Recognizing teachers in America has always had a humorous, sometimes disrespectful, edge to the idea. In literature, characters such as Ichabod Crane have portrayed them as silly characters.
It was always a rather snide joke that to recognize teachers would be to bring bright red apples as gifts, and to become “teacher’s pet”. In books and dramas, bringing apples to teachers was rarely voluntary for many students, who’d prefer to show their appreciation by tossing spitballs and secretly putting tacks on teachers’ chairs.
However, parents in America and everywhere else, recognize the vital contributions teachers make to building future citizens. After many years of petitioning, at the urging of parent groups and educational organizations from many countries, in 1966, the United Nations officially declared an annual date of October 5th as World Teachers’ Day.
The program is under the auspices of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization and International Labor Office (UNESCO-ILO). The annual event is meant to do more than merely recognize the contributions teachers make to students and their communities.
The day is also intended to encourage advances in teaching techniques, urge parents to participate in improving all aspects of education. The emphasis in this year’s World Teachers’ Day is to examine the increasingly complex changes that electronics and digital communications have made in recent years, and suggest how to apply them effectively now and as changes continue to evolve.
Motivating teachers, students, parents and community leaders to work together to improve education can be a vital way to improve the present and prepare for the future.