Teacher Appreciation Day – Councillor Gillian Brooks

Morning everyone, thank you for having me at your Assembly this morning.  Mr Plato has made such a good speech, I feel most things are covered

Today is a special day, it is Teacher Appreciation Day and I say ‘special’ because teachers play such an important role in a community. You are not just a child’s teacher, you are the extended family for them, while they are away from home. You are providing their safety, you are nurturing their development and character building and you are the familiarity they have in their day. Remember most of their waking hours are spent with you. What a teacher provides for a child throughout their school life, is so crucial to giving a child the opportunity to go on to be what they want to and can be, as an adult.

The theme this year is “The Transformation of Education Begins with Teachers” and this is not an easy feat. Transformation means change and we know change is not always easy to achieve. There is always the financial side to change and getting people to adapt to changes. As teachers, we know that you are always looking at what is best for the children, how it can be delivered and the benefit of seeing a child achieve and grow under your guidance.

I always maintain that teaching is a vocation. It is not a 9-5 role, you must have the devotion and drive to go into teaching and most importantly, have the natural ability to undertake this often difficult role. You need to be the adult who discipline, whilst being able to come to a level that the child is comfortable with. I truly feel that I can say most of us remember something a teacher did for us. At the time it happened, it may not have seemed a big thing, but it is still there in our memory.

I will tell you a little story from when I was growing up – I remember the day I sat on the old Library steps at Secondary School, my head deep in a teenage magazine. A teacher at the school walked past and went into the Library. At the time, they were doing a big clear out of the Library. He came out and said to me “you want to make something of yourself when you get older”. I said “yes sir”, and he gave me an old dictionary and said “read this instead”. I still have that dictionary to this day. It is worn and torn, falling apart, but I still have it. And this is what I mean when I say you will most surely remember something about your teachers.

Today, on behalf of all of us here and the wider community, I would like to say a huge “thank you” to all of you teachers for what you do, day in and day out, for striving often under pressure to provide that little bit extra, for taking such an important role in the development of our children and for which we respect and thank you.

So children, let’s join together and say a big “thank you” to the teachers. So on the count of two, let’s all shout…thank you teachers…