Today is World Teachers' Day - here's what that means and how the world is celebrating

(Photo: Shutterstock)(Photo: Shutterstock)
(Photo: Shutterstock)

Google has unveiled a new Doodle in support of World Teachers' Day.

The design shows a number of colourful illustrations depicting the various subjects taught in schools among Google's iconic letters.

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Arts and sciences are depicted alongside literature and mathematics in an eye popping image.

As some places celebrate Teachers' Day on a different date, the Doodle was first unveiled on 4 October, but was only available in Ukraine and Latvia.

Now, it can be seen across most of the world, including in Russia, Canada and New Zealand.

Here's everything you need to know.

What is Teachers' Day?

As the name suggests, Teachers' Day is designed to celebrate the classroom leaders who provide education and support to the world's youngsters.

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On Teachers' Day, pupils and their parents are encouraged to show appreciation for their tutors, and celebrate their contributions in a particular field area, or in the community in general.

It's not entirely certain when Teachers' Day first took place, but it is thought the idea of hosting such a day first began to spread in the 19th century.

The day would have been used to celebrate a local educator or an important milestone in education.

When is Teachers' Day?

In the UK, Teachers' Day falls on 5 October every year in conjunction with UNESCO's World Teachers' Day established in 1994.

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The date is of significance because it commemorates the 1966 signing of UNESCO's Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers.

The recommendation is a standard-setting document that outlines standards relating to everything from training, working conditions and the education of teachers themselves.

While many countries also observe Teachers' Day on 5 October, others set their own dates around their own special anniversaries.

For example, Argentina remembers the 11 September death of its seventh President, who was also an influential intellectual and writer, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento.

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India hosts its Teachers' Day on 5 September, in conjunction with the birthday of the country's second president, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.

In America, National Teacher Day takes place on Tuesday during Teacher Appreciation Week, which takes place in the first full week of May each year.

What about homeschooled children?

Not every child goes to school in the 'traditional' sense, and a day for honouring homeschool teachers has been suggested.

Days to celebrate such a set up have been organised and held by several homeschooling groups around the world on an 'unofficial' basis - for instance, a United States "parents as teachers day" has existed on 8 November since the 1970s.

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Many of these began by celebrating the role of parents in early-childhood learning, but have evolved to include an acknowledgement of the important role some parents play in education later in childhood.

How can I celebrate Teachers' Day?

Like many of us, teachers have had a particularly tough time this year, and as uncertainty about the direction of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues, return to work each day under increased levels of stress.

So you may be wondering just how you can celebrate your favourite educator this year.

It could be something similar like giving them a small gift as a token of your appreciation, or simply making them a nice card to say thanks for all the hard work.

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Of course, sometimes the thing teachers want the most is a quiet, focused class full of children, so it may be the best way to show your teacher you appreciate them is to work hard and listen in class.

A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, the Scotsman

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