Many authors can trace their success back to one single teacher. A person who recognised their potential and worked hard to foster it. Who inspired, motivated and encouraged them. I’m sure that many writers, like myself, would like to thank their old teacher personally but are unable to do so. Years pass, we lose touch.

World Teachers’ Day

This Saturday, 5 October 2013, is World Teachers’ Day. It’s the perfect opportunity for us to thank these important people who shaped our lives and will never be forgotten. Even if they don’t know it.

World Teachers’ Day

Over 100 countries celebrate World Teachers’ Day and it’s been going every year since 1994. According to UNESCO, it is ‘a day devoted to appreciating, assessing, and improving the educators of the world’. Sadly, this crucial profession is often unrecognised and undervalued. This year’s slogan is ‘A Call for Teachers’.

I’d like to thank …


Peter Davison

Mr Peter Davison of St Joseph’s Girls’ High School Kogarah, my year 7 English teacher. His encouragement of my fledgling interest in writing was phenomenal. He even went so far as to send my early pathetic attempts at novellas to publishers. They weren’t accepted, of course, but I received some very encouraging feedback. As well as a burning desire to keep going!

I have no idea what’s happened to Mr Davison. I’ve had over 30 books published now, mostly in the education field. I’d like to think he’s seen one and remembers me. The teacher in my first junior novel, which comes out next year, is named after him. Just in case he ever sees it – I want him to know he’s not forgotten!

Get involved

There are many ways to celebrate. Festivals, seminars, award ceremonies. Visit the UNESCO site at for links to what’s happening in your neck of the woods.

In Australia, we celebrate World Teachers’ Day late (25 October) because it otherwise falls during our school holidays. If you’re a Sydneysider like me, consider entering your favourite teacher in this competition: Run by a hotel, the prize is a pampering accommodation package.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank?

Is there a special teacher that inspired you to become the person you are today? Here’s your chance to say thanks, by writing a short note in the comments section. You never know, they might see it. Well … it’s possible!!

10 thoughts on “Feeling thankful: World Teachers’ Day

  1. Vasudha says:

    Your post brought back memories of some much-loved teachers, one of whom has since passed away. I think it’s lovely you honoured Mr Davison with a book character and I’m going to hope he stumbles across his namesake one day when reading your junior novel to his school kids or maybe even his grand-kids!

    1. Stella says:

      Oh, what a wonderful thought! Thanks Vasudha 🙂

  2. I’m sure that he has probably passed on by now, but I’d like to thank Mr. Stephen Herman who was my high school English teacher. He is probably turning over in his grave seeing the state education is in today. He did his best to inspire a generation of entitled kids to think beyond their own concerns. I agree that teachers are often unsung heros.

    1. Stella says:

      I like that – inspiring kids to ‘think beyond their own concerns’. He sounds like he would have been a wonderful teacher. Thanks for adding to this post!

  3. Thank you, Stella for a great post. Your Mr. Davison is my Mademoiselle Chatizel. Like you in middle school. Like you I lost track of her. Unlike you it was in French class. I will never forget this teacher who took us outside to snap pictures so we woud have fresh writing material. She was unlike any other, and I owe her my first thoughts about writing. Often I think of her when I write, here in California. So I thank you for sharing your memories and for reminding us of our past teachers and for thanking our kids’ teachers.

    1. Stella says:

      Thanks Evelyne. I wonder whether they remember us too! They must sometimes wonder what’s become of past students. I think they’d be proud to know what a great influence they were.

  4. What a sweet thought … I too had wanted to thank my 8th Grade English Teacher Ms. Ruth Abraham but I procrastinated so much … how should I start, what should I write, should I quote what she wrote in my Autograph Book when I left school, will she be disappointed that I still have not published though the love of reading and writing she embedded in me forever is still in my blood. An ex schoolmate had posted her picture after visiting her . She was 90 in that picture and still looked so young and gentle. She was going to tutor, she had said in the interview! That is when I decided to write but never got around to doing it. Too late now but I hope that she is looking down on me, pulling her saree around her shoulders as she often did and smiling at me!

    1. Stella says:

      Thank you for your touching comment. How could she be disappointed, if she has given you a lifelong love of reading and writing? She’d be very proud to know you’ve written about her like this!

  5. Don’t know where my original comment went! I’m new still at this so forgive me. What I had written was that I had an opportunity to reconnect with my 8th Grade English Teacher, Miss Ruth Abraham after years and I procrastinated too long to do so. She embedded within me the love of English Literature and writing and in my Autograph Book she wrote an encouraging paragraph and expressed a wish that I would continue to pursue these because she saw something in me.
    When I am down and discouraged with staring at a blank page, my thoughts always turn to Miss Abraham. I hope she is looking down on me, drawing her saree closer around her like a shawl on a cold day, and smiling!
    Thank you Stella for following my blog too. I truly look forward to reading yours in greater deal. It appears to be a treasure trove of tips for newbies like myself.

    1. Stella says:

      What a beautiful picture you paint! I hope you find my blog helpful 🙂

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