Saturday (5th Oct) is World Teachers’ Day, also known as International Teacher Day. Established in 1994, it celebrates the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, to “acknowledge, evaluate and enhance the instructors of the world” and to “consider the issues identified with educators and the teaching process in general”.
Over 100 countries commemorate World Teacher Day.
Education – the seed of change and transformation
In addition to improving quality of life, access to inclusive education can equip us with the tools required to develop innovative solutions to the world’s greatest problems. Obtaining a quality education is also the foundation to creating sustainable development. Education is at the heart of efforts both to adapt to change and to transform the world within which we live. Yet we need open debate and dialogue across the board to ensure that we invest in and re-vision education that is fit for purpose in today’s VUCA world.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela, 2003
Reflections and gratitude
This day, I hope will allow for some reflection on for why many of us enter the profession, and some space for an acknowledgement of the impact someone has had on our own learning journeys, possibly even a life!
For me, it’s was more than a personal love of learning and a thirst for knowledge drawing me into a profession that would afford for this. Fundamentally I believe in the transformative power of an effective ‘teacher’ or ‘mentor’, drawn from a variety of contexts, not just formal education. Typically, experienced or just plain wise, educators are almost all infected with a passion for a subject or topic and have a genuine interest in people and their growth.
With a grand life plan in mind, I saw a career in education as a means to facilitate ‘change’, maybe not that stormy, loud, high profile change that many of my fellow LSE alumni were destined for, but one in which I would seep inside hearts and minds, and trigger soft, incremental positive change, and shift thinking from the ground upwards.
Reflecting too on my own varied learning journeys to date, I have been particularly moved by those who inspired or have illuminated paths that have helped me think more deeply or critically, pursue an idea to its depths, take on challenges, and to take time to reflect and grow.
Thank you to Dr. David Griffiths, Dr. Antje Cockrill, Dr. Alex Bell, Dr. Louise Emanuel, Dr. Annie Fillery-Travis and Glenn Behenna, for my own recent stretch and challenge which has continued to develop my thinking. In lieu of on trawling back overtime to all those who have had a positive influence in my life, from the day I walked through the nursery doors, I simply say ‘Thank you‘ and ‘Happy World Teacher’s Day… to you all.‘
But not forgotten are all those who teach and support us, parents, friends, families, colleagues and other learners.
This is the value of the teacher, who looks at a face and says there’s something behind that and I want to reach that person, I want to influence that person, I want to encourage that person, I want to enrich, I want to call out that person who is behind that face, behind that color, behind that language, behind that tradition, behind that culture. I believe you can do it. I know what was done for me. – Maya Angelou