World Teachers’ Day: Invest in the Future, Invest in Teachers

Sally Rushmore edits the New Teacher Advocate. She formerly taught secondary science and computer applications at a community college.

Picture of World Teachers Day poster 2014The fifth of October each year marks World Teachers’ Day. This day of recognition is devoted to appreciating, assessing, and improving the educators of the world. The theme for this year Day is “Invest in the Future, Invest in Teachers.” Teachers are an investment for the future of all countries. What today’s children will face in adult life cannot be predicted; therefore, the teachers of today and tomorrow need the skills, knowledge, and support that will enable them to meet the diverse learning needs of every girl and boy.

On October 5, 1994, the first World Teachers’ Day was held. This event has been organized on the same date each year since then. However, local events may be on some other date close to October 5, so that they do not fall during fall (northern hemisphere) or spring (southern hemisphere) school vacations. In 2002, Canada Post issued a postage stamp to commemorate World Teachers’ Day.

World Teachers’ Day is a global observance. In some areas posters are displayed and pupils and ex-pupils are encouraged to send e-cards or letters of appreciation to teachers who made a special or memorable contribution to their education. Trade unions or other professional organizations that represent teachers play an important role in organizing World Teachers’ Day events in many countries, including Australia, Canada, India, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

There are three purposes to World Teachers’ Day and you can be involved in all three:

  • Appreciate those who have taught you by sending a card, ecard, or email to thank them. Appreciate your teaching colleagues and mentors. Let them know! As teachers and future teachers ourselves, we can often pinpoint particular teachers who impacted our lives. Share your stories of on KDP Global.
  • Assess the effectiveness of teachers presently in the profession. The essentials for supporting teachers’ effectiveness are (a) good conditions of employment, including appropriate contracts and salaries, and prospects for career progression and promotion; (b) good conditions in the work environment, based on creating school contexts that are conducive to teaching; (c) high-quality pre-and in-service training for teachers, based on respect for human rights and the principles of inclusive education; and (d) effective management, including teacher recruitment and induction and mentoring. If one of these is missing where you are, work to upgrade the conditions.
  • Improve the quality of teaching in your local schools, in your state, and around the world. KDP members are the best teachers; you are needed. Consider teaching in an urban area. By 2018, more than half the world’s people will live in cities. Urban schools are in dire need of good teachers. Consider teaching in another country for a year, two years, or five years to help alleviate the shortages of teachers. Your students could become pen pals to students in a school in a different state, province, or country. Your class could do fund raisers to support a school in a third world country.

As teachers, we have invested our lives in teaching; we are investing our money and time in becoming better teachers. We feel that what we do every day (and evenings and weekends usually) is investing in the future through the students we teach.

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