Celebrating World Teachers’ Day

If you ask a teacher why he or she chose a career in education, chances are that the answer will be to make a positive and lasting impact on the lives of students.

While those of us in education share in this desire and have witnessed the difference a teacher can make in the lives of their students, a 2016 study by the United Nations revealed just how critical the role of teachers is in making the world a better place. In monitoring the progress toward achieving the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals—goals that aim to realize a world with no hunger, no poverty, gender equity, peace, and more—it was determined that without achieving the goal of quality learning for all and lifelong learning, none of the other 16 goals will ever be realized.

World Teachers’ Day is October 5, a day to recognize and celebrate the committed educators around the globe who help youth and adults to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to live a happy and productive life.

Celebrated since 1994, it has become an occasion to empower educators, to assess the state of the teaching profession around the globe, and to consider ways to address the remaining challenges, especially the acute shortage of teachers. According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, if we are to achieve universal primary and secondary education by 2030, the world needs 69 million new teachers.

In today’s world, teachers are more important than ever before.

While we add our voice in acknowledgment of teachers on World Teachers’ Day, in the KDP community, we celebrate teachers every single day.

KDP strives to continually support its educators through professional development opportunities, networking, online resources, publications, and financial assistance. Just as we understand our students need differentiated instruction, professional development and resources also need to be tailored to differing needs of our educators; so resources, such as our monthly newsletters, vary by professional position. Whether you are a preservice teacher, a teacher preparation faculty member, or practicing professional, we strive to meet you where you are. We are united by a shared commitment to excellence in education and to one another’s professional growth.

As the world celebrates teachers on October 5, we know one day of recognition isn’t sufficient given the critical role of teachers in society.

So, KDP celebrates teachers each and every day. We applaud you, thank you, and cheer you on because you are indeed making the world a better place.

Faye Snodgress is the Executive Director of Kappa Delta Pi.

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.