Emily selected as ambassador for World Teachers’ Day
South Melbourne Primary School’s dedicated and passionate educator Emily West says being chosen as an ambassador for World Teachers’ Day was an “honour and a privilege”.
The annual event, which was celebrated on October 27, aims to showcase the contributions made by teachers and promote the importance of education while also reflecting on the value teachers bring to children’s lives.
Ms West, a first-year grade five teacher, has become a beloved figure at the school with her appointment as ambassador in recognition of her ability to inspire and empower students.
Her popularity has also grown through her use of social media in which she not only shared “little moments of the day in the life as a teacher”, but also challenged common misconceptions surrounding the profession, which she and many other educators believed was more than just standing in front of classroom and reading from a textbook.
This was a message Ms West hoped to convey through World Teachers’ Day after she joined other Victorian teachers and the Department of Education to “challenge narrow and outdated perceptions of the profession”, in what they say was critical to attracting more people to the teaching profession.
“There can be a misconception, that if you’re not in the field of education, that it’s just a person standing at the front of your classroom,” Ms West said.
“But there’s a lot more that goes into understanding the signs of how students learn, the science of teaching, and you have to teach in a manner that allows students to transfer content from their short-term memory to long-term memory,” Ms West said.
“It’s something I hold close to my heart. It’s a privilege that we, as educators, can really ignite these conversations and shape how young minds think.”
Asked what she loved most about teaching, Ms West, who is into her second year of her teaching career after studying at the Australian Catholic University, said not only was “everyday different” but “you’re the reason why they are learning and building knowledge … teachers have the power to make these lasting impressions on a person for their whole life”.
“It’s a labour of love,” she said. “You can have up to 20 to 30 different kids and they all learn in different ways. There’s no one universal way a student’s going to learn.”
“They are all their own person and that poses their own challenges and we have to make sure we’re adjusting and accommodating our teaching so that they can succeed.”
The teachers’ challenging activity was also part of the Teach the Future campaign, which aims to inspire more people to consider a career in teaching, and curb teaching shortages across the state. •
Caption: South Melbourne Primary School teacher Emily West. Photos: Department of Education