Geoffrey Fouracre Teachers Holidays

25 Feb Those Darn Teachers… So Many Holidays!!!

After 35 years as an educator, I know that teachers sometimes find themselves on the receiving end of criticism about the “short working hours” and the “excessive holidays” that come with the job. But, the dedicated teacher knows the truth of the matter is somewhat different.

Teaching is a very demanding profession and one which involves tremendous dedication and commitment. Teachers often spend long hours preparing lessons, marking and creatively examining new ways of structuring their lessons and assessing student understanding and achievement.

Not only do teachers spend time preparing and teaching lessons, the role of the teacher extends far beyond the delivery and assessment of content and concepts. The dedicated teacher is a role model, a mentor, a facilitator of learning, a counsellor, a peacemaker, a disciplinarian, a comforter, a trusted friend, a sower of seeds, an author, a liberator, a listener, an initiator, a storyteller, a life coach, and sadly, at times a whipping board for criticism and frustration.

All of these roles, activities and responsibilities occur with great belief and passion – and if you are on a full load, for perhaps 150 different students in a single day! What is more, we expect teachers to cater for each individual student’s needs.

Dedicated teachers understand that teaching children “who to be” is more important than teaching children “what to know and what to do”. Dedicated teachers understand that the true heart of education is the education of the heart. I truly believe that dedicated teachers make a difference in the lives of young people.

Peter Fitzsimons, former Rugby great and media commentator said this, in a moving tribute to our country’s teachers;

“The awesome responsibility that most teachers bear for the welfare of our kids rarely goes acknowledged.

There are armies of underappreciated educators who deserve our eternal gratitude for their selfless acts of dedication. Not for them are the huge salaries and public kudos which so many other professions bring – professions that are none the less dependent upon receiving superb teaching in the first place. Not for them is the glory of ticker tape parades, even though what they are involved in is many times more important to the country than the efforts of those who chase a ball around a park – and they too needed good teachers to send them on their way.

Thank you for dedicating your entire professional lives to educating our children. Thank you for doing so much more than is in your job description, going way above and beyond the call of duty to help secure both their welfare and their well-being before you even begin on nurturing their intellect. Thank you for that too.

I know that I speak for many parents across this mighty land when I say Thank You.”

Teaching is an important profession, and sadly, one that is hugely undervalued in our society. I believe that we are very blessed to have dedicated and professional teachers in our schools. As a school principal I would often see teachers around the school early in the morning and late into the night. When I came to school of a weekend there would often be teachers there. Teaching is so much more than a nine to three job – it can be an all-consuming vocation… and a dedicated teacher wouldn’t have it any other way!

Geoffrey Fouracre