Prime Minister Trudeau attends the 2018 Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence
It’s such a pleasure to be here today for the Prime Minister’s Awards. Every day you teach Canada’s kids how to succeed in the classroom, but more important than that you get to teach the next generation how to be kind and compassionate, how to disagree without disrespect, and how to dream big for the benefit of a better world. Now, this job, while incredibly meaningful, isn’t without its share of difficulties. It’s tough, it’s exhausting, and every single one of us takes our work home, both literally and figuratively, more often than not. But I know that us teachers wouldn’t have it any other way. The amount of time I spent in a break room where I’m supposed to be relaxing with my fellow staff, and we spend the entire time talking about the kids, the amount of time on a Friday evening we gather with some colleagues and spend the entire evening talking about our kids; being a teacher is very much a calling, it is something, not that we do, but that we are, and our passion for this helps shape the world that we do… the world that we serve, and the kids that we teach.
And those of you in this room are truly examples of extraordinary teachers. And when you’re teachers, you’re teachers for life. Look at me as proof of that; I will always be proud to say that I am still and always a teacher, first and foremost. For all of us, it’s not just a passion, it’s a calling, and it’s one of the most noble professions there is.
And I always looked at teaching as a collaborative experience, a two-way street. I learned just as much from my kids as they learned from me some days. And for those of you who shun the sage on the stage approach and instead look to that guide on the side, well you know exactly what I’m talking about. The constant push-and-pull dynamic between teacher and student, the challenge, the dialogue, and the inevitable breakthrough.… I’d love to think that it’s inevitable, but it’s not always inevitable as we know. But that breakthrough, when it comes, man is it ever worth it.
Decades after leaving school, these kids still remember the teachers who shaped them into who they are today. I know that all of this year’s recipients of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence will forever hold a special place in the hearts of their students. So I’d like to thank you for your dedication to our students, and for going above and beyond, because you understood the tremendous impact that you would have on them. You change lives every day, and you contribute to strengthening our communities and our country. So keep up the outstanding work. Thank you all for being here, but above all, thank you for doing what you do every day for our country.