Monday, October 5, 2009


World Teachers’ Day 2009 puts the spotlight on the global teacher shortage and the challenges of being a teacher today.

In our rapidly changing and interdependent world, teachers not only have to ensure that students acquire solid skills in basic subjects, but also that they become responsible local and global citizens, at ease with new technologies and able to make informed decisions about health, the environment and other challenges.

Sustained investment is required to develop a well-trained and motivated teaching force. A global total of 10.3 million teachers should be recruited between 2007 and 2015 just to meet the goal of universal primary education. At a time when the global economic slowdown risks putting tight constraints on education budgets, it is critical that governments support the recruitment, training and professional development of teachers.

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1) Search the Net for information on this day. You will find links to all you need to know on Larry Ferlazzo's blog. Another truly interesting article about hard working teachers' mentality can be found on Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto's blog.

2) Listen to and watch the videos of the best learning experiences some people ever had on the 'Great Teachers' Longman webpage. If you click on the 'tape script' button, the speaker's words will appear next to the video. Then, refresh the page and click on the 'send your story' button to describe the most memorable day of yours in the classroom. You can also share your story along with some classroom photos on your class blog.

3) Now tell the students you have been communicating with through the edublogs blogging challenge about this day and urge them to share their stories with you, as well. Here is the list of the September participants in case you would like to seek for new friends.

4) Today it is also World Habitat Day. Read about it in the following text and discuss it with your partner. If you are not familiar with a word, double click on it to get a definition.

The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day. The idea is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.

The United Nations chose the theme Planning our urban future to raise awareness of the need to improve urban planning to deal with new major challenges of the 21st century. This is because urban settlements in all parts of the world are being influenced by new and powerful forces. In both developed and developing countries, cities and towns are increasingly feeling the effects of climate change, resource depletion, food insecurity, population growth and economic instability. These factors will significantly reshape towns and cities, physically and socially, in the century ahead. Many developing countries will, in addition, continue to experience rapid rates of urbanization, along with its most serious negative consequences - overcrowding, poverty, slums with many poorly equipped to meet the service demands of ever growing urban populations. With over half of the world’s population currently living in urban areas, and this number set to rise to two-thirds in another generation, there is no doubt that the ‘urban agenda’ will increasingly become a priority for governments, local authorities and their non-governmental partners everywhere.

Unfortunately, current urban planning systems in many parts of the world are ill equipped to deal with these major urban challenges of the 21st century and, to a large extent, have failed to acknowledge the need to meaningfully involve communities and other stakeholders in the planning of urban areas. By failing to take these factors into account, planning systems in several parts of the world have contributed to the problems of marginalization and exclusion in rapidly growing and largely, poor and informal cities.

This is why urban planning needs to be given a fresh focus starting on World Habitat Day 2009. After all, we know the problems, but we need to share the best solutions as efficiently and widely as possible by planning better and more sensitively for ourselves and our environment.

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5) Create a glog depicting your thoughts on this topic. You can include interesting videos and pictures from the web to accompany your texts. is where you can discover intriguing information and videos. Be sure to leave the link to your glog as a comment under this post or on your own blog.

Links to students' work:

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