World Teachers’ Day

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 | education

Did you know that today, 5 October 2010, is World Teachers’ Day?  What is this day about?

According to the World Teachers’ Day website, its aim is as follows:

Recovery begins with teachers

On World Teachers’ Day 2010 hundreds of thousands of students, parents and activists around the world will pay homage to all teachers who have been directly or indirectly affected by a major crisis.   Be it a humanitarian crisis, such as the earthquake in Haiti and China, or the global economic crisis that has devastated many developed economies over the past year, the role of teachers and other education personnel is vital to social, economic and intellectual rebuilding.

All those who are fighting to provide quality education to children of the world can join teachers and their representative organisations to celebrate the profession and show them their support!

Teachers affected by a major crisis?  Perhaps the recent strike?  I don’t think strike action qualifies as a crisis for teachers – it is self-inflicted – but it does constitute a crisis to the victimized learners.  Maybe we should have a World Learners’ Day to give support to learners who are trying to get a quality education in spite of their teachers!

A definite crisis is the lack of support offered by education authorities to empower teachers to use technology!  While learners are becoming increasingly digitally included, many of our teachers are still on the wrong side of the digital divide.  True, many of them are reluctant to use technology, but the real crisis lies in the lack of support for teachers to change their attitudes towards technology and to become skilled practitioners.

I applaud all those teachers who are willing to do whatever they can, in spite of their circumstances, to provide their learners with a good quality education.

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6 Comments to World Teachers’ Day

Rodney Johnson
Tuesday, 5 October, 2010

Very true, I think the new digital divide is between the teachers and the learners.

Kobus van Wyk
Tuesday, 5 October, 2010

And the frightening thing, Rodney, is that the gap is ever widening. Teachers have a lot of catching up to do!

Mark C
Tuesday, 5 October, 2010

The problem is in the final analysis lies at the feet of the learner. I can be the best teacher delivering my best lessons in the best set of circumstances but if my learners are not going to move, there is nothing I can do. You know the cliche’d saying about a horse and water. No teacher can force a pupil to learn. S/he can inspire. Learning is a personal thing.

I am disappointed that too many times in this blog potshots are taken at teachers for all their shortcomings and yet we very rarely look at our own. It always seems as if the best players in rugby are on the stand and not on the field. Nobody knows better how to solve problems in education than a non-teacher. Yet not many non-teachers offer to help those who are not getting a good education. It is easy to solve problems with the mouth, but when it comes to doing nobody does. I think the Bible mentioned something about doers of the Word. That applies to education.

As for the strike. I supported it in principle but not all the other stuff. I don’t like your position on those who participated in the strike Kobus, but I respect your viewpoint. So repect those people who went on strike and then went back to class to work.

Why not celebrate World teacher’s Day for what it is and not for what it is not. So to my wife, family and friends who are teachers….even if you don’t use ICT as I think you should:”Happy teachers day!”

Kobus van Wyk
Tuesday, 5 October, 2010

Mark, you’re raising so many points in your comment that I don’t know where to start with a response! And I certainly don’t want to get involved in a debate that has political overtones. But please re-read the last paragraph of this posting: I have the greatest admiration and appreciation for those teachers who are doing a fine job; my child was taught for twelve years in two very average state schools and I owe her teachers so much for the part they played in her education. But I am taking a strong standpoint against teachers who want the salary, but are not willing to render a professional service to learners. Included in that service (in the 21st century) is teaching digital literacy. A doctor or nurse who refuses to use available technology in hospitals will possibly be struck from the medical register. I feel the same way about teachers who are not willing to adapt to changing teaching circumstances. Of course, I appreciate that change is not easy, and that is why I am fighting for more education department support for teachers, and am pleading for leniency in giving teachers more time to adapt to the use of modern tools. Mark, thanks for you thought provoking comments … they help us look at issues from different angles!

Tuesday, 5 October, 2010

Learners and teachers are both humans …. with needs. Although the “needs” may differ in “substances”, the needs exist. Learners need to be educated in many aspects (skills, textbook content, information, data analysis, manners, mathematical calculations. sentence construction, rivers and pollution, ICT and so on) and educators need to be rewarded (with good incentives, support, guidelines, healthy and conducive working environment and so on).

What I am trying to say ? Both parties need one another in many areas, – so we can “learn” from one another and “teach” one another. It does not have to come from one angle ! Everything in life got TWO “views” / “angles” / “sides” to see something = is it good or bad, tall or short, thin or fat, strong or weak, and …… in teaching we must find a balance !

Teach and learn, yes …. no chalk and talk, listen and absorb, no …. but an interactive approach in education between the two main roleplayers should be the goal…. the pupil/learner and the teacher/educator.

Albie once a child, now a facilitator

Mark C
Wednesday, 6 October, 2010

One of the problems lies with politics Kobus. As much as I hate it education has become more about numbers than educational value, quality. Teachers are the pawns in the power play and some want to play this game too.

In Khayelitsha some people are teaching six days a week which includes a Saturday or even Sunday, after-hours tutoring, Telematics, etc. How much is enough or too much? We all talk about well-balanced lives. Is this balance? Already teachers are talking about leaving teaching because they are driven to only live “school”. Of course some people are compensated, but others are not. I don’t think people understand sacrifices made by teachers daily. Let us not talk about the compensation educators receive for this.

My challenge still stands for any non-teacher to take some classes or to be a principal of a school for a month, three months or six months or volunteer to sit with children in disadvantaged areas to teach them to read or do maths. EXPERIENCE THE SCHOOL. As a part non-teacher, I have to put my money where my mouth is. I will teach for nothing over weekends next year for whatever period is decided upon if any non-teacher can work in a previously disadvantaged school improving their pass-rates. Can they do better than the resident teacher with or without ICT? I would like to measure that of course. By the way colleagues, Chris Hani is looking for a permanent Physics Teacher.

I would also like you to write a post on those who are directly involved in education, but are not in the classroom and give them a roasting for the mess they cause in education too. These include the WCED officials, the project managers, the ICT vendors and all the others I have left out. The blame-game lies too much on the teacher and not on others who are also contributors to poor achievement. ICT is not THE answer. It is part of the answer to dealing with our problems in education.

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