In celebration of World Teachers' Day, Education Review asked ‘everyday Australians’ to share the memories of their favourite teachers who made their school day unforgettable.
Over the past couple of years, Australian teachers have faced numerous challenges with Covid-19, online-learning, the shortage crisis and the increasing workload and demands from students.
Yet, teachers have demonstrated a strong commitment, a lot of resilience and their love for the profession.
In order to celebrate teachers and show appreciation in the work they do, Education Review spoke with six everyday Australians from all walks of life and all ages, and asked them to remember their favourite teachers.
Caitlin, a professional makeup artist in her thirties
"That one teacher I always remember is my year six music teacher, Mrs. Wilber. She was so much fun and such an enjoyable teacher to have in primary school.
She always made the classes fun, she played lots of games with us and got us all involved, and it always made our Friday afternoon much more fun.
I'll always remember how excited I was when music class came up in primary school.
I remember feeling so smart in her class, I knew all the musical terms already because I was a piano player.
She always made me participate in her class and this made me feel really valued.
Looking back on that, it was certainly something I really needed in my primary school education, I needed to feel important and to feel wanted by my teachers.
I don't remember a lot of my teachers from primary school as it was quite a few years ago, but I'll always remember her and the way she made me feel, and how music and her class made me feel great."
Tony, community radio manager in his forties
"When I was around nine or ten years old, I had a wonderful teacher; Mr. Tanner and he was the first male teacher I ever had.
I had a lot more fun that year with Mr. Tanner.
He was a bit more relaxed and he wasn't always trying to pull the boys into line much to the chagrin of all the girls in the class.
He also loved music and I obviously loved music as well.
One day, I remember coming back with knockoff tapes of Chris Rea and he took interest in that because I think he'd been a fan of his before his breakthrough.
I always thought it was really groovy to have a teacher that was into music and that I could share my love of music with.
Sadly, he only left after one year but he was a great teacher and I remember him until this day.
I remember how great it was to have a male role model at that age."
Leslie, a clinical psychologist in her fifties
“I remember Mrs. Dyer, she was my very first teacher when I started school at age five.
It was the first time being away from my mom all day and she would give us all a big hug in the morning and sit with us if we were upset about our parents leaving.
She always made sure the transition between home and school was not that difficult.
I also remember feeling like an individual in her class, she always tried to find what was special about you.
She just seemed to really make such an effort for her students. She made me feel valued and I’m sure it was like this for every single one of us.
I still remember her kindness today and I even spoke about her to my own daughters.”
Maya, an architectural surfaces seller in her late twenties
"I remember Mrs. Potter, she was my English teacher and she loved the subject so much that her passion bleeds into students.
That passion she had just made me learn English so well.
I ended up learning easily because she was just purely passionate about it and excited to show up to work every day, excited to work with us and excited to speak on the subject.
I remember her giggles of excitement when we had to read passages of books out loud , it stuck with me.
She made class enjoyable, she brought her passion to work and it definitely had an impact.
I still remember all of the things she taught me in English more than 10 years later."
Zev, a retired water engineer in his late sixties
"In year nine, my maths teacher was Mr. Conway and I can say today he set my career path.
Until I went into Mr. Conway's class, I was hopeless at maths, but with him I saw the light: maths became easy.
The way he taught was very rigorous and systematic and that method really resonated with me.
I’m not sure I would have become an engineer without him. He certainly was the one that made it all clear to me and once it became clear, I could enjoy it and it wasn't such a scary thing.
I’m not sure where he is today but I wish I could say thanks to him."
John, retired in his early sixties
"The teacher I remember most fondly was Mrs. King, when I was in grade three.
At that time, mum had moved me from a catholic school to a government school and Mrs. King was my first teacher there.
I just remember I was really young and I did not have a good time being taught by the nuns at the Catholic school.
Mrs. King was just a really good teacher, she was friendly and warm and she made me thrive as a student. She was kind and loving in a professional way and treated us very well.
I feel a little bit emotional when I think back to those days. She made a huge impression on me, especially at that age.
She definitely made a big difference in my life.
At the time, I was a bit behind in reading and writing and she really helped me blossom. By the end of the year, I was reading and writing well above my age group.
I believe she really set me on a course for learning for the rest of my life. "Do you have an idea for a story?
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