On October 5, 2017 organizations around the globe will celebrate World Teachers’ Day. The 2017 celebration will mark the 23rd consecutive year the world has come together to recognize the vital contributions teachers make in societies across the world.
While many countries have established a national day recognizing teachers, October 5 exists as a worldwide celebration to commemorate the achievements of those dedicated to education on a global scale. This day recognizes not only teachers, but the support systems including NGOs, that allow education to unfold across the world.
UNESCO, or the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, came together in 1994 to honor the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers. Worldwide, teachers face a variety of obstacles; this document outlines “…teachers’ rights and responsibilities on a global scale.”
Each year, World Teachers’ Day follows a theme. This October, teachers and the institutes and organizations that support them will celebrate “Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers.”
Teachers around the world face a variety of obstacles in bringing education to their students. While some teachers face supply shortages, others face student inaccessibility issues relating to cultural norms or even geography.
This year, UNESCO will host an international conference in Paris, bringing stakeholders in education together. Government representatives, teachers from all levels from pre-primary through university, and non-profits will be in attendance.
Over 100 countries recognize and celebrate World Teachers’ Day. While UNESCO will hold an international conference, the goal of the day is two-fold: to create guidelines for teachers globally, and to raise awareness about the profession and its contributions to society.
More so than ever before, students are global citizens. Part of UNESCO’s mission is to provide a global context for teachers regardless of the continent where their students reside.
According to UNESCO’s website, “If you cannot participate in the event in Paris, there are plenty of events organized yearly around the world. Everyone can help by celebrating the profession, by generating awareness about teacher issues, by ensuring that teacher respect is part of the natural order of things. Take the opportunity of the day to discuss, compare, learn, argue, share, and improve.”
Whether you homeschool, attend private school, or attend public school, teachers affect your child’s life. On October 5, consider taking the time to honor World Teachers’ Day. Beyond simply acknowledging the educators in your children’s lives, consider the following:
· Write a personal note to the current teacher(s).
· Reach out to previous teachers with a note of thanks.
· Working with the PTA to honor teachers.
· Ask teachers how you can support them in their job.
· Contact the school board about an issue affecting education in your district.
· Voice any educational concerns to your local and state representatives.
· Research educational issues that affect your children.
· Participate in a crowdfunding project for a teacher in a high-needs school.
Is your community planning on celebrating World Teachers’ Day? If so, how? Share what your community is doing in the comments below.