Thank you Mr Gray!
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 126 No 7, 8 October 2021, page no.21
Queensland state school teachers make a difference every day, educating and inspiring young people.
Over the past two years, teachers and school leaders have adapted to change and overcome the challenges which have been presented. Throughout these unprecedented times, it has been reinforced to us that teaching is more than reading, writing and arithmetic. So, what drives you to go to school every day and do the job that you do?
With World Teachers’ Day and State Education Week being celebrated in October, it’s a prime opportunity to reflect on the life-changing work that goes on in schools and to thank a teacher for the work that they do.
I am sure that we have all had a teacher who has made a difference in our own life. For me, I don’t have to think too hard as I look back on my primary school years in West Rockhampton during the 80s. Every single one of my teachers from pre-school to year 7 instilled the love of learning into me. Their dedication and commitment to teaching reinforced my decision to become a teacher.
If pressed to pick one of my teachers who stands out for me, it would be my year 4 teacher (little did I know at that time that he would also become my year 5 and Year 6 teacher). Mr Gray brought a different lens to learning, by broadening students’ experiences. Learning took on a new form - we didn’t just sit inside the classroom all day, we were given the opportunity to learn “outside” as well.
It wasn’t all about reading and maths, emphasis was also placed on music, art, social studies and physical education. Mr Gray liked to put on a show. Once a semester he invited all the parents to a “classroom concert”, to showcase the talents of the students in our class, whether it be drama, singing, dancing or playing an instrument. This was always followed by a morning tea.
He taught us to be courageous, by taking us out of our comfort zone.
Mr Gray also loved the outdoors. Every year we went on camp. We visited Emu Park, Awoonga Dam and Camp Fairburn, where we abseiled, kayaked and swam. Those were the days when parents drove and attended the camp with the students. It was clear that developing relationships with the parents was important to him.
Diligence, honesty, courage, and resilience were values that were shown by him and enacted into our learning, all of which have shaped who I am today. I thank Mr Gray for that.
So, on this World Teachers’ Day and State Education Week, can I thank you all, teachers and school leaders, for the hard work, dedication, kindness, resilience and courage you show every day in shaping the lives of students. The future in in good hands.