A new campaign, ‘Be that teacher’, to raise the status of the teaching profession across the country launched nationally on 31 October.
The campaign is a joint initiative of Federal and State and Territory Governments, and features eight real school teachers – one from each jurisdiction.
The campaign is designed to encourage more Australians to want to be ‘that’ teacher who helped them to aim higher, be braver and work harder, such as Mrs Kerri-Ann Lacey, a year 7 teacher in New South Wales, who was ‘that’ teacher for her student Michael.
“All kids go through tough patches, but one thing about teaching is being able to look at a student and try and guide that mind as best you can,” Mrs Lacey said.
“I first met Michael in year 7. There were some challenges… When he graduated he presented me with [a star]. I used to tell him he was a star, so typical of him.
“The fact that somebody thought enough of what I had contributed to their life that they wanted to put my name on a star, it’s pretty humbling. There is not another profession that touches the human soul as this does,” she said.
Mrs Lacey is one of eight real teachers whose stories will feature in the campaign which will run across social media, billboards, bus stops and other outdoor locations.
In addition to Mrs Lacey, teachers featured in the ‘Be that teacher’ campaign include Mrs Stacy Frogley (Year 7-10, SA), Mr Joseph Collinson (Year 5 & 6, NT), Mr Sam Davies (Year 9, ACT) Ms Sandy Luc (Year 7, WA), Miss Beck Andrews (Year 4, TAS), Mrs Mirakai Kentwell (Prep/Kindergarten, QLD) and Mr Dennis Wang (Year 10, VIC).
Commonwealth Minister for Education Jason Clare said recent surveys show that most teachers don’t think that what they do is valued by the community.
“We need to change that. This campaign is all about changing the way we as a country think about our teachers, and the way our teachers think our country thinks of them,” he said.
“I want more young Australians to want to be a teacher. To be that teacher, who inspires and changes young lives.
“This campaign features eight incredible teachers, but the truth is there are more than 300,000 teachers with stories just like theirs. I encourage anyone looking for a rewarding career that will shape the next generation of Australians to consider becoming that teacher,” he said.
As part of the campaign, teachers are also being encouraged to share their own stories and Australians are being encouraged to share their stories about the teacher that changed their lives.
To find out more, visit bethatteacher.gov.au.