Today is World Teachers’ Day — a day observed since 1994 which serves to recognize teachers, honor their achievements, and celebrate educators across the world who’ve devoted their work to global education and ensuring that no student is left behind.
An international day created to recognize teachers worldwide couldn’t come at a better time. The COVID-19 pandemic, as it’s done with so many other things, has spotlighted just how much teachers do to support each student’s educational journey. No one understands better than parents just how important, impactful, and demanding the work is that teachers do.
With many students across the world learning at home instead of in the classroom, the role teachers play — from kindergarten to higher education — has been expanded. Many have become food deliverers, Zoom aficionados, and even temporary foster parents — filling the gaps and wearing as many hats as needed to ensure their students’ success. On college campuses, many lecture halls sit empty as students tune in remotely from timezones all over the world to hear professors explain complex subjects in a reimagined university setting.
Leadership is a critical trait for any great teacher. And the unique challenges presented by the pandemic have only affirmed that teachers everywhere are not only leading their students, schools, and communities through this crisis, they are also reimagining a more equitable future of education.
Here are eight ways to support, celebrate, and honor the dedication and hard work of educators on World Teachers’ Day 2020.
- Go above and beyond to thank your favorite teachers — maybe it’s a handwritten card, a personalized video message, a thoughtful gift, or a contribution to your school’s foundation in their honor. Take things a step further and nominate a teacher to be recognized locally for his/her impactful work, like students at Cristo Rey Oklahoma City Catholic High School did. Their Spanish teacher, Pamela Reynolds, was nominated by students and recognized as the Teacher of the Day on their local news station.
- Spread and cultivate joy — for yourself and the teachers in your life. There’s a lot to be said for taking some time to actively seek happiness, laughter, self-care, and joy. Our friends at Boston Day and Evening Academy had this to say, “During this COVID closure, in the words of teachers Bernadette Kuan and David Jones, BDEA is prioritizing joy, love, socialization, and activating curiosity during remote learning.”
- Join the conversation on social media by sharing your appreciation for teachers everywhere using the official hashtag, #WorldTeachersDay.
- Volunteer with your local school through innovative programs like Future Trailblazer Challenge and Circle the Schools.
- Support your colleagues who suddenly find themselves with a new job as a homeschool teacher. There are a number of meaningful ways to do this — step in as a substitute teacher for a day, cover a project for a coworker who’s pulling double duty at home, or offer flexible scheduling for team members with kids who are learning remotely.
- Invite a higher education educator to attend Horizons Virtual 2020 — Salesforce.org’s international event in higher education happening tomorrow, October 6th. Event highlights include: a keynote featuring BI Norwegian Business School, new innovations in Salesforce.org Education Cloud, and a panel discussion with international university leaders. Register here.
- As important as it is for students and families to recognize the efforts of their teachers, it’s just as meaningful for administrators to do the same by offering support, understanding their concerns, and reminding them their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.
- Help teachers get the tools they need to succeed, both for themselves and their students. As if teachers weren’t selfless enough, educators often have to supplement their classrooms with additional supplies using their own money. Everyone is better when they have the resources to do their best possible work, and teachers are no different. Set your educators up for success by helping to ensure they have what they need to succeed. An organization like DonorsChoose is a great place to start.
At such a pivotal moment for global education, teachers are foundational to building a new normal that’s better and more equitable in our post-pandemic world. Supporting the educators in charge of molding the next generation of leaders is critical to realizing a world that’s better for everyone.
Learn more about the ways Salesforce is helping schools reopen safely and supporting student learning anywhere.
About the Author
Helen Hwang is the VP of K-12 & Community Colleges Industry Solutions at Salesforce.org. In her role, her team looks after the product management, product marketing, and go to market strategy for bringing Salesforce technology to help K-12 schools & Community Colleges better connect, collaborate, and support student success. Prior to Salesforce, Helen spent over 6 years at Google, with the last 4 years focused on the Google for Education team building out the Chromebooks business and bringing Google Apps and Classroom to schools around the world. She’s an alum of Sesame Street, NewSchools Venture Fund, McKinsey, Digitas and Lehman Brothers. She is passionate about driving change in K-12 & Higher Education to improve access to quality education for all, especially in underserved communities.
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