No. 46-20, 28 October 2020 | DOWNLOAD PDF
TO QTU MEMBERS,
World Teachers’ Day 2020
Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future
This Friday, 30 October, Australia celebrates World Teachers’ Day. Internationally, World Teachers’ Day is celebrated on 5 October, but differences in school holidays and the like mean that we do it differently here, or at least at a different time.
The global theme for 2020, “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future”, is as relevant here as it is anywhere else in the world.
World Teachers’ Day is co-convened by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), UNICEF and Education International, the global teacher union of which members of the QTU are part. Their joint statement pays tribute to the work of teachers this year through the crisis of COVID-19:
“In this crisis, teachers have shown, as they have done so often, great leadership and innovation in ensuring that #LearningNeverStops and that no learner is left behind. Around the world, they have worked individually and collectively to find solutions and create new learning environments for their students to allow education to continue.”
In Queensland, that was seen in the extraordinary professional feat of moving from classroom learning to remote learning and back to classroom learning again in a space of just five weeks.
It occurred in a time of uncertainty. Knowledge about the virus was still developing and, while decisions were made based on the best available medical knowledge and after consultation, there was still a measure of courage in returning to school while businesses and much of the public service were shut or working from home.
As it always does in the midst of crisis or the aftermath of natural disaster, the return to school – made possible by teachers and principals, not anybody else – made a huge difference psychologically and practically in sustaining the community. There is no better symbol of hopefulness and recovery to a stricken community than the return of students to school.
Whatever recognition you receive and respect you are accorded on Friday, you deserve more, and you deserve it all the time.
Be proud to be a teacher. No-one else can do what you do.
World Teachers Day was first held in 1994. It commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the joint 1966 ILO/UNESCO recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. This recognised the professional status of teaching and made a range of recommendations about preparation of teachers, employment, and teaching and learning conditions. ..back to top
Late last week, the Deputy Premier, Steven Miles, sent a consolidated list of ALP election promises to the Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU). The letter is published on the QTU website, along with responses from other political parties and the QTU’s comparison of the policies of the parties and the comparative performance of the ALP and LNP as Queensland Governments.
Nearly a week ago, the QTU wrote to the LNP’s shadow education spokesman, Jarrod Bleijie, asking if the LNP would commit to maintenance of teacher-student ratios and current class sizes. This followed public debate about future teacher numbers announced by the ALP and LNP. No response has yet been received from the LNP. The ALP has a clear commitment in its policy to maintaining teacher-student ratios and ensuring that class sizes do not increase, while employing additional teachers to keep up with enrolment growth.
For the first time since the establishment of the QTU in 1889, the General Secretary will be a woman. Deputy General Secretary Kate Ruttiman was the only nomination for the position when nominations closed on Monday. She takes up the position on 21 January next year, following the retirement of the current General Secretary.
Kate is a secondary economics and English teacher who taught in Middlemount, Kenmore, Lowood and the UK. She has been one of two Deputy General Secretaries of the QTU since 2010. Before that she was a regional organiser and industrial advocate for the QTU. She is also the Honorary President of the Queensland Council of Unions and a director of QSuper. Congratulations Kate!
Together with President-elect Cresta Richardson, the fourth woman President of the QTU, the QTU will have its first female leadership team. Five of the six elected Senior Officers will be women. ..back to top
Authorised by Kate Ruttiman, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street, Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064