Weekly Column from the Executive Director of Schools, Diocese of Parramatta
Do you remember when Tourism Queensland put out an advertisement for ‘the best job in the world’? They were looking for a caretaker for the islands in the Great Barrier Reef. Granted, that would have been a very cool gig, but I think they got it wrong…they should have been recruiting teachers.
A lot of people will tell you teaching is a tough job, and they’re not wrong. What they’re missing is the extraordinary opportunity that teachers have to make a difference in the lives of children and young people: this is the challenge that makes our work so rewarding!
You only have to meet a former student in later life to understand the impact that teachers can have. It’s one of the joys of working in education, seeing the change that learning brings to the lives of students and their families. For teachers who are just starting out, this is really something to look forward to!
It’s always such an honour to be approached by a former student saying thanks or sharing the story of their life since school. There’s no more magical phrase than: “Remember me, Mr Whitby?” There’s really nothing better than recognising the young person you once taught in the man or woman, and knowing that you did your absolute most for them.
Like many of the best jobs in the world, teaching comes with a huge amount of responsibility. Perhaps it really is a bit like being the caretaker of the Great Barrier Reef: how well we do the job has very serious consequences for the future. Teaching is caring work, and the outcomes of our efforts have real significance for future generations to come.
Teachers change lives. World Teachers’ Day will be celebrated at Australian schools this Friday. Thank everyone who has taken on what I still believe is the best job in the world, as well as the students who make it that way!
Greg Whitby AM
Executive Director of Schools – Diocese of Parramatta