World Teachers’ Day: Paying Homage to Teachers Around the World

If we could ask you to attribute the massive developments we see today to a single fact, what would you choose? The rapid progress in science and technology—coupled with the progress in other fields at the same pace, right? We got you. That is right. But have you imagined, who made it possible? The teachers. Teachers were the medium which transmitted these learnings from one generation to another, eventually bringing us to here. Aristotle was a teacher, and so was Socrates; Newton, the founder of classical physics was a teacher, and so was Einstein, the founder of modern physics; Jabir Ibn Hayyan, the father of early chemistry was a teacher, and so was Muhammad Al-Khwarizmi, the father of algebra. If we carefully skim through the human history, we can safely presume that every positive change-maker in history has been a tutor—though these roles were not strictly delineated back then like today.

Recognising the roles teachers have played—and continue to play—in shaping our collective history and individual lives, an event, the Intergovernmental Conference on the Status of Teachers was held on 5th October 1966. The world leaders, for the first time, sat together to deliberate upon how to universalise and “supplement [the] existing standards by provisions relating to problems of peculiar concern to teachers and to remedy the problems of teacher shortage.” The Recommendations of this conference “established benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers, according to UNESCO, and set standards for their training and continuing education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions.”

In 1994, to commemorate the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, 5th of October was designated as World Teachers’ Day, also known as International Teachers’ Day. This day also celebrates the adoption of the 1997 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel which sets forth the rights and responsibilities of teachers and researchers in higher education. Like every international day, WTD too celebrates an annual theme and the theme this year is “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future”.

The theme pays homage to educators all around the world, who, despite this deadly pandemic, managed to keep their pupils engaged in the process of learning. When schools closed without any prior warning, they tried, collectively and individually, to find solutions to bridge the gap between themselves and their students that was beginning to widen. They provided remote learning, founded groups and communities online and in some cases, uploaded their materials online for everyone to access. Where there was no connectivity, they prepared take-home packages to be delivered to students.

You can read more about the rationale behind the theme here.

 

How You Can Celebrate World Teachers’ Day?

Your celebration depends on who you are. Here are some ways to observe this day:

  • If you are a teacher, be proud of the role you play—imparting knowledge, moulding lives and shaping dreams. It’s a hard job with a lot of challenges. We, at Austin Macauley, thank you for your commitments and dedication towards this respectable profession. It is people like you who can ensure that every child is well-read and qualified for the 21st century’s fast-paced life.
  • If you are not a teacher, you must have been a student once in your life. Reach out to your teachers and thank them for the positive role they have played in your life. If you cannot visit them, send them a text, an e-mail or a letter. This way, they’ll feel valued with a reinvigorated passion to do more.
  • If you are a student or an administrator, arrange events at your school which would glorify the role teachers play in directing our destinies. Given that COVID-19 has disrupted our lives, thus if schools are closed, such events could be arranged virtually as well.
  • Use your influence on social media platforms and pay respect to the teachers around the world. Take to Twitter and post pictures of your favourite teachers, anecdotes related to this profession or some interesting incidents with the trending hashtags on 5th October.
  • Start a conversation. Irrespective of who you are, a parent, a student, or anyone else, initiate conversations about this profession at home, school or in your workplace. How they change our lives; and for this, how much underpaid and -valued they are; how you, as an individual, can make it better. Discussion on a certain topic usually leads to some interesting conclusions. This day is the perfect day to discuss teachers and their profession.
  • Read, Read, Read. One of the best ways to honour this day is to read more. Reading anything is learning something new every day—this is what teachers precisely do, teach us what we don’t know.

 

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Happy International Teachers’ Day!

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