If there was ever a time in history where the nature of teaching was empathetically understood by the wider community – it’s now.
Remote schooling, due to COVID-19 lockdowns, has pulled the curtain away from the ‘babysitting’ myth that many attributed to the teaching profession. Parents and caregivers have truly started to see the spectrum of skills that teachers possess in order to nurture and challenge all the children that they encounter in the space of a school year. And like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, there is also a day for everyone to commemorate the incredible job all educators do in empowering their learners to be the best and brightest versions of themselves.
World Teachers Day is October 5th and this specific date marks the adoption of the 1966 International Literacy Organisation (ILO) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) “Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers’ which set the rights, responsibilities and standards for teacher preparation, recruitment and employment. It was first celebrated in 1994 around the world and has grown to represent a chance to acknowledge and show appreciation to any and all educators who play a pivotal role in the betterment of society.
So, what is the best gift anyone can give a teacher on such an important milestone each year? Is it the quintessential red apple? Or perhaps a cheeky bottle of red? The two most impactful gifts any individual can offer any teacher are time, and thanks.
As a parent, helping your child with their homework or study and providing them with feedback can save a teacher precious time in their checking phase. As a student, completing tasks in a timely manner or earlier also saves a teacher the effort in unnecessary chasing.
Resources like ‘Learning Management Systems” (LMS) where parents can monitor their children’s progress in digital tasks alongside online teaching resources like Education Perfect, which provides thousands of readily available lessons and auto-marking also help regain those precious hours that teachers need for developing richer lessons or task differentiation.
Giving sincere, genuine and pointed thanks is another invaluable gift for any teacher. In a card, on a piece of scrap paper and at the end of class (or parent teacher night) are all prime times to let them know what an amazing job they’re doing and how much you appreciate all the time and effort they’re putting in, because for the effort you see they are putting in 4x as much in the background.
This 2020 World Teachers Day joint statement captures the reality of teachers during these recent and challenging times:
“In this crisis, teachers have shown, as they have done so often, great leadership and innovation in ensuring that #LearningNeverStops, that no learner is left behind. Around the world, they have worked individually and collectively to find solutions and create new learning environments for their students to allow education to continue. Their role advising on school reopening plans and supporting students with the return to school is just as important.”
Audrey Azoulay (Director-General of UNESCO), Guy Ryder (Director-General of the International Labour Organization) Henrietta H. Fore (Executive Director, UNICEF), David Edwards (General Secretary, Education International)
It’s certainly a sentiment that still echoes loudly in 2021. So, in the spirit of #LearningNeverStops and for the continued promotion of such a vital profession let’s all say thank you teachers, for safe-guarding our curiosity and ensuring a true love of learning will continue to prevail in any and all circumstances our society faces.