Teachers have an important role in contemporary society. Through their teaching they contribute to the academic development of their students, enabling them to grow to live fulfilled lives and to be positive contributors to their communities.
The impact of teachers on their students is not limited to classroom teaching and learning. Professional and community expectations for teachers are high for the delivery of:
- Quality teaching and learning in the classroom
- Curriculum and program design
- Support the holistic development of each student
- Pastoral care and counselling for students and their families
- Role modelling of acceptable and appropriate adult behaviour
The work of teachers in these areas is not values free. Each teacher brings to their work, intentionally or unintentionally, their personal beliefs and practices which shape their professional behaviour. The diverse and often competing values found in Australian society are mirrored in the teaching profession.
“Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Timothy 4:16)
It is important that the voice of Christian teachers be present and heard in our schools to counter the many ‘isms’ and ideologies that are actively influencing our students and the education system in general.
“You are the salt of the earth.” …. “You are the light of the world… let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5: 13-16)
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
The responsibility, extent and complexity of the Gospel ministry of teachers means that teachers need the spiritual resources and support of their Christian family.
Steven Kinsella (Anglican EdComm) and Bishop Chris Edwards
As the school year begins, let us pray for schools, students and not forget to pray for our teachers, particularly those who are Christian.