World Teachers’ Day

Across the world, October is the month for celebrating teachers and their profound contributions to our children’s lives and in turn, our communities.  In Australia, World Teachers’ Day is celebrated on October 27.  As a community, let’s take this opportunity to thank teachers for the great work that they do.

Why is it important?  In recent years, a number of studies have looked at how the media portrays teachers and teaching. Sadly, these studies have found that a lot of this is poor publicity. The failing of one teacher becomes the story for all teachers, and teachers are blamed for the consequences of factors that lie outside their control, for example the potential impacts of poverty, or unequal access to technology. The great work most teachers do every day is a good news story, but one that is relayed much less often.

” … teachers are motivated by a desire to make a difference in the lives of children and young people, and to make a social contribution.”
Coding class

Typically, teachers are motivated by a desire to make a difference in the lives of children and young people, and to make a social contribution. When a teacher walks into school or classroom, they are not only bringing their knowledge of particular subjects,  they are also thinking about how to bring that knowledge to life for all their students. Not only are they fostering a love of learning, they are working with students to help them understand the world, and how to live and contribute to a good society. 

While we may not remember all the teachers we have had, many of us will have a memory of one or two teachers who made a difference in our lives, or in our children’s lives. Perhaps it was the teacher who inspired a love of math, history or art. Maybe it was teacher who took the time to care when we felt overwhelmed or alone. Perhaps it was the teacher who taught us how to respect one another and celebrate our differences. 

At Griffith University, we not only home in on priority curriculum areas like science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, we also value well-being and inclusive education. Students learn to effectively engage their own students, with our specialisations enabling students to advance their skills and passions. Our education degrees span all levels of learning including early childhood, primary, and secondary school, as well as specialist programs in newer, high-demand areas such as leadership, special needs education, and autism studies through the Autism Centre of Excellence.

Online class

When governments turn their attention to teachers, and teacher preparation, they do so because education is important. Education makes a difference to the student in the classroom, and it also helps shape our world. Teachers are helping prepare our children and young people for a rapidly changing world. Schools and classrooms are increasingly complex.

Teaching is both challenging and rewarding. It is time to publicly acknowledge the importance of teachers and thank them for the difference they make.


Professor Frances Press is Head and Dean of Education and Professional Studies and a professor in early years and education policy. Over many years Frances has worked closely with government, non-government organisations and researchers to consider the ways in which policy and practice can support systems that respond to the needs and aspirations of children and families and promote social justice. Frances has been an investigator on a number of ARC funded research projects examining various aspects of early childhood services, including policy, and how these can best support great outcomes for children and families. She has keen interest in the impact of educational leadership.

4: Quality Education
UN Sustainable Development Goals 4: Quality Education