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Thank you, teachers!

September 24, 2019 Jason Schilling, ATA President

World Teachers’ Day 2019 10 05

How we make a difference in our professional and personal lives varies for each of us. I have always stated that I became a teacher so that I could make a difference in the lives of my students and community.

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation website says, “World Teachers’ Day represents a significant token of the awareness, understanding and appreciation displayed for the vital contribution that teachers make to education and development.” The theme for World Teachers’ Day this Oct. 5 is “I teach for a better world.”


However, as my students would say to me, what does that even mean? That is a great question: what does this year’s theme mean to me personally as a teacher? It is a nice, reflective, rhetorical question to ponder. How does my teaching make for a better world? Off the top of my head, here are some ways I think my teaching makes for a better world:

  • I can be the best part of a student’s day by creating a safe and caring space for each of them to learn and grow.
  • I teach students to think, be critical of the material they are given, and ask questions when they seek information, even if their questions at times challenge my own thinking (I should say I have always enjoyed when they do).
  • I encourage my drama students to work out of their comfort zones, to take a deep breath and step forward into the light.
  • I talk to students about their lives, their passions and what they want to learn, and then help guide them towards those goals.
  • I have the ability to connect with my colleagues over teaching, resources, professional development and, more importantly, our lives.
  • I’ve worked hard to make sure the Terry Fox Run became a part of our school’s history, raising money for cancer research for the greater community.
  • As ATA president, I am using my platform to advocate for public education across the province.

At the end of the day, and upon reflection, I guess my teaching does make for a better world. That world may be small compared to a greater global context, but it takes just one person, one moment at a time to make a difference. As we celebrate World Teachers’ Day with our colleagues, I want to thank you for making your world, big or small, a better one. ❚

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