Message from Archdeacon Hilary, 3 October 2023

Published: Tuesday October 3, 2023

Archdeacon Hilary“One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai

I come from a family of teachers. Both my parents and my oldest brother were teachers. It felt inevitable and right that I would follow in their footsteps and I taught across a number of schools over 17 years prior to ordination. I married a teacher, my parents-in-law were teachers and my daughter, sister-in-law, nephew and niece have all entered the profession. There is always plenty to talk about at family gatherings.

Like so many of us, I have been deeply influenced by those who have taught me over the years. From Mrs Andrews in Reception, who first opened my eyes to the joy of learning, to those whose wisdom and learning inspire me no, I know that my life has been shaped and changed through education. I am especially grateful for those teachers who, through their wisdom and gentleness, gave me confidence and drew from me ideas and thoughts I hardly knew were there. Teachers can have a transformative and lasting impact on individual lives and on our life together.

Thursday 5 October marks World Teachers’ Day. It commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. The Recommendation encapsulates both the rights and the responsibilities of teachers, together with standards for their training, continuing education, recruitment, employment, teaching and learning conditions.

World Teachers’ Day is, of course, an occasion for great celebration as well as an opportunity to pause and be thankful for all those whose vocation is to teach. But this year the day has a particular global focus – to reverse the teacher shortage worldwide. The celebrations will advocate for the dignity and value of the profession; encourage governments and communities to support their teachers and places of education; share the joys and rewards of teaching; and showcase the very best practice in inspiring, retaining and motivating teachers.

There are many ways that we can join in with these global celebrations here in the Diocese of Gloucester. You might like to pause and give thanks for a teacher who has influenced your life profoundly. You might want to encourage a family member or friend in whom you sense a vocation to teach. You might want to consider volunteering at your local school. You might be a voice and an advocate for education and for teachers. Above all, please pray: for children across the world who have no access to education; for all schools and places of learning in this Diocese of Gloucester; for young people who have begun a new phase of education in this academic year; for all those who have recently entered the teaching profession; and for the well-being and flourishing of teachers and educators everywhere.

The Venerable Hilary Dawson, Archdeacon of Gloucester.

3 thoughts on “Message from Archdeacon Hilary, 3 October 2023

  1. Thank you Archdeacon Hilary; I, too, come from parents who were, at some stage in their careers, teachers. My mother was a musician – my father became a lawyer. after he’d earned his pupilage via teaching. It was inevitable that I, too, became a teacher – in my case in universities. (I held the first chair in innovation studies in a British university.)
    As I focus on my evening prayers I ask myself ‘What have I learned today?’ (Im just about to begin reading Beatrice Smith’s The Beatitudes.)

  2. It would be good if, across the Diocese, Churches could have a Sunday when local School staff, Governors, parents, pupils gather to celebrate and commission them, in their various roles AND US to support them in prayer and active help. Showing appreciation of their worth is vital…

    Sermons could be based around Jesus, the Teacher, with a variety of activities for the different interests and ages, culminating in a commitment to serve another year,at the end!

  3. Thank you Hilary
    I am leading “worship “at a lovely little Primary School this afternoon and your story has inspired me! My “sketchboard talk” ( OAC style) will be THANK YOU LORD FOR MY TEACHER!

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