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Nov 18, 2023Liked by Rebecca Birch

Yes, not much mention of teaching in the Australian teaching campaign. Lots about care. Little about education. With the exceptions you mentioned...

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I discussed this with my year 10 roll call/mentoring group. We'd just had teacher appreciation day and all the words and stories were about "helping" in the very soft and cuddly type.

I asked what the difference between a nurse and a teacher was (admittedly I'm simplifying nursing too). They took a long time to recognise what most of us would think teaching is: Rigour, knowledge, perspective, evidence, skills.

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So the kids don’t really see us as a profession either ...

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I wouldn't go that far. But certainly, a lot of the learning, no matter how many times you explain SoL and check for understanding, school is just "a bunch of stuff I have to do" so they value the sense you helped them DO it rather than taught them.

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Interesting post as always! Totally agree that the UK campaign is much more authentic. The Aus ad dangerously suggests that rewards come when others (the students) confer honor upon you as 'that teacher'. It's a nod to the cliches of Dangerous Minds and Dead Poet's Society. While the UK campaign quite rightly suggests that doing a complex job well, day in and day out, is what is most important.

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Film teachers have a lot to answer for!

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And as you allude to, in order to be “That Teacher”, the rest of your colleagues can’t be.

“No star for the Physics teacher” is a great way of putting it and will probably be what I whisper to myself when I see colleagues go out of their to cultivate an adored reputation at the expense of their colleagues and, often, the children’s actual learning!

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Nov 20, 2023Liked by Rebecca Birch

Well written. So many of your sentiments resonate with me. Dealing with the teachers who need adoration from students is ongoing and tiresome. The campaign is a visual representation of some marketer’s representation of what they think teachers value most about the profession. For me, seeing growth in what students can achieve, seeing their self efficacy improve and their growing sense of agency is the best. This year I had a very high achieving English Advanced HSC Class and a non ATAR English Studies class. My greatest wins were the gradual shift in mindset in my students. My English Studies students were initially so disengaged as learners. The turning point for me was receiving a handful of practice essays and requests from some of those students to meet to discuss their learning. Their engagement was huge for me. Their desire to do well, to take on feedback saw a number of them do really well. Now that would never make a campaign. There’s nothing exciting about disengaged students writing essays and seeking feedback. It won’t change the world but if did reiterate that setting high expectations with appropriate support and explicit teaching of writing as a means of improving outcomes can improve student efficacy. Again not nuanced enough for a soundbite or campaign set to inspirational music but it is the reason we keep on doing what we do.

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I hope the rewards keep coming in 2024, Adla.

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Very well said!

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So true! In the US there seems to be a quest to decorate your classroom for instagram shots instead of for instruction. We’ve replaced problematic student adoration with even more problematic online adoration

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Jan 22Liked by Rebecca Birch

Because Mr Wang helped this math-anxious girl to enjoy maths when she was in year 10.

That is no small achievement!

[having seen Mr Wang's billboard on a train station on my way to see FANTASTIC MR FOX - that was impactful].

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I’m glad you got something out of the campaign. Hopefully there are others out there like you who want to make a difference.

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