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  • Writer's pictureDr. Roberta Borgen (Neault), Canada

UNESCO World Teachers' Day - 05 October SDGs/Global Goals 4, 5, 8 & 10

Join the world on October 5 to celebrate and support teachers!

World Teachers' Day | UNESCO “is a day to celebrate how teachers are transforming education but also to reflect on the support they need to fully deploy their talent and vocation, and to rethink the way ahead for the profession globally.”

I wanted to be a teacher from my early childhood. I remember being 4 or 5 years old in the unfinished basement of my home. My Dad had painted a piece of wood black (for my “blackboard”) and I was “writing” on it with chalk (before I knew how to write). Several neighbourhood friends and my younger brother were sitting on little wooden boxes in a semi-circle around my blackboard as I taught them. I don’t have any recollection of what I was teaching them – just the joy of teaching!

Later, I was in the future teachers’ club in junior high and then got my teaching degree at university, trained for special education in elementary schools. Due to my husband’s relocations and other family circumstances, I never did teach full-time in an elementary school. However, I’ve since had a lifetime of teaching and facilitating groups of adults in employment programs, training corporate leaders and other professionals, and presenting to large and small groups internationally. Mid-career, I returned to university and completed a Masters degree in counselling psychology and then a PhD in educational psychology and I’ve taught in grad schools for the past 20 years. All of my degrees came from a Faculty of Education – my earliest dreams of being a teacher have stayed with me throughout my career, and as I write this I’m looking forward to teaching a Masters-level career counselling class this evening.

Teachers are much like the proverbial pebble in a pond. The ripple effect on their students continues far beyond their initial contact. Some ripples are positive and make the world a better place. Others, sadly, aren’t. As we contemplate the significance of World Teacher’s Day and consider the impact of career planning and preparation for teachers, we’re reminded of how important to our world the initial selection and preparation of teachers (i.e., pre-service training) and the ongoing professional development of teachers (i.e., in-service training) really is.

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