Is teaching the most important job in the world?
In a word – yes!
In a moving convocation address to York University’s Faculty of Education, Annie Kidder stressed the importance of the teaching profession and how teachers must bring their humanity to the job.
In Ontario, teachers and early childhood educators are responsible for educating more than 2 million children and young people. These students will go on to become tomorrow’s leaders – our carpenters, politicians, doctors, educational assistants, crane operators, accountants, and transit workers.
Teachers teach the next generation of society. While there are many important professions, none of them affect all of society’s children – and thus all of society – in the way teaching does.
Teachers matter more to student achievement than any other aspect of schooling.
Teachers responsible for delivering “the new basics”
In order to experience long-term success, students need to develop a wide range of competencies and skills that cross all curriculum. Teachers are no longer simply deliverers of content knowledge or trainers in skills in the 3 R’s. They must help students to develop critical thinking skills, master complex problem-solving, collaborate effectively, and build healthy relationships. These are the new basics in education, and illustrate why teaching is the most important job in the world.
Education is the key to a better life for every child and the foundation of every strong society…
Education forms backbone of UN goals for 2030
In 2015, the United Nations (including Canada) committed to achieve 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The goals include things like “no poverty,” “reduced inequalities,” “sustainable cities and communities,” and “decent work and economic growth.” Quality education is not only the fourth identified goal, it is essential for success in every one of the other goals, according to UNESCO. Teaching not only affects individual student learning – it has an impact on the health, strength, and sustainability of whole societies.
Public education does not exist for the benefit of students or the benefit of their parents. It exists for the benefit of the social order.
The case for public education
Because teaching is the most important job in the world, and because 95% of students attend publicly funded schools, our public education system has an impact on the future of Canadian society – the gap between rich and poor, citizen engagement, the implementation of the Calls to Action from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and climate change.
Education got us into this mess and education will get us out.
This year, People for Education will examine “the case for public education”, along with the right to education and the factors that should be included in that right. We will be exploring these issues at our annual conference on November 10. Register now to make sure you are part of the conversation.