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Oct 05

Chris Smeaton

World Teachers Day 2016

When I speak to our new teachers, I often make the following comment with my palms held out, “We hold the future of our students in the palms of our hands, what a great responsibility and what a great honour.” I think that most teachers get this statement very well. But as we celebrate World Teachers Day, I’m wondering whether many of the public understand both the responsibility and honour that teachers feel throughout their teaching career. My guess is that most of the public don’t reflect deeply on that statement and that may be one reason why teachers are not as highly respected and recognized as they deserve to be.

It always saddens me when I’m asked as an educator if I tried to persuade my daughter away from the teaching profession. Why would I want to do that? I am pleased that is the decision she has made because I think so highly of the teaching profession. I know the position will be filled with hard work and frustration and many more difficult times. But I also know that at the end of the day, she, like all teachers will be able to say that she had an impact on a child’s life. Does everybody understand how important that statement is? Even in my role as superintendent, I know that each day I too, can make that difference and when I don’t believe that anymore it will certainly be the time for me to retire.

If you really think about the impact that a teacher can have on a child, why would you bad mouth them? Just because someone went to school doesn’t mean they have any concept of what a teacher really does each day. It is very easy to criticize from the outside and I wish that more people would recognize the importance of teachers in our society today.

Growing up, I had some instrumental teachers in my life and our children also experienced wonderful interactions with very caring and compassionate individuals. World Teachers Day reminds us to be thankful to those individuals who have made a difference in our lives. And so I would ask that you take some time today to make a phone call or send a text, post a Facebook message or just make a personal visit to say thanks. Your gratitude will be greatly appreciated!

Which leads me to our own school division. There are many reasons why Holy Spirit Catholic School Division continues to be a leading division in the province but it always starts with the interaction that occurs between the teacher and the student. Nothing is ever perfect, but I count myself as blessed to be the Chief Educational Officer of our Division because of the commitment of our teachers. They do great work and understand they fully understand that, “We hold the future of our students in the palms of our hands, what a great responsibility and what a great honour.”

Have a wonderful World Teachers Day!

1 comment

  1. Manon Thauvette

    Thank you Chris!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

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