World Teachers’ Day: Celebrating and Supporting the Mentors of the Future
When attending high school, a teacher once told me “there is a bigger difference in the quality of education between neighbouring classrooms than between different schools”. Although undeniable disparities exist between schools in their access to resources and thus the quality of education, a gap MoMo Education is trying to reduce, it is true that a good (or bad) teacher makes an enormous difference. And today we celebrate all the amazing teachers making that difference!
UNESCO World Teachers’ Day, which has been celebrated on October 5th since 1994. The celebration “commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which 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” (World Teachers’ Day). Today is a day to celebrate and thank teachers all over the world who are graciously and admirably teaching the generations of the future. It is also a day to pay special attention to the support teachers need and the changes they wish to make in education to build a more sustainable, equitable and just world. So to celebrate our teachers, we will be taking a look into the potential changes in education which teachers would like to see.
Having their voices heard at the top
Teachers would like their opinions, concerns and suggestions heard by the politicians at the top who are responsible for education policy and change. They want a less hierarchical structural system in which their voices are heard and used when making policy changes. After all, who knows education better than the people out there doing the teaching? (Lynch, 2022)
More opportunities for leadership
It is common within the educational world that career advancement often entails going into administration and out of the classroom. Teachers want more opportunities to show and develop their leadership capabilities whilst remaining in the classroom (Lynch 2022).
Having more time to plan lessons
Teachers need time to really plan their lessons in detail. The more time they have to dedicate to lesson planning, the more engaging, thoughtful and interesting their lessons will be for students, facilitating their learning, understanding and curiosity surrounding the topic. Some teachers believe administrative tasks and paperwork are taking the time that could be used for lesson preparations and content creation (Lynch, 2022).
There are huge technological disparities between schools, both nationally and internationally, a gap which MoMo is working to close. As Rebecca Onumah from the University of Winneba, Central Region, Ghana states, “In this technology-driven world, you wish to use technology to aid in teaching, but you do not have it. The resources are not there. It can be frustrating” (Prah, 2022). Teachers want to be able to teach their students in ways fit for the 21stt century by providing technological resources and the immense benefits they bring for learning.
Regardless of where you work, we all have been students ourselves and continue learning every day. Today is a day to listen to the sentiments and desires of teachers and help them in their quest for improving education. Afterall, they are teaching the generation of our future. And to end this blogpost, we can all reflect on the words of Rebecca Onumah:
“I want to say that teachers, no matter the situation, should see themselves as agents of change in society. They should do the best they can to change the lives of students who will in turn change society—Africa and the world at large” (Prah, 2022).
Written by Emma Harty.
Lynch, M., 2022. What Teachers Would Change About Education – The Edvocate. [online] The Edvocate. Available at: <https://www.theedadvocate.org/what-teachers-would-change-about-education/> [Accessed 3 October 2022].
Prah, C., 2022. Teachers are agents of change. [online] Africa Renewal. Available at: <https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/september-2022/teachers-are-agents-change> [Accessed 3 October 2022].
Unesco.org. n.d. World Teachers’ Day. [online] Available at: <https://www.unesco.org/en/days/teachers> [Accessed 3 October 2022].