Teachers: Beyond the Syllabus
By Juliana, Luiza and Marina Knijnik
As teenagers, a lot of the time we dismiss one of the most important people that help shape our future. We often complain about their methods, the bad marks we receive and the unnecessary homework.
But all too often, we forget to say thank you.
We forget to say thank you to the teachers who have stood by us, who have helped us understand the most basic of maths equations and the ones who go the extra mile to support their students.
We, as a nation, too often forget to say thank you to the people who have gone to enormous lengths to continue educating children and young people all across the country in one of the most turbulent and confusing years in history.
Teachers who, from one day to the next, had to devise a whole new method of teaching, try to keep students engaged, and juggle the way that this pandemic affected them personally.
Teachers who, after going through this nightmare, were shown little gratitude. Who ARE shown little gratitude from their students, parents and the nation as a whole.
So on this day, World Teachers’ Day, we as the young people of Woke not only say thank you personally to the teachers who have changed our lives, but thank you to every teacher.
Thank you to the teacher who, at midnight, sent us an email on behalf of her students who wanted to enter our multicultural competition. Thank you to the teachers who got over thirty of their students involved in a project that shares the Gumbaynggirr dreaming stories. Thank you to the teachers who translated the forms of our competition to Arabic, so newly arrived migrant families would be able to get involved. Thank you to every single teacher who emailed us about the competition and helped out their students. Thank you to all the teachers who show up every single day, who care about us and every teenager, beyond our grades, beyond our grammar.
Personally, we also want to say thank you to the teachers who have changed our lives. Thank you to our teacher in primary school that taught four little kids how to speak English and has continued to support them in every step of their lives. Thank you to our teacher who had a class party to celebrate us getting our Australian citizenship, making us play cricket and buying us lamingtons to try for the first time. We of course can’t forget our high school teachers (there are too many to name) that have made such a difference, who have ignited our passion for learning.
Often we forget that these amazing teachers who go above and beyond every day, spend their own money to give all students the tools needed for us to learn. According to the Australian Education Union, on average, public school teachers spend $874 of their own money on essential school supplies, as the federal government fails to fund public schools. This is what passion for learning looks like. What passion for teaching, passion for their jobs and most of all passion for making a difference in the lives of young people. Thank you for believing in us, standing with us.
Unlike many careers, teachers often don’t see the impact that they have. They can’t see the final results of the vaccine they’ve invented, the court case they’ve won, the audience that loved their concert. But as students, we can guarantee that teachers touch our hearts, open our eyes and brighten our lives every day.
We as students are so grateful for all of you.
Education is the most powerful tool. Especially in our world today, that is constantly devaluing the importance of school, the art of teaching. We live in a world where politicians and governments might scorn teachers, might demand too much, might take advantage, but we refuse to see their efforts go unnoticed.
We as young people appreciate you all much more than words can say.
To every teacher, on World Teachers' Day and everyday , thank you!