World Teacher’s Day on the Cheap

Nikki Diefenbach

From the UNESCO website:

> World Teachers’ Day 2018 will mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) that recognizes education as a key fundamental right and establishes an entitlement to free compulsory education, ensuring inclusive and equitable access for all children.

There is a severe worldwide shortage of teachers. UNESCO says,

> This year’s theme, “The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher,” has been chosen to remind the global community that the right to education cannot be achieved without the right to trained and qualified teachers. Even today, a continuing challenge worldwide is the shortage of teachers. There are an estimated 264 million children and youth still out of school globally. To reach the 2030 Education Goals of universal primary and secondary education, the world needs to recruit almost 69 million new teachers. This ‘teacher gap’ is more pronounced among vulnerable populations, such as girls, children with disabilities, refugee and migrant children, or poor children living in rural or remote areas.

It is imperative that we lift up and honor teachers and their contribution to building a healthy community. What a teacher may appreciate most is to give of your time. Here are just a few ways you can show the teacher in your life or in your community that you value their commitment to education, not just today, but every day:

  • Handwrite a note and send it to school with your child.
  • Email the teacher and copy their boss.
  • Or maybe best of all, have your child write the note.
  • Ask if they need help with repetitive tasks, like cutting out decorations or collating paper.
  • Become a volunteer for your child’s school.
  • Coordinate a classroom activity.
  • Chaperone a field trip
  • Join the PTO/PTA.

Although teachers appreciate your time, there is usually a need for supplies as well. More and more teachers are turning to crowdfunding. According to an article in Vox, as of August 3, 2018, over 72,000 funding needs were posted on, where teachers can raise money for everything from books to clothing for students.

The best way to find out what the teacher in your life would really appreciate is just to ask, and what better day to do so than on World Teacher’s Day?

Reality Changing Observations:

Q1. If there is a teacher who made an impact in your life, did you ever tell them or give back to them?

Q2. Are there teachers in your community who are lacking in resources?

Q3. What can you do to make sure all children have access to a quality education?