UNESCO proclaimed October 5th to be World Teacher’s Day.
It is an annual occasion for us to celebrate the teaching profession and to acknowledge those who have been making tireless efforts to help generations of learners realize their hopes and dreams through learning.
Indeed October 5th is a special day as it is also the day on which TeachPitch was founded two years ago.
5 key reasons why we should continue to celebrate World Teacher’s Day are:
Instructors, teachers, professors, tutors, learning coordinators are among the many people that have chosen the teaching profession to help others learn. Their daily work in kindergartens, primary schools, high schools and academic institutions all over the world is founded on great rigor, hard work, patience and dedication to ensure that their students can become the best they can be.
Despite there being so many teachers who are dedicated to the cause, we need more people to choose the teaching profession.UNESCO statistics show that we are over 25.8 million teachers short to provide every child with a primary education by 2030. Over the last decades we have been struggling with a worldwide shortage of teachers required to ensure that everyone can have a quality education. So there is still a lot of work to be done.
Many governments have designed incentive schemes to ensure that more people chose a career as an educator and intend to reward those that have already chosen for this profession.
World Teacher’s Day can have a positive effect on the growth of quality education and acknowledges both those who have chosen to teach as well as those who will decide to take on this crucial task.
Cliché as it may sound, we can learn a lot from each other through exchange. Teachers need more platforms to openly discuss their ideas with each other and to make sure that other educational stakeholders such as school boards, parents and government are aware of the issues they are struggling with.
Every 5 years the OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) conducts the Teaching and Learning International Survey. An overall conclusion from their last survey conducted in 2013 showed that generally teachers feel under-acknowledged in their profession. More platforms such as forums, debates, teacher organizations and technology should be developed and made available so that educators can genuinely speak their mind.
World Teacher’s Day is a good day to assess on a global scale what has been done thus far in creating such platforms and what other steps should be taken to ensure all educators can become the best they can be.
3. Teachers help us see things through
A personal lesson I learned from my teachers was to never give up.
Whether it was my Mathematics teacher in junior high school who told me I would never amount to anything, or my University professor who taught me that I could achieve great things if only I put my mind to it, they both inspired me to keep moving on.
I am certain that I am not the only one who has been inspired by a teacher in such a manner. Many among us have encountered teachers during the most formative periods in our lives and as a result, they have had a significant impact on our career and life choices.
Whether you wanted to prove the teacher you disliked ‘wrong’ or show the fruits of your hard labour to the one that always encouraged you, teachers have us made us see things through.
To me personally, World Teacher’s Day is an important day to continue the quest of TeachPitch to help educators learn more and teach better.
4. Teaching (and learning) never stops
Teaching and learning takes place in many forms. The rapid growth of the Internet and technology has given us a lot of digital instruments to ensure that teaching and learning continues long after we have left the traditional school building.
The ever growing availability of online learning material like video, audio, massive open online university courses and teacher’s lesson plans as well as the rise of newer learning formats such as online tutoring, GIF and code, has caused a true democratization of teaching and learning with the potential to provide access to high quality education for all.
World Teacher’s Day is a day to stop and look at how we can continue such a quest. The high availability of learning content is one but how can we use such content so it optimally serves the learner? How can we ensure technology can optimally assist educators all over the world to ensure that teaching (and learning) never stops?
It is a good question to ask ourselves when celebrating teachers from all over the world.
5. World Teacher’s Day should be a reminder that more needs to be done
World Teacher’s Day is a moment to look back and celebrate the many things we have achieved thus far but also a moment to look to the future.
As I write these words there are still over 59 million children in this world who are deprived of a basic primary education. Over the past years we have seen too many atrocious examples in countries like Nigeria and Pakistan whereby the basic right of education is blocked in the cruelest of manners.
Even though a lot is being done to raise awareness for these issues and for us to undertake action, it is simply not enough.
World Teacher’s Day should be a reminder that we should continue our fight to ensure that all can truly learn more and teach better.
It is with these five reasons in mind that I send out my heartfelt congratulations to teachers all over the world.
Happy World Teachers Day!