A profession, but also a vocation

Teachers and kindergarten assistants at Mater Dei do invaluable work in almost impossible circumstances. Together with the nursing and medical staff there, they help children, and their parents, in moments of great difficulty

After spending hours in meetings in my office, I always look forward to getting out to visit schools and spend time with staff and students. It’s a very good way to get to know the good and the bad, and the environment people feel comfortable in. Each and every school has its own character.

You get to learn about the work being done by incredible individuals. Malta is lucky to have many dedicated educators who do amazing things everyday. These achievements might not always be front-page news, but parents know it is true because they see the results.

I always talk about education in terms of a profession and a vocation. It cannot be one without the other. Profession indicates a level of seriousness in one’s approach to work, but the vocation part is equally important because it frames the goal of helping children grow into responsible and functioning adults.

This week a video clip uploaded on the Edukazzjoni Facebook page (fb.com/edukazzjoni) brought to life yet another incredible story about educators. It was the story of Sarah Craig and four other educators who work at Mater Dei Hospital. Ms Craig works at the Rainbow Ward in the Oncology Centre. This is where children with cancer are treated, usually over a substantial period of time.

Ms Craig is there to help them with their schooling but also to give them hope and encourage them to persevere. Her story has a twist. Ms Craig is a cancer survivor herself. When she was aged nine, she had to get treatment in the UK and managed to turn this dark chapter into willpower to help children today.

Teachers and kindergarten assistants at Mater Dei do invaluable work in almost impossible circumstances. Together with the nursing and medical staff there, they help children, and their parents, in moments of great difficulty.

Through their dedication and patience they make a difference in people’s lives every single day. These educators are not alone. There are many others who work very hard to help children and young people become who they are destined to be, to look beyond the present and into the future, and to be ambitious and have a positive attitude about life.

There’s no award big enough for these people and what they achieve. I only hope they know how appreciative we all are of their endeavours.

My line of work; politics, can sometimes be partisan, crude and nasty, but the drive and dedication of these people certainly makes it worthwhile. In education, all that matters is the little bit of difference we make; the good advice of a teacher, the support of an LSE or a counsellor lending an ear could be all that’s needed to change someone’s life.

I’d like to thank all those that have contributed to another successful scholastic year. The work done in schools every single day is truly amazing and each one of you is making life better for the next generation. It truly is a remarkable profession and vocation.

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