are continually improving and caring deeply for the individual outcomes of the young people in your care to be treated as though you are substandard,” lamented one of the respondents.

Teachers not only teach per se, they also serve as caretakers, even act like second parents to students. There are instances wherein a student could open up about his or her problems better with teachers. Teachers teach, guide and nurture… and they plan daily lessons, check papers, analyze data, and with the advent of e-learning they also have to ensure each learners internet safety, and a lot more education related activities. No wonder that in the study mentioned earlier, out of four teachers surveyed, three of them responded that their workload is unmanageable. More than half of the respondents would also not recommend to others teaching as a profession. Related to this is the dilemma of retaining teachers. A research conducted in 2017 estimated that 40% of Australian teachers leave the profession in five years time. Such is the plight of our edtech heroes.

Teaching is such a noble profession. We, the beneficiaries of advancements in educational technology and our teachers’ hard work, should grant them the respect and gratitude they rightly deserve. A simple verbal “thank you” could brighten up their day. We must continue on devising effective teacher tools that could lighten up their workload. Much like providing an array of gadgets for our no-cape crusaders.

Our heroes. Our teachers.