Australia values teachers much more than they know - Education Matters Magazine
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Australia values teachers much more than they know

The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) has launched a two-week campaign encouraging the community to show their support for the work of teachers. The campaign will culminate on Friday 30 October, the day Australia celebrates World Teachers’ Day.

The campaign kicks off with the launch of a new report that highlights the important link between teachers feeling valued and positive outcomes for students.

The Spotlight report, Teaching: A valued profession, reveals that although the community supports teachers, they are much more circumspect about feeling valued. Ensuring teachers feel valued in society and are satisfied with their jobs is integral to teachers having positive attitudes about their work and ability to influence student achievement. They are more likely to engage in continuous professional development, improve confidence and satisfaction, and remain in the profession.

The report highlights a 2019 Monash University study which found that while 82 per cent of the public felt teachers were respected and 93 per cent of the public felt that teachers were trusted, only 29 per cent of teachers felt that the Australian public appreciated them. Similarly, the 2018 OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) shows only 45 per cent of Australian teachers in lower secondary schools believe that the teaching profession is valued by society.

The difference between what the public thinks and what teachers think comes down to several factors, including the negative portrayals of teaching that dominate the media. For example, an analysis of newspaper headlines and articles between April 2017 and March 2018 in Queensland, found that over half of the 270 relevant articles expressed a negative attitude toward the teaching profession, while only 31 per cent were positive and 14 per cent were neutral.

“This year has shown us just how agile, committed and dedicated our teachers can be in the face of tremendous stress and upheaval,” AITSL CEO Mark Grant said.

“Now, more than at any time, we have the opportunity to better understand what is involved in successful teaching, and to recognise the fundamental value that teachers provide to the community.

“As we approach World Teachers’ Day in 2020 this report is an important reminder of the incredible value that the community sees in our teachers. In a year unlike any other let’s join together to celebrate our amazing teachers,” Mark Grant said.

“World Teachers’ Day on 30 October is the perfect opportunity to show our teachers how much we value them, we support them, and we acknowledge the brilliant work they do every day to advance the learning lives of students across Australia,” Mark Grant said.

To read the Spotlight report visit: www.aitsl.edu.au/research/spotlight/teaching-a-valued-profession

Find out how you can get involved in thanking teachers this World Teachers’ Day at www.aitsl.edu.au/wtd