Friday 5th October saw World Teacher Day giving everybody the chance to celebrate teachers, the art of teaching and education the world over.
But, you could ask, why is there a need for a special day to celebrate something that takes place every day, by people being paid to do a job, to young people who, lets face it, if they weren’t in education would be running amok and getting in to misplaced mischief everywhere?
Well, education has not always been a right of passage. Learning and educating has not always been seen as an important factor of everyday lives unless you were in the elite circles of the community, and in these ever-increasing dangerous times when division seems to becoming more prevalent in society not less, “education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the word” a famous quote by Nelson Mandela seems more important and relevant than ever before.
So here at Discovering Days, we are going to use this day of all days to give a huge shout out to teachers everywhere and to say a big thank you for everything you do towards educating future generations. Read more
What is Teaching?
The Oxford Dictionary definition of the verb ‘teach’ is “to impart knowledge or instruct (someone) how to do something”, which as many teachers will tell you, seems woefully inadequate when you actually think about everything a teacher does, nevertheless, this is of course the very essence of teaching.
However, this definition does not really give any weight to the skills required to be a teacher. It is one thing getting a classroom full of five-year old children to repeat things you say parrot fashion, it is a wholly different concept achieving a level of learning in your pupils so that they actually achieve a deeper understanding of the topic you are lecturing about.
And lest we forget, that teachers are so often there as advisers to children’s queries, or as counsellors for their pupil’s difficulties, advocates for change and purveyors of opportunity.
Why Do We Teach?
People who go in to teaching as a career usually have a love of sharing their knowledge and of seeing others improve and fulfil their potential. It is a way of inspiring others and facilitating change. But did you realise, up until as recently as 70 years ago, not everybody saw teaching as a basic requirement in the development of mankind?
It may not be a view held by some dictatorial and authoritarian regimes, but thanks to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights article 26, education is seen as a fundamental and basic human right and that “everybody has the right to education”.
The UDHR article goes on to say that in the earliest stages, education shall be free and compulsory, and directed to the “full development” of the human personality and to strengthen respect for the freedom of humanity. Pretty powerful stuff, and pretty astonishing that this only became international law 70 years ago!
Teaching Through History
When you think of teaching through history, it’s necessary to go right back to the beginning and remember that Socrates is credited with being the first ‘teacher’ of what is now considered the basics of the modern Western World. His teachings date back to around 400BC and his most famous students were of course, Plato and Aristotle.
Even earlier than this, saw Confucius teaching his philosophies in Ancient China (around 500BC). He is widely regarded as one of the most influential teachers of all time in the history of China and his teachings are still popular today in many parts of the far eastern world.
In fact, education has of course been around since ancient times in many parts of the world, Egypt is credited as having the oldest known alphabet, Pythagoras founded a school for geometry and in ancient India, Hindu scriptures date back to around 1500BC.
The history of formal teaching and education in the UK dates back the early Middle Ages, with the first ‘schools’ being set up by the Roman Catholic Priests and the Monks who taught in the monasteries around the time of the sixth century.
Fast forward to the late 1800’s and the modern schooling system as we see it today began to take shape, with compulsory attendance for children between the ages of 5 -10 coming in to force.
So as you can see, teaching is not a new phenomenon and deserves to be celebrated globally.
There is sadly however, a massive shortage of qualified teachers, with a staggering 69 Million needed to be recruited worldwide to meet educational needs by 2030. The gaps are clearly more visible in areas where populations are susceptible to increased poverty, where there are child refugees and where regions are more remote or rural. Girls sadly, still fall behind in the education stakes with countries such as Chad, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Mali still not offering sufficient education to meet their basic human rights, and many girls being forced in to child labour or early marriage.
Thankfully though good teaching has progressed and exists in much of the world, consisting of many facets; and it is widely recognised that children benefit from as much playtime as they do time in the classroom. This can be indoors as well as outdoors, and is important for stimulating creativity, imagination and an ability to socialise with your peers.
With this in mind, it is worth considering having quality toys for young children to play with, that generate positive interaction and that are manufactured from sustainable resources.
So if you are a teacher reading this, and considering making a purchase for some new bespoke wooden play equipment for your school or nursery, you can contact us here or call us on 01282 416 755 to discuss your requirements. We are a small team of professionals who take great pride in what we do, knowing that our products are being used by future educators of this world.
Oh and we extend a personal thank you, to each and every one of you for all the hard work you do!