This year World Teachers’ Day has stopped me in my tracks. As a teacher myself, I have always felt proud of my profession and never cared much about having a token day to be celebrated. For me, recognition was something I worked for every day with my pupils, parents and co-workers.
However, on this World Teachers’ Day, I got myself thinking again about how teachers, headteachers and other members of the school staff are dealing with so much right now. Besides the challenges a school faces daily, COVID-19 added a lot of fear, tension and restrictions to an already tense environment. Plans are easily disrupted when your school can be shut tomorrow with little warning. What was already difficult got a lot worse.
So, for the first time, I am actively celebrating World Teachers’ Day. Something that I always saw as an empty – and somewhat tacky – celebration, this year becomes a badge of honour. Going through World Teachers’ Day 2020 is an accomplishment for all of us in the educational field. In the middle of all the uncertainty and fear, teachers are still there, being islands of bravery in the middle of a problem sea. Furthermore, for me, today is all about celebrating the courage and commitment of these amazing professionals with which I have the pleasure to work with.
Yes. World something days can be a mere formality in front of all the challenges the real world presents to many professions. However, today is a reminder that, more than ever, teachers are the backbone that keeps our society running. The fear exists, the challenges never go away, the problems and injustices are always there. However, teachers are also there, taking care of our children while dealing with their own anxieties.
So, enjoy your day my dear teachers, more than ever you deserve all the homages due. And no doubt you will have had many a present at the end of term over the years. What is the best token you ever received from a pupil, parent or class? I still have the hairbrush that a few girls clubbed together to buy me from form 7E in 1994. It was my NQT year and the only thing they thought I really needed to make it as a teacher was a hairbrush! It was high praise indeed from a group of South East London girls who could spend a good 20 minutes brushing their locks every morning break time. Today, you may have to treat yourself. But make sure you do.