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Think back to your school days. It’s unlikely your strongest memory is about grammar or algebra. It might be you remember the teacher who went the extra mile and helped you achieve something you didn’t think possible. Or it might be learning a sense of fair play during the rough and tumble of lunchtime.

The value of education is certainly undeniable and research shows that positive learning experiences with expert teachers will improve children’s academic, social and spiritual achievements. There is plenty of discussion about what makes a good teacher and it is well recognised that their influence extends both beyond the classroom and beyond school hours. As Andrew Martin from the University of NSW says:

‘Teachers are not a seven-hour Band-Aid that is undone once a child gets home from school: the teacher’s influence is unique and ongoing’.

This week, School Stream would like to acknowledge and celebrate the meaningful life lessons that teachers impart beyond the curriculum.

You can do it!

“I have a teacher who, from the beginning of my two-year course, has offered an after-school session every single week, for however long we need. I am often the only one there but she doesn’t mind. She has completely changed my life by believing in me, pushing me and caring about me. Obviously, I don’t expect every teacher to be like her, but to know someone values you enough to put time in is amazing.”

Learning is for life. Not just for exams

“My favourite teacher throughout school taught me my least favourite subject (English). The reason I got on with her so well was that she genuinely cared about her pupil’s lives – not just their final exam grade. She’d recommend good books, newspaper articles that would interest me… I’d rate a teacher who spent time getting to know me over one who just tried to help me memorise a course every time.”

Be a good human. Not just a good student

Teenagers really appreciate a caring teacher.

‘Allison said her teacher demonstrates his concern: “My favourite teacher actually cares about me. I have chronic back pain, and every time I leave early or skip a day, he checks up on how I’m doing. It’s nice to know he cares.”’

Skills like problem-solving, resilience, the value of hard work, collaboration, empathy and creativity are all qualities that students will need to thrive in the world post school and they are all embedded in the teaching practices of passionate educators.

We hope you are enjoying a productive pupil-free time during the school holiday period. School Stream is here to answer any and all of your questions throughout the year. It could also be a good time to consider getting an overview of your school communications by taking a 5 minute quiz or book in for some training.