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Celebrating World Teachers' Day

World Teachers’ Day is held annually on October 5th to celebrate all teachers around the globe. It commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers, as well as standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions. World Teachers’ Day has been celebrated since 1994.

The theme for World Teachers' Day 2022 is: “The transformation of education begins with teachers.” We could not agree more with this sentiment. We are facing a national teachers shortage due to a variety of reasons including growing hostility towards educators, low wages for those early in their careers, and burn-out; all exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic when many educators have left the profession.

At the last Board of Education meeting we spoke about the teacher shortage and proposed that Voorhees public schools address how to better attract talented educators to Voorhees including being more strategic about how and where we promote vacancies and attending university job fairs across the region.

We can and should do even more. Another hindrance to attracting talent to Voorhees is that Voorhees schools do not place appropriate value for experienced teachers seeking jobs within our district. This disincentivizes talented, experienced teachers from seeking employment in Voorhees. We should ensure that our schools implement best practices in hiring to incentivize skilled, seasoned educators to seek employment in Voorhees. We can use creative and fiscally responsible means, such as applying for grants and better management of financial resources freed up when other experienced teachers retire to achieve such means.

Voorhees is also putting the burden of teaching world language education in the elementary school years on homeroom teachers, most of whom have none or limited knowledge of the Spanish language. This is burdensome on our teachers who are already stretched thin and also hurts our students as this is not an effective way to learn a second language. It’s because of these issues that the Keeping Schools Smart slate has championed the hiring of a dedicated Spanish language teacher.

Better supported teachers are better teachers, which benefits not only our educators, but most importantly our students.

Today we celebrate how teachers are transforming education. It is also a day to reflect on the support teachers need to fully deploy their talent and vocation, and to rethink the way ahead for the profession globally.

In honor of World Teachers’ Day, we say thank you to all Voorhees teachers and affirm our commitment to them and to our students.

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