World Teachers’ Day, also known as International Teachers Day, is an international day held annually on October 5. Established in 1994, it commemorates the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which is a standard-setting instrument that addresses the status and situations of teachers around the world. This recommendation outlines standards relating to education personnel policy, recruitment, and initial training as well as the continuing education of teachers, their employment, and working conditions. World Teachers’ Day aims to focus on “appreciating, assessing and improving the educators of the world” and to provide an opportunity to consider issues related to teachers and teaching.

To celebrate World Teachers’ Day, the UNESCO and Education International (EI) mounts a campaign each year to help give the world better understanding of teachers and the role they play in the development of students and society. They partner with the private sector such as media organizations to achieve this purpose. The campaign focus on different themes for every year. For instance, “Empowering Teachers” was the theme for 2017.


A teacher is a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue. Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone. In some countries, teaching young people of school age may be carried out in an informal setting, such as within the family, rather than in a formal setting such as a school or college. Some other professions may involve a significant amount of teaching.

Duties and functions

A teacher’s role may vary among cultures.
Teachers may provide instruction in literacy and numeracy, craftsmanship or vocational training, the arts, religion, civics, community roles, or life skills.
Formal teaching tasks include preparing lessons according to agreed curricula, giving lessons, and assessing pupil progress.

Competences and qualities required for teachers

Teaching is a highly complex activity. This is partially because teaching is a social practice that takes place in a specific context (time, place, culture, socio-political-economic situation etc.) and therefore is shaped by the values of that specific context. Factors that influence what is expected (or required) of teachers includes history and tradition, social views about the purpose of education, accepted theories about learning, etc.

Teacher’s oath       

Socratic Oath

As teacher and educator I undertake,

  • to respect and to defend against anyone the uniqueness of each child;
  • to stand by for his and her physical and mental integrity;
  • to take aware of his and her emotions, to listen to him and her, to take him and her seriously;
  • to search for his consent for all I will do to this child, as I would do with an adult person;
  • to interpret the rules of his development in the most positive way and to support the child to accept these own rules;
  • to challenge and to promote his gifts and potentials;
  • to protect him, where he is weak, to support him, where it is needed, in overcoming fear and guilt, malice and falsehood, doubts and mistrust and snivelling self-help addiction;
  • not to break his desire, not even where it appears nonsensical, but to support him to take his will under the reign of his reason, to teach him so the mature use of mind and the art of negotiating understanding;
  • to prepare him to take over responsibility within and for the community;
  • to let him learn the world how it is without subjugation to the world how it is;
  • to make him feel what a good life might mean;
  • to give him a vision of a better world and the confidence that it might be achievable;
  • to teach truthfulness, not the truth because “it is with God alone”.

So that I undertake,

  • to give example, as well as I can, how to deal with difficulties, challenges, opportunities of our world and with his own limited gifts and how to cope with his own always given guilt;
  • to ensure, according to my power, that the next generation will find a world worthwhile to live in, and where the inherited burdens and difficulties will not crush ideas, hopes and forces;
  • to justify publicly my beliefs and deeds, to expose myself to criticism, particularly of stakeholders and experts, and to suspend my judgements by continuous and conscientious review;
  • and to resist to all people and circumstances, interest of parts or service provision, if I believe they might hinder intentions expressed here.

~ Hartmut von Hentig – 1993