World Teachers’ Day has been celebrated annually on October 5 since 1994 all across the world to honour the many ways teachers positively impact the lives of their students. In an effort to make World Teachers’ Day 2017 extra special, St. James Collegiate Teacher Ms. Frolek reached out to a group of social justice students and asked them to participate in a lively student discussion.
On the morning of World Teachers’ Day, Ms. Frolek and approximately 20 students came together alongside a few special guests, including St. James Collegiate Principal Ms. Steffler, Manitoba Teachers’ Society Vice President Mr. Bedford and St. James-Assiniboia Teachers’ Association President Mr. McPherson, to share their ideas, opinions and experiences in an inviting space. Not a single student remained quiet as the discussion began to grow with enthusiasm and emotion. The students took turns expressing their thoughts on what makes a great teacher, what actions taken on behalf of teachers resonate with them the most, and lastly, they shared individual stories about a teacher who has greatly impacted their life. The students exchanged many laughs, head nods and smiles as they reflected on many teachers within their school and could all relate to the familiar teachers being celebrated and praised.
Grade 12 Student Council President Amalie H. said it was really interesting to hear at the event how different teachers have an effect on different students. The two teachers she named were not the same ones as many of her peers but this reflected their different interests, passions and personality traits. From physics teachers to gym teachers to Grade 5 homeroom teachers, every student had a different teacher they were excited to speak highly about. Upon leaving the student discussion, guided by Ms. Frolek, a number of students followed up with the teacher they named to deliver their kind words of appreciation in person.
The student discussion gained momentum as each student shared their story, which simultaneously supported the Manitoba Teachers’ Society theme for World Teachers’ Day 2017, “My Teacher, My Story.”
Great work to all of the students who participated in this event, and to Ms. Frolek for organizing the inspiring discussion. A huge congratulations to all of the teachers across our Division who work extremely hard to contribute as much as they do to the educational goals and lives of all their students.
Student Quotes from World Teachers’ Day Discussion“All biases go out the door when it’s just you and her talking, it’s only about you and nothing else, she just wants to make sure that you are okay and that you feel good.”
“He looks out for me and he is just that person that you can tell everything to and he gives his own perspective. He helps keep you in line and knows what is best for you when you really need it.”
“They help the students find their place in the school and provide them with a lot of opportunities that let them blossom and help students develop.”
"She’s not only the smartest person I think I know, but she kind of knew that I didn’t find physics interesting yet she showed me the beauty of physics and I really appreciate that.”