A female teacher standing at a whiteboard

Celebrating World Teacher’s Day 2021

The 29th October marks World Teacher’s Day in Australia.This industry is chock full of dedicated souls with inspiring stories to tell. So, this year we decided to give you the mic and hear what you had to say. 

We put a call-out on social media asking for stories. How you knew you wanted to teach, what drives your passion for the industry, what lessons you have learned from your students and more. Here’s some of the responses we received. 

Ilse, Casual Teacher, NSW

Can you tell us a little bit about your teaching career so far?

I started teaching 50 years ago and I can’t stop! I’m still enjoying casual teaching one or so days a week at 71 years young and I know other teachers like me. I’m glad I’m still wanted at my age, and I think it’s wonderful that I can still make a difference.

What is it about teaching that makes you passionate?

I love seeing children smile and look happy when they’ve mastered a new skill or made progress towards achieving their goals.

Tell us about a time when you really knew you made an impact on your students.

When I retired from full-time teaching, nearly every student in the school wrote positive comments about me and were so kind and happy to wish me all the best for the future.

Has there been a time that they have made an impact on you?

I feel happy when a child gives me a happy greeting and is obviously happy that I’ve come to spend the day covering their class.

Sylvia, Casual Teacher, NSW

What made you want to become a teacher?

To spend my life being creative and leading others to discover their creativity.

Tell us about a time when you really knew you made an impact on your students.

Teaching a Year 8 student to ride a bike.

What is it about teaching that makes you passionate?

Being in the creative zone and seeing young people feel the empowerment of creativity to express themselves. A classroom of students drawing builds their concentration, ability to focus and self-esteem.

Tell us about a time when your students made an impact on you.

My social media skills are all thanks to my students.

Astrid, Casual Teacher, VIC

When did you know you wanted to become a teacher?

I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. It felt like it was a natural path for me after having teachers in my life that helped create safe and supportive learning spaces.

Tell us about a time when you really knew you made an impact on your students.

When you work to create safe and inclusive spaces for children it is such a pleasure to watch them interact and grow together with kindness, curiosity and acceptance. Some of my favourite moments are listening and watching my students interact in a way which model the classroom values where all students feel safe and can grow.

What about a time when your students made an impact on you?

All of my students have had an impact on me – they are like a tiny little family you get to know for a year’s worth of experiences and learning. One of my favourite memories was my first year of teaching during my evaluation. It was a very stressful time with my principal in our classroom for my final observation. I had students working in the listening centre with an audio book and one of my students comes up to tell me the audio wasn’t working. She was such a beautiful student and knew it was a big day for our classroom (and me) with my evaluation going on. She told me not to worry and that her and the group would pretend to listen to the book until their rotation was done. 15 minutes goes by and there she is with her reading group, pretending to listen to the audio book and nodding their heads along just to make sure everything went smoothly. I am so grateful for her and her kindness 🙂 Children are amazing!

Do you have any other thoughts for your fellow educators?

Never underestimate the power of the space you hold in the classroom for children and young people. It can be the most beautiful, safe and supportive space if you let it. So many children need that space to be one where they can take risks, grow, learn, make mistakes and create strong connections. Teachers are an integral part of a child’s life and make a HUGE difference.

Dylan, Casual Teacher, QLD

What made you want to become a teacher?

I didn’t have the most straightforward path to teaching. After pursuing a high-flying corporate career and coming seriously close to burnout, I went back to the drawing board. I was lucky to have had some amazing teachers throughout my schooling, and it was thinking back to the impact they had on me that helped me realise what I wanted to do.

Tell us about a time when you really knew you made an impact on your students.

I live for those lightbulb moments when all the learnings make sense, and you can see a student that has struggled in the past just get it.

What is it about teaching that makes you passionate?

I’m driven by the opportunity we get to help shape young lives. I think back on the impact that great teachers had on me, and I love the idea of helping my students in the same way.

Tell us about a time when your students made an impact on you.

In some way, every day. No matter what school I am at or what I happen to be teaching, I always seem to pick something up from my students. Even on the worst days where you’re pushed to the absolute brink, I think there’s lessons to be learned.

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