World Teachers’ Day 2012

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

Did you celebrate World Teachers’ Day on Friday, October 5?

If you missed this year’s celebration to honor the teaching profession worldwide, know this…many people believe that World Teachers’ Day is EVERYDAY!

Every week that I spend helping elementary school children develop language skills I make a point to also increase their awareness, interest and understanding of “our global community.”

“Class, let’s travel with our imaginations flying high to this country here!”

I show my flat (placemat – $1 US) world map, like you see in my blog pic here, and I say, “When the world is this size I can carry it with me wherever I go!”

I elaborate on this good fortune by telling each class that, “teachers and children most everywhere around the world gather together is some way – in different and similar ways – to learn and grow.”

I learned about World Teachers’ Day through my membership in the ACEI, Association of Childhood Education International. ACEI defines its mission this way: to promote and support in the global community the optimal education and development of children, from birth through early adolescence, and to influence the professional growth of educators and the efforts of others who are committed to the needs of children in a changing society. That’s a broad definition, but latitude has its benefits. Organizations and more specifically, people can take frameworks for service to children and make a lot of good things happen if they set their minds to it.

Irina Bokova did just that. A native of Bulgaria, Irina serves as the first female and first European to head UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. UNESCO, headquartered in New York City (US) headed up a number of special events for this year to recognize the international teaching profession and the essential role of teachers in providing quality education at all levels.

The 2012 World Teachers’ Day poster is shown in my blog pic below.

Take a stand for teachers! World Teachers’ Day 2012

The 2012 motto is “Take a Stand for Teachers,” as ACEI describes it, calling on all education stakeholders and community members to support teachers in the key role they play creating a brighter future for every child in every nation.

Special events coordinated by UNESCO underscore the fact that “teachers ultimately determine our collective ability to innovate, to invent, to find solutions for tomorrow. Nothing will ever replace a good teacher,” asserts  Irina, in her capacity as UNESCO’s director. “Nothing is more important than supporting them.”

Many teachers, in the US at least, have been reaching for additional support through training on how to implement the new Common Core Curriculum. As you may know, Common Core has been adopted now in 47 (US) states.

My work with the schools in the 2012 – 2013 school year to date more than hints at a pervasive sense on the part of many classroom teachers that they’d appreciate more training on how to integrate the arts, among other Common Core tasks now mandated.

How can we best help children reach their full potential?

Take a look at the teachers in my blog pic here.

Close your eyes and picture a group of teachers you work with meeting together recently. Couldn’t the teachers shown here be from almost any nation celebrating World Teachers’ Day?

That’s the point. No matter where you live and work, no matter what you call your curriculum…teaching children as they maturate from one grade to the next in ways that lead to their success, not failure, is our core job.

If you plan your teaching schedule way ahead, you might mark October 5 on your 2013 calendar now. World Teachers’ Day is held annually on this date, in part to commemorate the anniversary of the 1966 signature of the UNESCO/ILO (International Labor Organization) Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers.

Here’s a wonderful way to include students in celebrating education worldwide any time of year:

Introduce them if you can to Children from Australia to Zimbabwe. This book is a photographic journey around the world, written by Maya Ajmera & Anna Rhesa Versola with a foreword by Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children’s Defense Fund (US). It’s published by SHAKTI for Children (and printed in Mexico – there’s a lesson in itself). The book jacket notes that a portion of the proceeds from sales of this book will be donated to community-based educational projects for children around the world.

Edelman’s sensitive writing offers teachers seven themes that I think could be a great outline for lesson plans. In her words:

¤ All children play.

¤ All children need their families.

¤ All children share other basic needs.

¤ All children need and deserve a livable earth, breathable air, and drinkable water.

¤ All children need and deserve the nurturing and protection of communities and governments.

¤ All children can contribute to society.

¤ All children are a mighty force.

Lesson plan ideas? Wouldn’t your class have fun learning about the

All children love to play!

sports, other games and amusements that are popular in different countries.

I can tell you from research that soccer (futball) is super popular worldwide, but you already knew that!

Do a little research or, depending on grade level, assign each student to investigate playtime in a selected nation.

Gather summary writing, photos, illustrations, etc. and post the findings on a bulletin board titled: All Children Love to Play!

Post a world globe at the center of the board, like you see in my blog pic above; place the students’ work to form a ring around the globe.

NOTE: This is just one idea; options for lesson plans with Edelman’s themes are endless! They all tie-in with World Teachers’ Day 2012 – Take a stand for teachers!

My stand on teachers every day of the year is that we make magic happen with every student we teach!  As I tell my classes after they get good work done, Let’s give ourselves a big round of applause!

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting! Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet

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