There is no better day for showing gratitude to a teacher than on Teacher Appreciation Day. Falling on May 9th, Teacher Appreciation Day is a perfect opportunity for us, whether we’re parents or students, to acknowledge all the efforts that teachers make for us on a daily basis. Teachers act as our morning guardians and very often as role models who end up inspiring us for years to come. But what makes the teachers in Malta a special breed? This is what you should thank teachers in Malta for.

They Make Do With the Resources they Have

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Our teachers are stationery aficionados. They buy their own writing tools, come up with some pretty, informational resources, and are always carrying around thick, colourful files – all bought personally. Almost none of them enjoy the perk of air conditioned classes, their furniture in class or office most probably belongs in the other century, and they do not have fancy kitchens with refrigerators stocked up with anything they might need. Their staffrooms are a walk-in furnace in summer and a walk-in freezer in winter. And despite all this? They still manage to deliver amazing lessons.

They Come to School on Time no Matter how Bad the Traffic out there is

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Making use of the public transport system is not ingrained in our culture as much as it is in that of our European counterparts. Getting to work on time is a headache for most of us but whilst many can just make up for any lost time during the day, even by staying late at work, teachers simply cannot. They have morning assemblies to get to and 8am lessons to deliver. Going in late is not an option.

They Keep up with an Ever-Changing Landscape

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The educational sphere is broad and complex. A lot of educators, students and industries are at stake. Besides suggesting innovative measures, research, studies and experiments tend to push for change all the time. In a span of just ten years the college system was introduced, the co-ed is now fully functional and My Journey is set to kick off as from 2019. And on top of all this? Our teachers are doing an incredible job nonetheless. They have mastered two completely new systems and adapted their method of instruction in less than 8 years and are now willing to take on a third new system that is expected to introduce real vocational and practical subject areas at the secondary level in full force.

They Must Keep a Low Profile

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The teaching profession comes with a long list of ethical implications. In their free time teachers are not free to do whatever they like. They may, but their behaviour is regulated by social and ethical expectations. They must watch their drinking habits, the entertainment places and events they attend, and their association to controversial parties and clubs, especially political ones. The country is in an election mode, but apart from toning down their students’ political fervour, teachers  are to remain vigilant of their own discourse so as not to influence their students. They are constantly expected to steer away from controversial matters, and in a country as small as Malta, that’s a huge feat. But they manage!

They have to Resist the ‘Anything Goes’ Attitude

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At face value, teachers’ number one mission seems to be that of teaching a subject field, but in actual fact their contribution to the restoration of discipline is an essential one indeed. In a Mediterranean country typically known for its casual attitude of anything goes, restoring order by promoting the values of respect, authority and affection is instrumental. Class is the best setting for this.

They are the Reserved Next-Door Neighbour

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Malta is incredibly tiny and the chances of living right next to our teachers are high. But they are not your typical next-door neighbour. They are your neighbour-teacher, meaning that they must put up with the constant questions by your typical nanna or mother. Besides, having to pay attention to what they’re dressed in, or to who’s showing up in front of their house to avoid any rumours, doesn’t make their life any easier!

All together now…
Thank you Teachers!

© 2017 – VIDA Magazine – Clifford Jo Żahra