Celebrating Teachers Worldwide – 2013

A jar full of highlighters is a perfect way to say that teachers are highlights of our lives!

A jar full of highlighters is a perfect way to say that a favorite teacher is a highlight of our lives!

Get ready to celebrate! Mid-Week Focus this week features World Teachers’ Day – 2013!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR – Place a star on October 5, and make plans to pat yourself on the back if you serve children in an educational setting. Add a congratulatory gesture to recognize another teacher who has been a highlight of your life.

The concept of the impact teachers make by highlighting lives is graphically depicted in a design by Lindi Haws. Lindi is the founder of Love The Day Graphic Designs.

World Teachers’ Day is a day to love. It’s an opportunity for teachers, students, and parents around the world to gather together in some way – different and similar ways – to recognize the important role that teachers play in helping children learn and grow.

I first learned about World Teachers’ Day through my membership in the ACEIAssociation of Childhood Education International. ACEI defines its mission this way: to promote and support in the global community the optimal education and development of children, from birth through early adolescence, and to influence the professional growth of educators and the efforts of others who are committed to the needs of children in a changing society.

That’s a broad definition, but latitude has its benefits. Organizations, and more specifically people, can take frameworks for service to children and make a lot of good things happen if they set their minds to it.

Irina Bokova did just that. A native of Bulgaria, Irina serves as the first female and first European to head UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural OrganizationUNESCO, headquartered in New York City (US) heads up a number of special events for World Teachers’ Day each year to recognize the international teaching profession and the essential role of teachers in providing quality education at all levels.

World Teachers’ Day annually commemorates, in part, the anniversary of the 1966 signature of the UNESCO/ILO (International Labor Organization) Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers.

Special events coordinated each year by UNESCO underscore the fact that “teachers ultimately determine our collective ability to innovate, to invent, to find solutions for tomorrow. Nothing will ever replace a good teacher,” asserts  Irina, in her capacity as UNESCO’s director. “Nothing is more important than supporting them.”

Close your eyes and picture a group of teachers you work with meeting together recently…
Couldn’t the teachers shown here be from almost any nation celebrating World Teachers’ Day?

Teachers meeting to review new curricula, part of a global community of educators to celebrate on October 5.

Teachers meeting to review new curricula, part of a global community of educators to celebrate on October 5.

That’s the point. No matter where you live and work, no matter what you call your curriculum…teaching children as they maturate from one grade to the next in ways that lead to their success, not failure, is our core job.

CELEBRATE EDUCATION WORLDWIDE – Here’s a wonderful way to include students in celebrating education worldwide just ahead or after October 5, and any time of year:

Introduce them if you can to Children from Australia to Zimbabwe. This book is a photographic journey around the world, written by Maya Ajmera & Anna Rhesa Versola with a foreword by Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children’s Defense Fund (US). It’s published by SHAKTI for Children (and printed in Mexico – there’s a lesson in itself). The book jacket notes that a portion of the proceeds from sales of this book will be donated to community-based educational projects for children around the world.

Edelman’s sensitive writing offers teachers seven themes that I think could be a great outline for lesson plans. In her words:

¤ All children play.

¤ All children need their families.

¤ All children share other basic needs.

¤ All children need and deserve a livable earth, breathable air, and drinkable water.

¤ All children need and deserve the nurturing and protection of communities and governments.

¤ All children can contribute to society.

¤ All children are a mighty force.

A teacher points to a bulletin board that features children around the playing sports and other games.

A teacher points to a bulletin board that features children around the playing sports and other games.

A SPORTY LESSON with A GLOBAL CONNECTION – Wouldn’t your class have fun learning about the sports, other games, and amusements that are popular in different countries?

  • Do a little research or, depending on grade level, assign each student to investigate sports and playtime activities in a selected nation.
  • Gather summary writing, photos, illustrations, etc. and post the findings on a bulletin board titled: All Children Love to Play!
  • Post a world globe at the center of the board and place the students’ work to form a ring around the globe.

SCULPTURED TRIBUTES TO AMERICAN TEACHERS – One of the ways that teachers in the US are celebrated and remembered is in the form of outdoor sculptures around the nation and at elementary and high schools.

According to an article of Nicole Semenchuk, published in the Smithsonian American Art Museum‘s Fall, 2003 Update, an inventory of American sculpture revealed over 220 outdoor sculptures of teachers standing tall in states from Vermont to California.

A memorial to Mary McLeod Bethune (1875 – 1955), a leading black educator and founder of the National Council of Negro Women,  is one example. Erected in Washington, D.C., her statue stands with a child approaching the respected teacher.

Christa McAuliffe, the teacher who died in the Challenger space shuttle disaster in 1986, is remembered in a sculptured portrait bust in her hometown of Charleston, West Virginia.

SURPRISING & INSPIRING EDUCATORS – Teachers and children in schools today enjoy the scientific and artistic labors of world-famous people who aren’t known best as teachers but began their careers in education. Who?

Research found Pandit Ravi Shankar, for one. Did you know that Ravi Shankar, well-known musician from India who died recently, was a refined music teacher before he was a popular performer? How about the English musician Sting, a star solo performer and mainstay with the band, The Police? Sting taught English, music and soccer at St. Catherine’s Convent School in London before he took the stage. Alexander Graham Bell, the world-famous American telephone pioneer started teaching before he invented the telephone. Bell taught at the Visible Speech in the Boston, MA School for Deaf Mutes. Another American, beloved poet, Robert Frost, worked as a teacher at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire.

As we celebrate educators on World Teachers’ Day, 2013, let us continue to be mindful of the important foundations for futures that all teachers build. That’s a legacy worth preserving. Have a wonderful October 5!

How do you celebrate World Teachers’ Day? Please send comments and take a moment to subscribe to this resource.

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet






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Posted in Mid-Week Focus
Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
Quick tips for common classroom conundrums: K-5
Situation: Young students are getting noisy while you’re trying to teach.

Solution: Hold up "Listen Star," a toy magic wand that you’ve designated to be a cue for quiet. Tell the class, "When you see our friend, 'Listen Star' dance across the classroom sky, that’s your signal to HUSH for a moment."

Related Posts: Let "Listen Star" Work Magic for You