Posted by Kambala
There is no doubt that 2020 saw the nature of many peoples’ day-to-day work change dramatically, with office spaces becoming Zoom meeting rooms and face-to-face services transforming into online offerings. It is without question, however, that one of the most impacted occupations in variation to daily work was faced by school teachers.
New South Wales will celebrate World Teachers’ Day on Friday 30 October, and there could not be a better year to acknowledge the commitment and dedication of our Kambala teachers.
At the start of 2020 and as the global pandemic sent people to learn and work from home, teachers around the globe began moving classrooms online. In most cases, this was with little warning or preparation time.
In a swift transition to remote teaching and learning, Kambala teachers reimagined ways to transmit knowledge and introduce skills, build a deep understanding of concepts, facilitate group work amongst students, provide feedback, design assessments … not to mention strive to support student wellbeing in what has been a very isolating and difficult time for many young people and their families. They banded together in online forums and groups, sharing their strategies and supporting one another to overcome the common challenges of remote lesson delivery.
Many teachers became students on their own experiential learning venture.
‘Never waste a crisis’ mentality in the aftermath of remote teaching has been adopted by many schools, whose teachers have been able to use their experiences to develop their own knowledge and practice. Most teachers hope to instil a love of life-long learning in their students and to see Kambala teachers modelling this, speaks to the integrity of those to take on this very important role in our community.
To pay homage to the outstanding efforts of teachers this year, for World Teachers’ Day, the students at Kambala have led the charge, with the Prefect body organising a gratitude wall, allowing students to post messages of appreciation and thanks to the very teachers who have cared for and nurtured them. Teachers at Kambala also have the opportunity to be recognised more formally in peer-nominated teaching awards, with recipients being awarded at the School’s Annual Distribution of Prizes. This is one way that the School aims to recognise the outstanding work of its teachers, and is part of a wider strategic initiative.
KITE, the Kambala Institute of Teaching Excellence, established in 2019, was created to provide a range of professional offerings to ‘attract, retain and develop’ excellent teachers. KITE aims to pay respect to the teaching profession, inspiring learning in its teaching staff by facilitating valuable avenues for professional growth.
So how should we, as individuals or as a community show our respect for teachers this year? As World Teachers’ Day approaches, we can stop to thank those special and memorable people who have influenced and guided us, be they a school teacher, coach, dance instructor or therapist and recognise the hard work and personal learning that have contributed to their ability to teach and inspire.
About the Author
Samantha Gooch is Director of the Kambala Institute of Teaching Excellence (KITE).