Over 50 years ago, in 1966, UNESCO made a Recommendation concerning the status of Teachers. In it, the international organisation recognised that "advance in education depends largely on the qualifications and ability of the teaching staff in general and on the human, pedagogical and technical qualities of the individual teachers." In other words, quality education is reliant on quality educators. The document goes on to set out the rights and responsibilities of teachers, as well as the international standards for their initial training and continued professional development, recruitment, employment, and the conditions in which teaching and learning should take place in their classrooms. Sadly, fifty years down the track, there are very few countries who can say that they have achieved these objectives, Australia among them. The inability to invest in our educators has a profound impact on a range of levels, for the students, educators, RTOs and our sector as a whole.
Being authentic to our purpose; As a sector our purpose is to provide education and a requirement of that is that we sell education (profit/not for profit, private and public alike). We help students and employers understand the benefits of education, not just the development of skills and knowledge but increased engagement, opportunities and confidence. When we fail to see the benefits of that for ourselves and our own staff, we are being inauthentic to our purpose and that comes across to our students and clients alike. As Simon Sinek puts it, people don't buy what you do, they buy what you believe. When we do practice what we preach, that authenticity flows through in everything we say and do. If we are going to build back the reputation of the sector, we need to build trust with students and clients and that requires being authentic to our purpose. We need to lead by example.
For all the reasons that we promote education to employers; Just like I don't have to explain the benefits of renewable energy to Elon Musk, RTOs know the benefit of professional development and education. Employee engagement, building loyalty, building staff capacity, increased retention and general staff happiness, yes, the investment in staff always pays off tenfold.
Because quality training is built on quality educators; You can have the best materials, great facilities, but if your trainer can't engage your students or assess, then your reputation and product can disappear overnight. The trainer is the face of the school for a student, and a great trainer even without the best resources can make a course a life changing experience. When you look back on your own experiences, at your own favourite moments in your education, I bet it comes back to people and moments, not facilities and materials. It was those teachers, trainers and educators that challenged you, supported you and pushed you to be a better version of yourself.
The most important reason; It's not what you think, yes PD is built into the standards and you are required to do this and that, but really, that shouldn't be the motivator, because it's a poor one. If there was one reason that education providers should invest in educators, it's this; it's the why that binds us, we are all educators, our purpose is to use education and training as a tool to develop and grow, ourselves and others, to embody the lifelong learner and to spark that same passion in others.
If you are looking to invest in and develop your educators but are not sure how, start today by checking us out at www.understandtae.com/pages/tds