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  • #WorldTeachersDay | Lessons from the Pandemic: “Saluting the passion and commitment of teachers, in the front line of care”, by Mary Metcalfe.

#WorldTeachersDay | Lessons from the Pandemic: “Saluting the passion and commitment of teachers, in the front line of care”, by Mary Metcalfe.

Across the world, teachers are working with commitment to nurture children with a vision for a better, and a more just future.

COVID-19 is teaching us that education is precarious for the most vulnerable children.  It is teaching us that the work of teachers is their lifeline to safety and care in the present, and to their hopes for the future.  We are learning that teachers can solve problems that had not previously been even imagined. That teachers respond to crises with innovation and wisdom.  We are learning that even families with ample resources cannot replace the work of a teacher.  We are learning that society should value its teachers more. 

What needs to change is the massive inequalities between and within countries which mean that teachers have to work under vastly different conditions.  What needs to change is the creation of conditions that are conducive for effective teaching and learning for all teachers and learners, in which teachers are supported as they pursue with the moral purpose that energizes their work their goal of seeing children flourish.

What needs to change is that teachers must have the necessary resources to be safe, to teach protecting self and others, and where the communities they serve are vigilant in minimizing risks, and act to protect teachers - who are on the front line.


On 5 October, Education International marks World Teachers’ Day with a 24-hour virtual broadcast spanning the globe. Teachers everywhere will come together to share what they have learned as a profession and how we can ensure inclusive equitable quality education for all moving forward.

The full programme, featuring teachers from across the globe, as well as Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers of Education, heads of international organisations, famous journalists and scientists, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and many more, is available at >www.5oct.org/programme/>.

The event will be livestreamed across all Education International platforms and you can register here.

All streaming links will be available on the day at >www.5oct.org/watch/>, with interpretation to English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian and Japanese.

Join the global conversation on October 5!


Mary Metcalfe

Mary has been teaching since 1974. She has worked in schools, in teacher education, and in government. She currently is working on large-scale education system improvement in South Africa.

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