World Teachers’ Day, celebrated annually on October 5th, is a UNESCO International Day event. World Teachers’ Day is an opportunity to highlight the pivotal role teachers play in society, emphasizing their responsibilities, and acknowledging their contribution to the learning conditions of young people worldwide.
With a history dating back to 1966, when it was first celebrated, World Teachers’ Day was established to mark the anniversary of the adoption of the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. This recommendation outlines benchmarks for the teaching profession, encompassing issues like the qualifications and working conditions of teachers.
It also emphasizes the need for capacity building, lifelong learning, and empowering teachers to uphold human rights and ensure access to quality education, aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations.
Celebrated internationally, this day promotes teacher appreciation through seminars, social media campaigns, and various activities that underscore the transformative role of teachers in the education systems of countries around the world.
This year, UNESCO’s theme for 2023 is ‘the teachers we need for the education we want: The global imperative to reverse the teacher shortage.’
Needless to say, the world wouldn’t be as compassionate and wise without teachers. Here are a few stories of our teachers’ favorite teachers!
What Would the World Look Like Without Teachers?
Have you seen the “Be a Mr. Jensen” video? Fair warning: it’s a tear-jerker.
If you’ve ever felt like you’re different from all your peers in a classroom, you’re not alone.
In this video, Clint recounts a time as a child when his disruptive behavior got him in trouble at school. The problem was that Clint couldn’t sit still. As hard as he tried, he couldn’t stop tapping at his desk. Sometimes he wouldn’t even notice he was doing it. As a result, he got in trouble time and time again and was often sent to detention for being a distraction.
In one class, he started tapping at his desk. His teacher Mr. Jensen called out to him and told him to stay behind after class. Clint knew he was in big trouble. At the end of the class, Mr. Jensen sits in front of Clint and presents him with a pair of drumsticks. “You’re not a problem,” he says to Clint. “You’re a drummer.”
And he was right. Years later, Clint became a drummer for a band and would go on to tour the world, thanks to Mr. Jensen.
What would the world look like for Clint without Mr. Jensen?
Did you have a Mr. Jensen in your life?
We asked a group of soon-to-be teachers if there was a teacher in their lives who inspired them.
Not only was it a resounding yes, but each one was inspired to follow in their footsteps.
Their teachers inspired them to become teachers.
Today is World Teachers’ Day, and we want to thank all the teachers who made a difference in our lives.
Melissa Rae Green
She was open and honest with her students about the world. She encouraged debate and dialogue.
We were asked to explain our thinking constantly.
At that age, it was so unusual for a grown-up to ask you to challenge her and have that grown-up tell you your argument changed her mind about the topic.
I will carry that feeling with me into each classroom I lead.
Angela and I are still in contact and meet for coffee when I am home for visits and I tell her often how grateful I am to have had her!
“My 4th-grade teacher Mrs. Harbeseck impacted me the most. I hated school, didnʻt want to learn or do work.”
Mrs. Harbeseck did not give up on me.
Spending countless hours in class and after school to make sure I did not give up and I was not forgotten.
I know I made her frustrated and angry often, but one day my shoes were soaked from walking in the snow.
Mrs. Harbeseck with a smile and kind heart gave me her tennis shoes to wear the rest of the day.
Something about that small gesture adjusted my attitude from that day forward.
“I’ll always remember his British history class, not because I remember the content, but because I remember his passion for it.”
I’ve had many teachers who inspired me. These days I often find myself thinking of my high school teachers at Wayland Academy.
Coach Craig Hill, who taught me Chemistry and football. I’ll always remember he showed me the power of note-taking in helping me to pay attention.
Mr. Graham taught English. I can’t remember how many of my papers he assigned and had to give back to me because I just couldn’t write something without making a story out of it. His patience and guidance have always helped me.
Mr. Walters was my history teacher. I’ll always remember his British history class, not because I remember the content, but because I remember his passion for it.
My time at Wayland Academy saved me. And it is because of Wayland that I decided to teach high school.
I also remember my professors at The Evergreen State College: Dylan Fischer who taught me forestry, Alison Styring who taught me ornithology, and Bret Weinstein who taught me evolutionary biology. Their passion for the miracles in the natural world created my passion for the natural world. Which is why I teach science.
No teacher directly contributed to my decision to become a teacher, but I certainly would not be here without the love and support from my 1st-grade teacher Mrs. Barret.
I had dyslexia, was on an IEP, and her support helped me to be able to read.
I can pass that dedication on to my students now.
I have several Kumu (teachers) who have inspired me. My Hawai’ian language teachers at the high school and university levels were passionate about passing on their knowledge of the Hawai’ian language and culture to be preserved by the next generation of students.
Happy World Teachers’ Day
Without the wisdom and kindness of teachers, the world would stay the same. Nothing would change. Happy World Teachers’ Day to all the teachers who make the world a better place to live.