Published on 20 May 2020
Final year student teachers from the University of Sunderland are submitting their final assessments and preparing for life in the classroom.
So, on National Thank a Teacher day – Wednesday, May 20 - schoolchildren, academics and educators pay tribute to those in the profession who continue to work tirelessly to support our young people.
Professor Lynne McKenna, Dean of the Faculty of Education and Society, said: “Teachers, leaders and school support staff across the UK have demonstrated exceptional professionalism during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The nation united in a new found respect and admiration for teachers, who very quickly opened schools to provide education and care for key workers, developed and extended the pedagogy of learning and teaching by moving their teaching online, and generally went above and beyond to support children and their communities.
“The stories of teachers delivering packed lunches to their pupils, making a weekly telephone call to children to check in with them and supporting individualised learning proliferated the news.
“Many of our teachers have also been home-schooling and caring for their own children while preparing, teaching and marking work during this time. Of course, none of this was surprising or viewed as out of the ordinary or exceptional by those of us involved with the profession.
“As an educator with over 34 years’ experience, I have always believed and very much championed and celebrated the high levels of professionalism amongst teachers.
“Teachers do an extraordinarily important job every single day, not just in the middle of a crisis and we celebrate and thank them all today on National Thank a Teacher Day.
“As our student teachers meet with their tutors this week to go through their Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) evidence reviews, I am confident that the standard of ‘Professionalism’ required will be achieved.
“We are extremely proud of our student teachers, many of whom are now turning their attention to their first teaching post. They will be entering into the profession at a time when teaching will look very different to previous years but will be never more important and hopefully viewed with increased appreciation.
“I thank them all for choosing to enter this wonderfully rewarding profession and wish each and every one of them every success in their future careers.”
Sir David Bell is the Vice chancellor and Chief Executive of the university.
He said: “Day in, day out, teachers do a magnificent job in educating the next generation.
“During this period of lockdown I’m sure that many parents have come to appreciate even more the great job that teachers do.
“We began Teacher Training here in 1908 and currently our Education courses are ranked 2nd in the UK. If you are a prospective teacher, come and join us at the University of Sunderland.”
John Howe is the Headteacher of Seaburn Dene Primary School in Sunderland and completed his teacher training programme at the University.
He said: “While the profession is perhaps currently getting more attention the normal, the fact is teachers have always known how important their role is.
“We have, are, and will continue to support the next generation whatever the circumstances might be.”
Several of Seaburn Dene’s pupils paid tribute to their teachers today. You can watch the video here.