World Teachers' Day, celebrated on Oct. 5, is a great opportunity to show teachers at Roswell schools how great you think they are. But, the day also takes on a deeper meaning, standing for the protection of teachers' rights.
Since its inception in 1994, World Teachers' Day has had a theme every year. The theme for 2012 is “Take a stand for teachers.”
This day was founded by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Its aim is to educate the public about the conditions of being a teacher around the world, focusing specifically on the protection of teachers' rights, and the proper training, development and status raising of teachers.
UNESCO’s partners in this effort are the International Labour Organization, the United Nations Development Programme, Education International and UNICEF.
Everyone has an educator who has changed his or her life with their kindness, humor or educational impact.
On World Teachers' Day, we can remember them by looking at issues and obstacles they may face, knowing that the brightest and most motivated teachers need to be continually attracted to a profession whose status continually needs improvement socially and monetarily.
Alpharetta Elementary School teacher Pamela Haight, the Fulton County School system's Overall Teacher of the Year for 2012-13, knows that she doesn’t have the quietest class on Alpharetta Elementary’s fifth grade hall, but it is a place where students are excited to be learning.
“As you’re walking down toward my class, you will probably hear us singing at the top of our lungs about adverbs, adjectives, or some other part of speech,” she wrote in her Teacher of the Year application essay. “Maybe you’ll see my fifth graders standing on chairs, acting out Hamlet, or dressed all in black with berets reciting original poetry. We are different, but we like it.”
Haight believes that students can be intrinsically motivated if learning can be made fun.
Milton High School's Shelby Steinhauer, the Fulton County School System's overall Teacher of the Year for 2011-12, has taught in Georgia, New York, Washington D.C, Nepal and India, and has lived in Europe, Asia and North America. She has worked with the Peace Corps and traveled the world, discovering that all children have the same desire despite their backgrounds – to learn and grow.
“Over the past two decades, I have yet to see a strategy or a training for increasing student learning that is more powerful than love for students and passion for teaching. It’s like magic, it’s foolproof, and the best part is, it’s available to everyone and it doesn’t cost a dime,” she said.
Tina Johnson was honored as Alpharetta High School's Teacher of the Year in 2011 for the work she almost singlehandedly did to improve graduation rates at the school, helping at risk students pass tests.
At risk students who hadn't passed math took her course in a program she created on her own, without board or school system staff participation. She didn't wait for the students to be in high school to recruit them into the program.
Seemingly taking World Teacher's Day to Heart, Amana Academy kindergarten teacher Azusa Callaway was awarded a Fulbright scholarship.
This prestigious program offers grants to study, teach and conduct research for U.S. citizens to go abroad and non-U.S. citizens to come to the United States. Ms. Callaway's scholarship will allow her to travel to Germany and study diversity in the German educational system.
More than 100 countries currently observe World Teachers' Day, with many corporate supporters such as Google recognizing the global impact and conditions of teachers.
How will you celebrate World Teachers' Day? Give your favorite teachers a shout out in the comments section below.