Don’t ask your child what they ‘want to be’..…simply let them be...
This morning on World Teachers' Day 2021, I’m reminded of a time I was a guest at my former Secondary School’s (Port Pirie High now known as John Pirie Secondary School – JPSS) end of year presentation evening back in 2014. Nearly 30 years after my Year 12 graduation.
Towards the end of the evening special recognition was made for an educator who was putting away his chalk/white board marker/Ipad for the reward of retirement.
Mr Bruce Mules was leaving the JPSS family and leaving it all the richer. The quietly spoken man, his teaching career spanning 37 years held roles in the faculty of science and of student counsellor. He read from a hand written note as he accepted the accolade. His passion for social justice and for inspiring and motivating young people to learn was clearly evident.
This quietly spoken man who encouraged me to hold a reptile, a Children’s Python for the first time, and respectfully demonstrated the dissection of a rodent. This did, in subtle ways, shape who I am today. (His love of reptiles was well known and his classroom was a testament to that.)
Then there was my year 12 English Teacher, the beloved, Tess Mc Keough. This remarkable woman kept alight my love of writing, reading, research and humanities. Her classroom was a safe place to be creative, to be vulnerable and bold in learning and to be valued.
Mr Mules may never be aware, but as I sat quietly in his classes some 35 plus years ago, sometimes getting it, sometimes not…it was he and other exceptional educators like Ms McKeough who cared enough to let us learn at our own pace and who cared enough to let us learn from our mistakes, who prepared us for life.
Teachers are extraordinary role models and fine examples of how one can make a positive difference in our world.
So, rather than asking a child or young person 'what' they might like to be.....rather ask 'how' they might like to make a difference to their world, our world. In doing so, support our educators and teachers in school and in life, guide them.
Thank you to all of our educators.