GOOD

5 Reasons Why You Should Thank a Teacher Today

Around the world, teachers have one thing in common—they’re vastly underappreciated. World Teachers’ Day can change that.

Today’s the day to thank the people who assigned the evens for math homework, made you memorize obscure verb conjugations, and (hopefully) inspired learning.

Sunday is the 20th anniversary of World Teachers’ Day, which UNESCO started in order to recognize the 1966 adoption of the ILO/UNESCO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers. Underscoring that high-quality education requires high-quality educators, the document outlined standards in preparation, working conditions, and overall responsibilities of teachers.

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On World Teachers' Day, Take a Stand for Educators

If you've never been in an educator's shoes, it's easy to dismiss how hard they work. Let's show them the respect they deserve.


On Monday I paid a visit to teacher Leslie Aaronson's classroom at Foshay Tech Academy in South Los Angeles. Some of Aaronson's students will be contributing to GOOD, detailing what it's like to be a high school student learning all-important technology skills, so she asked me to come give them some writing tips. I used to be a teacher so I'm no novice at interacting with kids. Still my time with Aaronson's students was my most nerve-wracking 20 minutes of the week. Maybe if more people had to spend some time in front of a classroom, the slogan of UNESCO's World Teachers' Day 2012 wouldn't have to be "Take a stand for teachers!"

According to UNESCO, the aim of the day is to raise awareness of the need "for teachers to receive supportive environments, adequate quality training as well as 'safeguards' for teachers' rights and responsibilities." After all, teachers are tasked with helping "students think critically, process information from several sources, work cooperatively, tackle problems, and make informed choices." Unfortunately, as we saw during last month's Chicago teachers strike, too often educators are painted as the problem in our schools, not as crucial players in developing childrens' capacity and building the society of the future.

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