World Teacher's Day Statement
This coming Monday, October 5th is World Teachers Day. It is a day that commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. This Recommendation sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions.
World Teachers’ Day is co-convened in partnership with UNICEF, the International Labour Organization and Education International.
It goes without saying that this year’s World teachers Day carries added significance. Teachers, all educators all over the world are bravely returning to the classroom in an attempt to get kids back on their paths to education. This looks different in every classroom.
Here in Canada, many teachers returned to classrooms unsure of just what the day to day would look like. Daily planning - a complex task at the best of times - becomes even more convoluted when public health guidelines change and adapt to this evolving crisis. Some teachers have delayed or even returned from retirement to do their part, putting their health at risk because they know just how fundamentally important a concrete education is to our kids. The stories I have heard from educators, parents and students, one as young as 6 years old has been most compelling.
Fittingly, the theme for this year’s World Teachers Day is “Leading in crisis, reimagining the future.” We talk so much of the future colleagues, about the kind of country we might shape when we can safely put this crisis behind us. That future belongs to our children, and they will need our help. If you listen to teachers and other academic specialists, you’ll know that may of our kids are deeply challenged.
They had their spring semesters hijacked by the crisis; and while everyone is doing what they can to give these kids some semblance of normalcy in the fall semester, circumstances dictate that it will come short of what is needed. All the while, our teachers will be there every step of the way, and they will need resources and support to mitigate the damage.
Our youngest will need help rekindling the kind of social and emotional skills they were just starting to develop when the pandemic struck. As has been the case for most of the pandemic, lower income households have suffered the most, as have the children who lived in them.
Colleagues, there will be a myriad of consequences that arise from this crisis, but I contend that its effect on our young Canadians that will rank higher than most.
Thankfully, our country is equipped with some of the best teachers in the world to handle this; if they are given the tools they need when the time comes, I have every confidence they will succeed in doing so.
Senator Marty Deacon