Held annually on October 5, World Teachers’ Day (WTD) is an important date in the calendar of the entire educational community. Celebrated since 1994 across the globe, it is an opportunity to honour the teaching profession and to support teachers for the work they do to empower young people to build a better world.
This year’s World Teachers’ Day theme was Take a stand for teachers.
According to Education International, the theme was established “to acknowledge teachers’ crucial role in transforming the lives of learners at all levels. Moreover, the Day should be a time to reflect on the difficult economic and social context in which teachers work and find ways of improving their professional status and working conditions and those of all education personnel.”
This year’s theme is very à-propos as the last few years have been extremely challenging for teachers in Canada and around the world. Continued threats to the integrity of our democratic organizations, to collective bargaining, and continued efforts to de-professionalize teaching have been evident in most jurisdiction in Canada.
The financial crisis has impacted public education as governments of all stripes try to balance the books on the backs of students and teachers, under the banner of “austerity measures.” This can only be characterized as an attack on the democratic principles that have made Canada a great nation.
Teachers, however, have continued to put students first by expanding their professional space and increasing their knowledge and skills. Teachers and their unions have sought to work collaboratively with governments in order to ensure the success of each and every child.
World Teachers’ Day is the perfect time for the public to acknowledge the invaluable work done by teachers, on a daily basis, in classrooms across the country. Teachers’ efforts to create conditions for success in the classroom must be acknowledged.
The CTF applauds ETFO for standing up for what it believes is fair and just for its members in contract talks with the provincial government. We all know that teachers’ working conditions are students’ learning conditions. Student success can be directly linked to the recognition of teachers’ professional status and exercise of teachers’ professional autonomy.
Standing up for teachers is one of the core beliefs of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation. Know that you have the support of your colleagues from across the country.
President, Canadian Teachers’ Federation Column