In a recent staff meeting, a teacher shared that an old school friend had recently been appointed into a prestigious senior position in the medical field. He said that his initial response was one of delight for his old friend and then the thought that although they were the same age, he was just a teacher. Upon further reflection however, he realised that he was extremely happy and fulfilled in his chosen profession and that the outward trappings of success, so often portrayed in social media posts, were not the indicators of success which mattered to him.
The idea of someone being ‘just a teacher’ is one which has bothered me for years. Those who invest hours of time, heaps of passion and bucket loads of love and support into their pupils are never ‘just a teacher’. Teachers are professionals whose practice, expertise, insight and knowledge shape futures and impact nations – they are never ‘just a teacher’. The teacher who shared the story of a school friend achieving great success in the medical field is an outstanding practitioner. His classroom is filled with the excited chatter of children learning together and he gives tirelessly of himself to his pupils through a genuine love for each little person in his charge. How sad that a teacher of this quality would ever feel that he is ‘just a teacher’!
An effective teacher plants the seeds of self-belief, the love of learning and the excitement of discovery into children who will become the professionals of the future. Teaching should be a pinnacle profession which attracts only the best and hold them to a high standard. Elkanah House is fortunate to have a team of outstanding professionals who understand how important it is to grow professionally, to give of their best in the classroom and who understand that effective education is not simply the accumulation of marks which show success. Our children’s lives are touched by teachers who understand that they are never ‘just a teacher’!
Arthur Preston – Head of Primary