World Teachers’ Day is observed annually on October 5th, serving as a tribute to recognizing and valuing the contributions of educators across the globe. 

This international day celebrates the unwavering dedication, tireless effort, and boundless enthusiasm of teachers who shape generations to come. It is a reminder of the profound impact that teachers have on individuals and society, spotlighting their crucial role in shaping the future by imparting knowledge and skills to students.

The Great Thanksgiving Listen

StoryCorps cares deeply about supporting educators in the classroom. We offer several resources for teachers to incorporate storytelling into their daily curriculum, as well as lesson plans that empower educators to teach their students the importance of listening — such as The Great Thanksgiving Listen (TGTL). The Great Thanksgiving Listen is an initiative that invites people nationwide to honor someone in their lives by recording their story for future generations.

Get Inspired by Stories from Educators

Role Model

Reverend Farrell Duncombe grew up in the 1950s in Montgomery, Alabama. Once a mischievous young boy, he eventually stepped into his father’s shoes and became a pastor at his childhood church. At StoryCorps, he talked about the role models who inspired his path, including his Sunday school teacher,Miss Rosalie — known to the rest of the world as Rosa Parks.

Lessons Learned

No one succeeds alone. After the difficult experience of helping integrate a Tennessee high school in 1964, Dr. William Lynn Weaver succeeded in spite of some teachers and because of others, in particular one whose largest contribution took decades to be revealed.

Miss Devine

Cousins James Ransom and Cherie Johnson recall their fearsome Sunday school teacher, Miss Lizzie Devine, the only woman who had more power than their grandmother. Set in the small Florida town of the cousins’ memories, this animation resounds with the joy of sharing stories with family.

Making It

Noe Rueda grew up poor in Little Village, a neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side. As young as 8 years old, Noe often relied on his entrepreneurial talents to help his mom and three siblings make ends meet. At StoryCorps, Noe tells his high school teacher Alex Fernandez about his childhood, and Alex shares his dreams for Noe’s future.

Empowering Educators

Judy Heumann—who was known as the “Mother of the Disability Rights Movement”—and April Coughlin discussed Judy’s journey in challenging the New York City Board of Education and her enduring impact on the rights of educators.

“You have to dream for that child.”
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A Teacher’s Perseverance

Eunice Wiley, one of the first Black teachers at a predominantly white Florida elementary school, persevered through an uphill battle and retired as a principal in 2005, and in a StoryCorps session with her friend and fellow teacher, Martha Bireda, remembered defining teaching experiences with her students. Read the full transcript here.
“When we take out big chunks of history, that diminishment diminishes us.”
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Four Decades in the Classroom

Nelva Williamson’s mother was a teacher for 52 years and her father was a career military man. She reflects on her 42-year career and the importance of teaching ‘the whole history.’ Read the full transcript here.
"You were just doing what you felt you needed to do for us to be better people."
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From Teacher to Friend

Raymond Blanks had very few Black teachers when he was growing up in Newark, NJ. But the ones he did have, made a big impact on how he saw himself and what he believed he could be. Read the full transcript here.
"You have this unique ability to — even in the darkest times — just tell people it's going to be okay."
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Teachers Supporting Teachers

Alexia Dukes was a first-year high school English teacher in Gary, Indiana when she met her colleague, and mentor, Maria Rivera. Alexia leaned on Maria’s guidance and support. Maria was drawn to Alexia’s energy and enthusiasm for a great first year. Neither of them anticipated the obstacles that laid ahead. Read the full transcript here.

John Arthur and Kathy Anderson

John Arthur, the 2021 Utah Teacher of the Year and one of four National Teacher of the Year Finalists, talks with his 9th grade English teacher, Kathy Anderson, about her career in the classroom and how she inspired him to become a teacher.

Jennifer Wolfe and Audrey Miller

Jennifer Wolfe, the 2021 New York Teacher of the Year, interviews Audrey Miller, who teaches Digital Technology and Communications at Oceanside High School. Together they talk about teaching, why they love it, why kids need teachers especially now in the era of COVID sequester, and what it takes to be an effective teacher for kids today.

Donnie Piercey and Jeff Heil

Donnie Piercey, the 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, listens to his friend Jeff Heil reflect on his 25 year career teaching students in a homeless shelter in San Diego.

Analyn Palugod and Marites Del Castillo Garcia

Analyn Palugod, 2021 Guam Teacher of the Year, reconnects with her favorite and former third grade teacher Marites Garcia.

Lachanda Garrison and Joshua Garrison

2021 Department of Defense Education Activity Teacher of the Year Lachanda Garrison interviews fellow educator and husband Dr. Joshua Garrison for Teacher Appreciation Week.

Kristi Borge and Linda Marsh

Kristi Borge, the 2021 Montana Teacher of the Year and a multi-grade teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in southwest Montana, visits with her supervisor and mentor Linda Marsh, who is the Beaverhead County Superintendent of schools.

Lori Miki Kwee and Jen Moku

2021 Hawaii Teacher of the Year Lori Miki Kwee has a conversation with Jennifer Moku, who she describes as a school librarian, colleague, and good friend. Their conversation spans many topics, including gratitude and inspiration.

Ashley Adamson and Victoria Travis

Ashley Adamson, the 2021 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year, speaks with her co-teacher, Victoria Travis, about their shared co-teaching experience, their early teaching inspirations, and so much more.

Subscribe to our Educators Newsletter and join our StoryCorps in the Classroom Facebook Group to receive updates and the resources necessary to incorporate TGTL into your lesson plan this fall.