October 5 is World Teachers’ Day (WTD) – a UNESCO initiative that celebrates teachers around the world. Since 1994, WTD is held annually on October 5, to raise awareness and address the issues pertinent to teachers, whilst recognizing the contribution they make to education.
Obviously I am biased, having devoted 20 years of my professional career to teaching. Still, it is interesting that one of the most pivotal professions in our society, which impacts our young people, influences our leaders of tomorrow, and affects the way we live our life, rarely receives the respect or acknowledgement it deserves.
Teachers and school communities are a vital component to the healthy functioning of our society, yet people love to blame teachers for all that’s wrong with society, and teacher morale is in crisis.
October 5 is the day to appreciate teachers and the extraordinary job they do to teach, support and inspire your children. Why not raise a glass to the teachers that inspired you? If Eizabeth Russell is reading this, thank you for being my English teacher at Torquay Girls’ Grammar School!
Teachers are the most valuable resource in education. It’s time to appreciate their value in our society.
Today of all days, let’s acknowledge and celebrate their foundational influence in our lives.
It turns out that teachers in China have the highest levels of public respect, according to an international study comparing their status in 21 countries, based on surveys of 1,000 adults in each of the countries.
The study, which examined public attitudes to professional status, trust, pay and the desirability of teaching as a career,
confirmed the high status of teachers in China, where there is a strong cultural emphasis on the importance of education.
A large majority of adults in China believed that students would respect their teachers, unlike in most European countries where only a minority believed that students would show respect.
Here’s the list in order of theUse existing big tents to connect. Take a leadership role in those groups. countries with the highest respect for teachers:
- South Korea
- New Zealand
The Varkey GEMS Foundation Global Teacher Status reports that it surveyed 1000 representative adults in each of 21 countries. A major conclusion drawn by the Foundation, which is based in the United Kingdom, is that teaching is not held in high enough esteem.
“Unless teaching is valued culturally, then the incentive of better pay will not be enough,” the introduction notes. It continues to say that, “There are many fictional representations of heroic doctors saving lives on television — from Grey’s Anatomy to ER and House — but hardly any equivalent stories of teachers turning lives around.
Why is China number one? The study reports that countries where Mandarin Chinese is spoken are often strongly influenced by Confucian ideals. Part of the Confucian tradition is a deep respect for teachers.
Lǎoshī is the Mandarin word for “teacher.” It has two characters: 老師 and the first character lǎo 老 is a prefix which means “old.” The second character shī 師 means “teacher,” so the literal translation of lǎoshī is “old teacher.”
Lǎoshī is used as a title. You can address your teacher as “lǎoshī” or you can use lǎoshī in combination with a family name when referring to a teacher.
On October 5, let’s applaud teachers everywhere.
Photo Credit: Thinkstock