Teaching: not just a profession and a vocation

Educators in schools deserve our support and understanding, and parents should be the first to do this

Over the past days social media erupted with stupid remarks against teachers and educators, about how good they supposedly have it. This is completely unacceptable.
Over the past days social media erupted with stupid remarks against teachers and educators, about how good they supposedly have it. This is completely unacceptable.

Last week there was a case where a young student, from a particular secondary school in Malta, went missing and even slept two nights outside. His Learning Support Educator (LSE) joined the Police in looking for this student, and in the end he was located safe and sound.

That LSE had no obligation to do so. She could have gone home and thought nothing of it. But she felt the moral duty to aid and I’m told she was very helpful because she knew the student closely, since they spend time in class. There are many unsung heroes like this educator.

This is just one example of many others who, quietly and without pomp, do amazing things every single day. People who work in schools have the responsibility of tomorrow’s generation and I cannot stress enough how big a responsibility this is. It is not simply a matter of learning equations or literature, it is also about developing important things such as values and a moral compass.

It is very hard being an educator today. The lack of respect from students, and unfortunately, parents, the differing backgrounds of students, differing abilities in the same class and many others are all contributing factors. There’s also a lot of unseen work, especially lesson preparation, which people don’t realise how important and crucial it is.

The social realities, always more complicated and difficult, all find a home in school, and specifically in the classroom. Educators also have to face this, and it is by no means simple. One has to acknowledge that more can be done here, on various levels especially in the social sphere. Schools need social support and pastoral care as much as they need mathematics, science and all the other subjects.

Over the past days social media erupted with stupid remarks against teachers and educators, about how good they supposedly have it. This is completely unacceptable and I will fight tooth and nail against this kind of talk and attitude against our educators.

Educators in schools deserve our support and understanding, and parents should be the first to do this. It takes a community to raise a child and parents must pull the same rope with those who are doing a lot of work and sacrifices to teach and educate their children.

But us understanding teachers’ concerns is not enough, especially from the side of policymakers. Over the past five years we’ve reached many important targets but it is not enough. The road is still a long one and I, for one, pledge to spend more time in schools to listen to educators and students so we can build a way forward together.

We can only do this together – educators, parents, key stakeholders, students and the country at large. This is indeed a profession, and a vocation.

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