Below is a letter written to the Courier Mail, Brisbane on 31 October 2008 by Catriona James-McGovern of Bundaberg to mark Teachers’ Day 2008.
I am a primary teacher. As well as teaching children English, which includes reading, writing, spelling, punctuation, phonics, grammar, handwriting, speaking and listening, I teach maths, SOSE [social studies], science, art, health and technology.
I teach children to sing, dance and act so they can be part of a school musical. I teach children about healthy eating and the need for exercise.
I teach children to communicate and get along well with others, to value others’ opinions, to treat others as they would like to be treated, to use manners, to respect the property of others and to be fair. I teach children to cross the road safely, to ride their bikes safely, to walk safely on the cement. I teach them to wash their hands, to blow their noses, to wear hats in the sun and to sit on their chairs safely.
I teach children to want to come to school, to want to learn and to develop a love for learning. The children I teach know that I will do my best for each one of them, that I like them, that I value their opinions, that I want each of them to succeed and that I am proud of their achievements.
Who am I ? Just an ordinary teacher. There are thousands of other teachers just like me out there. Thousands of them pick up the newspapers or turn to television daily to be told what a bad job they are doing.
I love my job. I love the children; I love the buzz I get when they make me proud and I love the noise of 52 of them beating down my classroom door at 8.15am every day.
That’s what will get me through the turbulent times ahead. I hope that all of those teachers just like me get through them, too. Have a great Teachers’ Day today.