A new campaign is being launched today to raise the status of the teaching profession across the country.
The ‘Be that teacher’ campaign – a joint initiative of the Federal Government and State and Territory Governments – will feature eight real school teachers, one from each jurisdiction.
Announcing the initiative this morning, Federal Education Minister, Jason Clare said recent surveys show most teachers don’t think that what they do is valued by the community.
“We need to change that,” Minister Clare said in a statement today. “This campaign is all about changing the way we as a country think about our teachers, and the way our teachers think our country thinks of them.”
NSW Deputy Premier and Education Minister, Prue Car said the NSW and Australian Governments are committed to “working hand-in-hand” to address the teacher shortage.
“Restoring pride and respect to the teaching profession is key to our plan, and I am delighted to see real teachers being celebrated in this ad campaign,” Minister Car said.
“We all have a teacher who changed the course of our lives for the better, and mine was my English teacher Mrs Elborough. Teaching is an admirable profession, and I encourage anybody interested in education and making a difference to consider this rewarding vocation for their future.”
Victorian Deputy Premier and Education Minister, Ben Carroll said “teachers are a crucial part of what makes Victoria the Education State”.
“They are the ones who inspire students to do great things – and this partnership between the Victorian and Commonwealth governments will ensure more of the best and brightest individuals are attracted to this highly rewarding profession.”
Western Australian Education Minister, Dr Tony Buti – a former teacher – said his experience taught him that a career in teaching can be highly rewarding, and how a teacher can inspire the mind of a student.
“Education is a crucial steppingstone, the bridge that can change a person’s life forever – teachers are a central part of that, and this campaign will help Australians recognise their immense value and the critical role they play in our society.”
South Australian Education Minister, Blair Boyer said: “Teacher shortages are a national issue and while we have many amazing teachers across the country and in South Australia, we still need more.”
Boyer highlighted the need to ensure not only that more people take up vital teaching roles but that the services of exemplary teachers who already work in schools are retained.
“This national campaign will inspire more people to join the profession of teaching and help amplify the stories of the brilliant teachers in our schools.”
The Northern Territory’s Education Minister, Eva Lawler said being a teacher is more than a career – it is profession that changes lives.
“We are very fortunate to have an outstanding team of passionate educators here in the Northern Territory,” Lawler said.
“I greatly encourage anyone who is thinking about a career in teaching to pursue that thought, as an educator of over 40 years I can personally say it is the most rewarding career you will ever have, and you will change the lives of our next generation.”
Queensland’s Education Minister, Grace Grace said the new national campaign not only highlights the impact that teachers have on the lives of young people, but also celebrates it.
“There are so many incredible teachers in Queensland schools and Be That Teacher aims to ensure they are given the credit they deserve. As well as recognising our current teachers, this campaign aims to inspire more people to become teachers,” Minister Grace said.
“I encourage all Australians who have benefited from the support, efforts and commitment of our teachers to support this initiative.”
Teachers that feature in the Be that teacher campaign:
Mrs Stacy Frogley, Year 7-10, SA: “Teaching gives so much more back than you actually give out. That’s why I’m a teacher.”
Mrs Kerri-Ann Lacey, Year 7, NSW: “There is not another profession that touches the human soul as this does.”
Mr Joseph Collinson, Year 5 & 6, NT: “Being able to be that role model, leader that students could really look up to. It’s something I am very proud of. Hopefully I’m inspiring lots of young Indigenous students to want to go along this profession because it’s definitely one of the most rewarding you can get.”
Mr Sam Davies, Year 9, ACT: “If life is about creating meaningful moments, you get a meaningful moment every day in this profession.”
Ms Sandy Luc, Year 7, WA: “It was just so potent, the fact you can be someone’s idol. You always talk about how we will influence the kids but don’t think about the thousands of kids that you teach over your career. They can change your life.”
Miss Beck Andrews, Year 4, TAS: “It’s a little reminder in my head, that if it wasn’t for me, this child wouldn’t have been able to express in writing how they feel.”
Mrs Mirakai Kentwell, Prep/Kindergarten, QLD: “The rewarding feeling you get from teaching is just something that I’ve never felt from any other job. I’m lucky. I’m very lucky.”
Mr Dennis Wang, Year 10, VIC: “20 years from now, 30 years from now, you’ll still see me in a classroom. I guess it feels like I belong here. It feels like where I fit.”