My open letter to the B Ed Primary Students & Trainee Teachers beginning their course in Plymouth this week:
Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
Some of you are here straight from school, some of you have changed careers or raised families. Congratulations on earning the privilege of writing a new chapter of your life story.
Today is the first day that you shoulder the dreams of others. In the first 10 years of your career you will hold in your hands the futures of 300 tiny lives. With each of those tiny lives comes the dreams of their parents and grandparents – you hold them all , 1000 of them, in your hands, right now.
Today and every day for the next three years, every decision you make about your studies and training has an impact on all those people.
Today and every day, there are more than 1000 people relying on you. That means , that more than 175000 people are relying on those of you in this room. They are relying on you, they need you to step up and make a decision.
Today you commit to being an educator. More than 1000 people need you to be:
- Full of empathy and love; committed to nurturing them
- Driven to meet their needs
- Aware of your well being
- Full of knowledge about stuff
- Embracing change
- A master of your subject & discipline
- Delighted by your own learning
- A research informed professional
- Able to separate the business of learning from the ‘busyness’ of school
Today is the first day that you remind yourself that:
- It’s not about me
- It’s a classroom for them to learn in, not yours to teach in
- You have a DUTY of care
- They are somebody else’s children
- 1000 people’s dreams are in your hands
- It matters that you are good at maths;
- It matters that you are good at science;
- It matters that you know where the apostrophe goes.
- It matters that you ACT
- It matters that you deliver
Today matters – it matters to them – it has to matter to you.
In three years time, your family will be joining you to celebrate your graduation in the tent on the Hoe. You sit here today privileged by the sacrifices they have made to get you here. When you joined the University, you assumed responsibility for your destiny. You have to step up and ACT, there is no one to do it for you any more. Your families have done their bit. Now its your turn.
1) At university, the lectures and seminars are simply the launch pad. The real work happens in the library, where you have to teach yourself. Thats why they call it reading for a degree.
A Graduate = Self Teaching Agent of Change
2) Decisions aren’t easy, decisions are acts of will. Expect to have to force yourself to have to do things. “Don’t grow a wish bone where you should have a back bone”
This is Paul Thorne – who asked Roberto Duran why he became a boxer:
“I’d rather be a hammer than a nail”
Was the response