Unloved, under-appreciated, overworked the teacher’s lot can be a fraught one, but if you want the best for students it’s better to show teacher a bit of appreciation.
Generally, the community supports teachers, but does it value them? Not so much. And it’s important they feel wanted, if teachers feel valued in society and are satisfied with their jobs they have positive attitudes about their work and ability to influence student achievement.
Motivated, happy teachers are more likely to engage in continuous professional development, improve confidence and satisfaction, and remain in the profession.
The Spotlight report, Teaching: A valued profession, cites a 2019 Monash University study which found that while 82 per cent of the public felt teachers were respected and 93 per cent of the public felt that teachers were trusted, only 29 per cent of teachers felt that the Australian public valued them.
Similarly, the 2018 OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) shows only 45 per cent of Australian teachers in lower secondary schools believe that the teaching profession is valued by society.
The difference between what the public thinks and what teachers think comes down to a few things, including the media which tends to bash the profession. For example, an analysis of newspaper headlines and articles between April 2017 and March 2018 in Queensland, found that over half of the 270 relevant articles expressed a negative attitude toward the teaching profession, while only 31 per cent were positive and 14 per cent were neutral.
“This year has shown us just how agile, committed and dedicated our teachers can be in the face of tremendous stress and upheaval,” AITSL CEO Mark Grant said.
“Now, more than at any time, we have the opportunity to better understand what is involved in successful teaching, and to recognise the fundamental value that teachers provide to the community.
“As we approach World Teachers’ Day in 2020 this report is an important reminder of the incredible value that the community sees in our teachers. In a year unlike any other let’s join together to celebrate our amazing teachers,” Grant said.
“World Teachers’ Day on 30 October is the perfect opportunity to show our teachers how much we value them, we support them, and we acknowledge the brilliant work they do every day to advance the learning lives of students across Australia,” Mark Grant said.
To read the Spotlight report visit: https://www.aitsl.edu.au/research/spotlight/teaching-a-valued-profession
For World Teachers’ Day AITSL us running a two-week campaign encouraging the community to show their support for the work of teachers. The campaign will culminate on Friday 30 October, the day Australia celebrates World Teachers’ Day.
More at www.aitsl.edu.au/wtd
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