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World Teachers’ Day: “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future”

Megan Testen, Fellow at GCE-US, 
World Teachers’ Day: “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future”

Held annually on October 5th since 1994, World Teachers’ Day commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. This Recommendation sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions.

This year, World Teachers’ Day is honoring teachers with the theme, “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future.” The day honors and celebrates the teaching profession worldwide, takes stock of achievements, and draws attention to the voices of teachers, who are at the heart of efforts to attain the global education target of leaving no one behind. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers have become even more vital. Teachers have continuously shown their passion for supporting children in all aspects of their education, while adapting to distanced learning and classroom COVID-19 guidelines.

On World Teachers’ Day, the international community is taking virtual action to acknowledge the remarkable leadership role provided by teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Teachers have been at the forefront of the response, creating creative and innovative solutions to create an engaging learning environment for students. Teachers need to be continuously supported, especially in times of uncertainty. According to UNESCO, the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting school closures have directly affected over 1.5 billion students at all levels and 63 million primary and secondary teachers. In their statement of the occasion of World Teachers’ Day, the Global Campaign for Education urged all state parties to:

  • Include teachers and their representative organizations in decision making structures at all levels, including on the design of emergency teaching and learning during school closures as well as arrangements for reopening schools safely.
  • Ensure the health and safety of the education workforce as well as dedicated support for mental health and wellbeing amidst the pandemic.
  • Ensure that teachers are trained as well as qualified and supported in the profession, including through continuous professional development.
  • Ensure the professional autonomy of teachers and trust their professionalism and pedagogical practice.
  • Maintain salaries and decent working conditions throughout and beyond the health crisis.
  • Develop strong regulatory oversight over private education institutions to fully guarantee teachers’ rights and conditions.

Until all students can return to the classroom, teachers voices must be heard to foster learning environments that are inclusive and supportive to all children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please join us in thanking teachers and:

1.     Donate in honor of teachers

2.     Comment below or email us at to share your story about the power of teachers

3.     Give a shout out to teachers on social media with GCE-US

We want to hear from you:

  • Who are your favorite teachers? What would you like to say to thank teachers?
  • How have teachers impacted you? What would you like to share with advocates and policymakers about the power of teachers?
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