“Education is not about teaching pupils what to think, but how to think.”
—Shayna Lewis, writing about World Teachers’ Day 2018 for The Canadian Teacher’s Federation
First celebrated on October 5th 1994, World Teachers’ Day commemorates the signing of the Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Labour Organization.
In an effort to produce global citizens, this day is celebrated in over 100 countries in the world.
For 2019, UNESCO has selected the theme "Young Teachers: the future of the Profession.” You might invite students to imagine their future career choices and discuss what they would find appealing about teaching.
Note that in 2019, October 5th falls on a Saturday, so you may wish to try the activities earlier in the week.
A colourful World Teacher’s Day 2019 poster can be downloaded or printed from the Canadian Teacher’s Federation website at: https://www.ctf-fce.ca/en/Pages/Events/WTD-2019.aspx
Gather students and ask:
Explain that teachers help them to learn to read and sing and draw and figure out how to solve problems and so much more. Tell them that today is a day to celebrate teachers and all they do to help them to learn more about themselves, their neighbourhood, and about the whole wide world!
Provide all the necessary art supplies (e.g., brushes, papers, paint) and invite students to paint a picture of a teacher. Post the paintings in the lobby of the school with the title “Thank you, Teachers.”
Explain that today is World Teachers’ Day. Ask students why they think that this day was created and is celebrated all over the world? Discuss.
Form small groups and provide each group with chart paper and markers. Ask students to print the word “Teacher” in the centre. Around it, have them brainstorm all the words and images that come to mind when they think of teachers. Remind students about brainstorming rules (e.g., appropriate answers are accepted, everyone participates). After the brainstorm, ask groups to share their posters.
Remind students that teachers have decided to go to school for many years to learn how to teach kids important things that will help them to be the best they can be. They work very hard to keep students safe, appreciated, and excited about learning.
Display the following open-ended statement on a chart or whiteboard and ask students to think about how they would complete the sentence: “The thing I like most about teachers is…” Share answers.
Close by suggesting that when they see teachers in the halls today, they stop, shake their hand, and say “thank you for being a teacher!”
Explain that today is World Teachers’ Day and share the information in the Introduction. Ask students why they think UNESCO has chosen to celebrate teachers. Share responses.
Explain that you are going to ask them to do a little thinking and participate in an exercise about teachers. Tell them that they do not have to share their answers if they don’t want to, but that you want them to really think about the questions and be honest with their responses. Provide each student with a piece of paper and ask them to fold it in fourths. Ask them to complete each square of the paper as follows:
Ask volunteers to share their responses.
Close by asking:
Invite students to say thank you to teachers today!