It’s not an exaggeration to say teachers are key architects of the future health and prosperity of our nation, writes Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools executive director Edward Simons writes as Australia marks World Teachers Day.
Great teachers help children thrive in so many ways. They not only provide learning opportunities for them to reach their full potential, but guide them towards a future as adults who will make a positive difference in communities.
The current teacher shortage should be of concern to all Australians. In large part, it’s due to declining numbers of teaching graduates and higher rates of teachers leaving the profession.
As a society, we need to make it more attractive for teachers to both enter the profession and stay in it, and we must continue to seek better solutions.
International studies show that, where the status of educators is regarded more highly than in Australia, and where more support and resources are made available, greater numbers of high-achieving students express interest in teaching which, in turn, raises the number of candidates, competition for places and entry standards.
A recent Productivity Commission report found heavy workloads, stress and poor work–life balance are key factors driving teachers to consider leaving the profession.
These issues are real and putting teachers at the centre of policy thinking by engaging their voice in planning and initiatives to address them is vital.
That’s why, at MACS, we are supporting our teachers by rolling out comprehensive and high-quality curriculum resources so they can spend their time doing what they do best – teaching.
We also know that teachers and students achieve their best when working in partnership with families. Sharing information about our children, including what’s happening in their lives outside the school gate, helps teachers more deeply engage their students.
On World Teachers Day 2023, let’s all of us – administrators, governments, families, communities – come together to better recognise the profession and back our teachers for the great work they do.
Dr Edward Simons is a father of three school-aged children, a former teacher and principal, and the Executive Director of Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools.
Let’s all back our teachers (MACS)