Relative to other professions, the teaching profession might not always be the most highly valued one in society in terms of things such as the prestige and pay conferred upon the position. However, one thing is certain, and it is this: Teachers are indispensable for societal progress. Not only do teachers instill in students a sense of civility, morality, and civic responsibility but also a curiosity to explore and the knowledge to find their niches in life. It is immaterial whether students choose to pursue a vocational, academic, athletic, service, artistic, or entrepreneurial career path in life. One of the most important objectives of education—and the thing that truly matters the most—is for teachers to prepare students to become responsible, productive, self-sufficient, self-supporting, self-reliant, law-abiding, and contributing members of the broader societies in which they live. Upon joining the labor force, the challenge for students is to secure work in a position that they truly enjoy.

Watch (How To Become a Great Teacher)

The questions for teachers are these: How do they inspire students to become excited about learning? How do they inspire students to reach for their fullest potential? How do they prepare students to compete in a global economy? What makes a great and motivated teacher? Granted, most teachers will not possess a passion for teaching comparable to, say, Aaron Stern, Marva Collins, Doug Lemov, or Jaime Escalante. Yet, the passion that these educational trailblazers brought to the teaching profession is worthy of emulating.

Numerous studies have been undertaken to answer or shed light on the above-mentioned kinds of questions. Some of the more recent studies include the following ones:

Another enlightening study is titled 2013 Global Teacher Status Index, which was conducted by the Varkey GEMS Foundation. The study's objective was to determine what were the main drivers of good teaching outcomes. Good teaching outcomes translate into both job satisfaction for teachers and students meeting minimal performance levels on standardized tests. Is the degree to which status and prestige are bestowed upon the teaching profession the main drivers of good teaching outcomes—or lack thereof? Are the compensation and benefit packages paid to teach the main drivers of good teaching outcomes—or lack thereof? Are conditions in the classroom and the ways in which schools systems are administered the main drivers of good teaching outcomes—or lack thereof? Are the way in which school curricula are structured the main drivers of good teaching outcomes—or lack thereof?

The following graphics and videos are presented to shed more light on the teaching profession and the educational achievements of students.

Teacher Performance: USA and World Perspectives

Whether you love them or hate them, the taking of standardized tests has been the primary tool used to gauge both teacher effectiveness and student performance. How well do students perform on standardized tests? Domestically speaking, the USA utilizes the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test results as one of its main tools for assessing student performance. Internationally speaking, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test is widely used to assess student performance.

Watch (Asian Countries Top OECD's PISA Survey of Global Education)

Teacher Recognition: USA and World Perspectives

Numerous ways exist to recognize teachers in the USA. Domestically speaking, one of the most prestigious USA teacher recognition is to be inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame (NTHF). According to the NTHF website, the NTHF "annually honors five teachers who have demonstrated commitment and dedication to teaching our nation's children."

Hailed as the Nobel Prize for teachers, internationally speaking, the Global Teacher Prize has emerged as the premier global recognition for teachers. According to the Global Teacher Prize website, the "Global Teacher Prize is a US $1 million award presented annually to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession."

Watch (The Story of Global Teacher Prize | #TeachersMatter)

As a tribute to the contributions of all teachers across the globe, in 1994, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) proclaimed that October 5th of each year would be recognized as World Teachers' Day.

Teaching for the 21st Century and Beyond: USA and World Perspectives

What are some of the latest developments and trends in education? Without a doubt, as of 2016, there is a major focus on providing students with the STEM skills that they will need to competently and successfully function in the 21st century's global economy. Consequently, as of 2016, emphasis is placed on students becoming adept at using 21st century technologies such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, software applications, and so forth, not for fun but to get work accomplished. Increasing emphasis is placed on web-based and cloud-based approaches to learning. Additionally, STEM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) courses are being emphasized. A general consensus is that future human life on Earth—and beyond Earth—will be permeated by science and technology.

Watch (WorldSkills Champions: Innovating for the World)

Chronic shortage of teachers
by UNESCO From Visually.

Learning Squared

Assuming the devices one day should become as affordable as, say, mobile phones, perhaps one game-changing way to get children excited about learning while simultaneously addressing the teacher shortage would be to marry virtual reality or augmented reality technlology to education. Imagine a school curricula that afforded students virtual reality versions of all courses taught at school. Imagine a school curricula that afforded students virtual reality demonstrations of all careers listed at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Career Outlook website. The neat thing about virtual reality learning is this: It is one of those learn-anywhere, learn-anytime type of learning experiences. No matter where you are or what time of day or night it happens to be, simply turn on the device, load the learning software, and start experiencing education in action.

Watch (Immersive Virtual Reality Technology - Experience More)

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