Friday 5 Oct, 2012

Celebrate World Teacher’s Day!

Today is World Teacher’s Day! Every year on the first Friday of October, more than 100 countries celebrate the important role that teachers play in our local communities. Teachers help shape our future, and World Teacher’s Day is a great way to acknowledge their valuable contribution and say thanks for all their hard work and dedication.

World Teacher’s Day was established by UNESCO in 1994 to commemorate the 1966 joint signing of the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which is basically a charter of rights for teachers worldwide. The adoption of this recommendation shows that our society recognizes the importance of education and of having motivated and inspiring teachers.

Teachers are celebrated worldwide on this day, but how they are celebrated differs from country to country. Often, outstanding teachers are presented with awards. Australia has created the “My Favourite Teacher” program, for which students nominate teachers that have made a difference in their lives. In the United States, the “My Amazing Teacher” campaign honours public school teachers for their commitment and dedication to educating students. For this campaign, current and former students create videos about specific teachers that have changed their lives.

Here are a few more ways that other countries have celebrated World Teacher’s Day:

-In Helsinki, 20,000 apples were given away to pedestrians at the main railway stations.

-Namibia organizes a teacher appreciation song and poetry event each year.

-In Mexico, a teacher appreciation ceremony takes place at the Monument to the Teacher in Mexico City.

-Samoa holds a sports, music and dance competition each year to celebrate World Teacher’s Day.

Quebec initiated an essay competition where students aged 6-17 could write about a teacher that significantly influenced their life.

-The National Education Association in Washington, D.C. displayed their “Teacher Thank-You Project,” where thousands of thank you cards are displayed on a giant mural.

 In 2002, Canada Post issued a postage stamp to commemorate World Teacher’s Day.

If you want to show your teachers how much you value them and their hard work, here are a few things you can do:

-Work with parent or community groups to come up with creative ways to celebrate

-Write your teacher a thoughtful letter telling them how they have positively influenced you

-Promote World Teacher’s Day through social media, like Facebook and Twitter

-Organize a BBQ or small party at school

And stay tuned to EF’s Facebook and Twitter pages in the coming weeks for one more way to thank a special teacher!

The best gifts are those that are thoughtful, personalized, memorable, and unique. Make sure you let your teacher know how important they are. On World Teacher’s Day (and every day!), celebrate those teachers who go above and beyond to inspire you! 



To learn why students give teachers apples, check out An Apple a Day… or read about The Evolution of Teaching: A Timeline.


Flickr photo via Ano Lobb. @ healthyrx, seafaringwoman

Apple via