No one is 'just' a teacher

Recently while on extended overnight excursion I overheard a conversation between one of the other accompanying teachers and another adult with our group. “I’m just a classroom teacher” was the reply to a question. I was quick to rectify the ‘just’ part of that response.

It is disappointing that too many of us put ‘just’ in front of teacher.

Here is your challenge as we start a new term of learning, teaching, professional growth and challenges – listen to yourself as you describe your work. Do you minimalise yourself? Do you understate your profession and capabilities? Do you use that dreaded ‘just’ word? If so, how often? And if you do, I implore you, don’t.

We are educated, competent and highly skilled professionals educating and caring for children and young adults. In the most chaotic moments of being a teacher, in the most professionally rewarding moments, in the most personally challenging moments, I refuse to think of myself as ‘just’ as teacher.

I have invested in my professional life as a teacher and am proud that going to work is constructive and every day is a hope filled opportunity because of my students and my role in their future. No one is ‘just’ a teacher.

Bernadette Baker
Vice President Catholic Systemic School