Teachers Make a Difference

October 5, 2017 - 10 minutes read

Today is World Teachers’ Day. In 1994, October 5th was proclaimed World Teachers’ Day, a day to recognize and honour teachers for the contributions they make in classrooms every day. On this day we have an opportunity to express our gratitude and say thanks for the tremendous difference teachers are making in the lives of students.

That ‘difference’ may vary markedly from learner to learner. To ensure students experience success and thrive at school, our teachers are sensitive to individual needs and provide the necessary support. Producing knowledgeable students who are critical thinkers and problem-solvers remains important, yet children’s social-emotional development and well-being must also be our priority. In an unpredictable, rapidly changing world, teachers recognize that their role in the development of resilient, adaptable, compassionate and caring citizens is key.

Our staff introductory board located in our main hallway is a wonderful tradition at West Bay. I often see students, parents and visitors hovering in that area, gleaning insight into ‘who we are’ as educators. Our display this year, organized by Vice-Principal Laine Anderson, centres around a powerful word that holds particular significance for each teacher. In addition to the teacher’s special word, an “I will” statement is included.

We have a special group of teachers whose powerful words and statements of commitment are indicative of the caring culture at West Bay.

Ms. Anderson (Kindness)

I will do my best to spread kindness like confetti. I will treat others the way I wish to be treated because kindness inspires kindness. Together we can start a kindness movement!

Mrs. Babul (Tolerance)

I will be tolerant and accepting of others and unexpected challenges life throws at me. I hope to inspire my students to be tolerant citizens of the world who can work with everybody and face challenges with grace and acceptance.

Ms. Bailey (Self-Confidence)    

I will instill self-confidence within my students to help them see that they are kind, they are smart, they are important, and that they are powerful beyond measure.

Mrs. Campa (Lifelong Learner) 

I will continue to model having a growth mindset for my students to be a better teacher and learner along with my students.

Ms. Charlton (Courageous)        

I will encourage my students to be courageous and try new things. Life is full of wonderful new experiences when we have the courage to try.

Ms. Curling (Empathy) 

I will celebrate a new day with a smile on my face and feel excited that each day is a new adventure.

Mr. Darling (Risk-Taker)

I will promote the idea of failing and failing big! There has been the darkest cloud around the word ‘failure’ and because of this, the idea of shame is always connected within. We need to look at our mistakes as small or huge achievements towards what didn’t work and then thanking the situation for showing us the correct way.

Mme deLaplante (Perseverance)

I will never give up. I will work hard, always do my best, and come to school every day ready to lead and to learn. I will ask my students to do the same.

Ms. DeLazzer (Adventure)          

I will encourage my students to take risks and embrace the adventure, to relish in the journey.

Ms. Greenman (Diversity)

I will celebrate the ways that each member of our school community is unique. I will model for my students that when we listen to people who are different from us, we can learn to see the world in new ways.

Mrs. Griffin (Respect)

I will continue to foster an environment of respect, acceptance and thoughtful behaviour in our classroom and beyond.

Mrs. Hicks (Joy)

I will continue to find (and encourage others to find) joy in all I do with teachers and students. There is joy to be found in all experiences; we just have to look for it.

Mrs. Huggett (Passion)

I will encourage students to follow their passions and do what excites them. I will provide opportunities for students to explore and discover new passions and to share their passions with others.

Mrs. Hunt (Resilience and Courage)

I will try new things even when they are hard and I will be there to support students as they embark on new learning challenges.

Mrs. Kelpin (Compassion)

I will always guide my teaching with compassion. Every student brings a unique gift to the classroom community, a gift that should be celebrated and honoured.

Ms. Mazur (Leadership)

I will do my best to take initiative and be a leader at school, at home, amongst my friends and in my community in hopes that I might inspire positive changes wherever I go!

Mrs. McGrath (Gratitude)

I will continue to practise gratitude and be thankful for things that I already have, while pursuing my dreams and goals for the future. Life is a journey not a destination and I encourage everyone to be present while experiencing it.

Mrs. Millhouse (Dream)

I will follow my dreams, pursue my passions and always believe in the power and beauty they hold. I will continue to dream and dream often while encouraging others to dream big and recognize their own inner beauty. I will help my students believe that their dreams can come true.

Ms. Mueller (Empathy)

I will be aware of and sensitive to the experiences, feelings, and thoughts, of others. I will model this important skill to my students so that they may learn to develop meaningful and lasting relationships.

Mrs. Oancea (Goals and Perseverance)

I will encourage my students never to give up on their dreams and goals, but persevere in achieving them. They should know that positive intense wishes can come true as long as the intent never stops.

Mrs. Paterson (Authenticity)

I will be transparent in my work with students, families, colleagues and the world.  I will nurture “real-life” projects at school that foster care, hope, connection, and wise judgment so we can feel connected to our home and to the world.

Mrs. J. Ross (Caring)

I will do my best to make sure every child feels cared for. I will make time to listen, laugh and learn with my class. Together we will build a caring classroom community for all!

Miss M. Ross (Kindness)             

I will practice kindness and promote its value to my students and others that I meet. I will encourage my students to practise kindness & empathy and to find ways to spread kindness in their lives and in the world.

Mrs. Scheske (Wonder)

I will do my best to inspire, and to continuously be inspired by new ideas, thoughts and challenges. I will strive to create a community that encourages wonder and promotes opportunities to explore our own modes of learning, and own way of being.

Ms. Standfield (Laughter)

I will encourage students to find humour through the day and to laugh often.  Laughter connects people together, and makes them feel happy. Happy kids are kids who love coming to school and are ready to learn!

Ms. Ullman (Creativity)

I will give my students the time and space needed to practise creativity. This means getting messy, making mistakes, and having fun!

Mrs. Walker (Explore)

I will encourage my students to take risks and embrace the adventure, to relish in the journey.

Mr. Zaleski (Tranquility)

I will share a sense of calm as we journey through the school year together. Everything will be ok.

The West Bay team consists of teachers who understand the importance of developing positive relationships and creating safe, caring cultures within their classrooms. I am grateful to work alongside such dedicated, passionate educators who always ensure they find ways to access both their learners’ minds and hearts. Happy World Teachers’ Day to teachers at West Bay, in West Vancouver Schools, and around the world. Thank you for educating the whole child. You make a difference.