World Teachers’ Day

World Teachers’ Day, held annually on 5 October since 1994, commemorates teachers’ organisations worldwide. Its aim is to mobilise support for teachers and to ensure that the needs of future generations will continue to be met by teachers.

According to UNESCO, World Teachers’ Day represents a significant token of the awareness, understanding and appreciation displayed for the vital contribution that teachers make to education and development.

The role that teachers play in our lives is often not given the appreciation it deserves. Great teachers not only do their jobs but make a difference to our lives in more ways than we can imagine. Here is the story of an elementary teacher who made a huge difference to the life of her student, in her own words:

This past school year I was pleased when a student I had in third grade came back to personally invite me to his wedding. He said I was the only teacher that had believed in him. It made me feel so wonderful that he would remember me and think enough of me to share the most important day of his life. I can’t tell you how great that made me feel. It made not only my day but also the rest of my school year.

Then the day of the wedding arrived. I sat on the aisle seat so I could at least see the groom. When he came down the aisle with his new bride, we exchanged smiles and it made me feel special. I went through the receiving line and got big hugs from his sister, then from him and next his father and his mother. His mother was crying, don’t all mothers cry at weddings?! I told her how pleased I was to share this special day and she said, “You’ve done so much for our son.” I answered by saying that I was glad if I had, even though I wasn’t sure what. His mother then said that she’d like to tell me what sometime and I responded that I’d like that and sat back down. Soon after the head table was seated I felt a tug on my arm and it was the groom’s father. He said, “You’re wanted down front.” I couldn’t imagine why. As we approached his table he told me the groom wanted me to sit with his parents. I couldn’t believe that on “his” special day he would even be thinking about me, let alone want me to sit with his parents. Then the groom got up and came down to my table and presented me with roses. I was in such disbelief! I think I said something like, “This is your day, what are you doing?” He just grinned and went back to sit with his bride.

Then his parents said they wanted me to know “what” I had done for their son. They said that after he was in my class he had a really bad year where a teacher constantly put him down. He began writing that he was stupid, he was dumb and that he hated himself. Then one day he went out into their barn with the intention of hanging himself. He thought of me and my faith in him and couldn’t do it. His parents then thanked me for their son.

Needless to say I was overwhelmed with emotions. After I left the wedding reception, I cried all the way home. I have always promised myself that I would retire when I no longer enjoyed getting out of bed and heading for school. On that trip home I made a silent promise to this young man that as soon as I couldn’t support my students I would quit.

That didn’t seem enough somehow and a friend suggested I write this down and share it somewhere in order to affect a lot of teachers. Letting teachers know that they DO make a difference was a way for both the groom and me to really use this to help make a difference in someone else’s life.

Someone suggested using the word “inspire” and I initially thought that was a good idea. But, after thinking awhile, the word inspire means to me to move toward something and I think this whole incident SHOUTS that we ALREADY make a difference whether we ever know it or not. So keep up the good work and have a great year. This message comes from the groom and myself.

Pamela Elliott

Read more inspirational stories here.

Watch a video clip from one of the best movies to be ever made about a teacher, To Sir, With Love:

An alien Earthling is extremely grateful to all his teachers for all that they have done for him!

To all the teachers in this world, A BIG THANK YOU AND WISH YOU A HAPPY WORLD TEACHERS’ DAY!!! 🙂

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12 Responses to World Teachers’ Day

  1. wpm1955 says:

    Thanks for sharing this inspirational story! From those of us who are teachers, that is the reason I went into teaching. I know I am making a difference in the lives of my kids every day, but we seldom get a chance to see the outcome in such a dramatic way.

    Madame Monet
    A Teacher in Marrakesh

  2. Kissinger says:

    The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.GilbertKeithChestertonGilbert Keith Chesterton

  3. Pingback: A Teacher Who Really Made a Difference « Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas

  4. elementaryteacher says:

    I’ve made a post on my own blog about your inspirational story. I hope other teachers are able to read it!

    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas

  5. Aneesh says:

    Good post..
    Teachers are special. They really do make a difference in our life and play crucial part in making one’s future. After parents and friends, they are the one who can understand you. But, sadly, in the modern world, how many teachers really want to see their student do well? Everyone’s getting selfish, ego problems and others start to creep up. but, it’s nice to hear these inspirations..which shows the old times still exist..

  6. vishesh says:

    what a wonderful story 😛 for a minute i thought it was about you 😛 lol,i think this the third teachers day,this year,first one was vyasapurinma on 18th july ,then 5th sept and then oct 5th 😛

  7. Sakhi says:

    My eyes are still glistening as i write this comment!

    Happy teacher’s day! 🙂

    P.S. Do yo have any idea why do we, In India, celebrate Teacher’s day on 5th september?

  8. axinia says:

    a beautiful story, Raj.
    Teachers can be very special in our lives, but the really talented ones are not that many…
    I love the film Tare Zameen Par, it is exactly to the point!

  9. Madame Monet,

    You’re welcome! Yes, it may be rare to see the outcome in such a manner but I’m sure you are making a big difference in the lives of your students. I know that you’re highly respected and loved by your kids from what your students’ parents wrote about you. Your kids are very lucky to have a dedicated teacher like you!

    I agree with the quote!

    Thanks for providing a link to this post! Pamela’s story is definitely an inspirational one!

    Thanks! That’s true. Unfortunately, teaching as a profession is losing its sheen 😦

    But still there are thousands of good teachers in this world. Personally, I was lucky to have a few dedicated teachers who played an important role in my life. Knowledge can be gained by simply reading textbooks. Education is much more than that. It is the process of training the mind to think. It is all about learning and learning to learn. It is about all-round development as an individual and as a responsible citizen of the planet.

    🙂 What made you think it was about me? 😛 🙂 Different countries observe Teachers’ Day on different days of the year, so it’s good to have a World Teachers’ Day for the global village! 😛

    Pamela’s story is definitely a moving one, isn’t it? 😐

    In India, Teachers’ Day is observed on September 5 as it is the birthday of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, India’s first Vice-President and second President, who also happened to be a teacher:

    He was elected as the second President of India (1962-1967). When he became President, some of his students and friends requested him to allow them to celebrate his birthday, 5 September. He replied,

    “Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if 5 September is observed as Teachers’ Day.”

    His birthday has since been celebrated as Teachers’ Day in India.

    Thanks! I believe you are interested in education as well. Yes, though really talented teachers are decreasing in number by the day, the special ones always have a big impact on our lives . . .

  10. Sakhi says:

    Thanks for the info and i felt so ashamed that how could i have forgotten such a fact!!

  11. Sakhi,

    There is no need to feel ashamed or even embarassed for having forgotten this at all 😐

    There is only a certain amount of things that each one of us can remember . . . and I guess you must remember the names of a million illnesses and countless medicines to cure them 😛 . . . so you can always forget what is not necessary . . . wikipedia is always there at the click of a mouse for the rest of the facts 🙂

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