First celebrated in 1994, 5 October is internationally recognised as World Teachers’ Day to mark the anniversary of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers,which setsbenchmarks for the rights and responsibilities of teachers worldwide.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the irreplaceable value of the teaching profession to society. In schools it is taught, not educated. We all have a teacher who made us see the world differently. In all countries, teachers face different challenges every day, but in any case, what drives them is to transmit what they know to their students.
Challenges for teachers in 2021
The teaching profession faces several challenges in the year 2021 such as:
Follow COVID-19 safety protocols
The disease caused by COVID-19 has caused schools to adapt to a new situation, in which the distance between desks, that everyone wears masks, ventilates classrooms whenever possible, or applies hygiene measures every day, has changed the usual dynamics of the school.
In addition, vaccination is gradually being recommended to children in all countries, although the authorities of each country are checking that vaccination is safe. In the following graph you can see how vaccination is going to this day.
Working remotely some days
The pandemic has caused many schools to be forced to teach their students remotely. Many students feel comfortable using Google Classroom or attending Zoom sessions. Students have been operating computers for years and the assimilation of these new tools has been very simple for them. Perhaps it has been more complicated for the teachers themselves.
Prioritize social and emotional learning
Because last year was made very complicated by the issue of the pandemic, it could mean for many students the loss of social interaction. Masks have not helped precisely because you do not see how you vocalize and hear worse what a person says. To address this issue, building a community in the classroom will be key, as will prioritizing students’ emotional intelligence.
Restoring classroom routines
Classroom routines, such as doing group work and even sharing materials, were largely suspended last year. As the new school year begins, some restrictions may be eased, but most teachers will have to re-establish rules about group work and perhaps even model appropriate social interactions.
Bringing students closer to technology
Technology advances day by day. Students are used to using devices that connect to the internet. It is important that since they already know a medium that offers so many possibilities also the teacher is able to get into that medium and help them learn on a field of play that they already know. There are many tools to improve interaction with students. I share some that I use:
- Google Forms. Forms are created in which students answer a series of questions about what has been seen in class. The teacher receives in real time the answers of the students and can have them comment among themselves their answers.
- Use notes. Another very useful way to work is to save what is important in notes. There are many and I recommend Microsoft OneNote. Creating notes will help you explain many topics to students and can also help them organize their work.
- Work with documents in thecloud. Among the most popular cloud services we find: Google Drive, pCloud, OneDrive or Dropbox. That way you will not lose the changes you make and also your students will be able to access with a simple click.
Teachers’ salaries around the world
Teacher salaries are the average gross salaries of educational staff according to official pay scales, before tax deduction, including employee contributions to retirement plans or health care, and other contributions or premiums for social security or other purposes. Salaries are shown in US dollars and cover early childhood education teachers, primary and secondary school teachers at the beginning of their career, after 15 years and at the top of the scale. This data belongs to the OECD website and may not be accurate.
- Mathieu, E., Ritchie, H., Ortiz-Ospina, E. et al. A global database of COVID-19 vaccinations. Nat Hum Behav (2021)
- OECD (2018), Teachers’ salaries (indicator). doi: 10.1787/f689fb91-en (Accessed on 06 October 2021)