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Tweetable Factoids and Quotes from World Teachers' Day

-All top-performing OECD nations (Finland, Korea, Japan, Canada, Australia...) have strong teachers' unions.

-Cambridge professor John Bangs: Collaborative leadership in schools—not principal going it alone—yields more sustainable improvement.

-Bangs emphasized the necessity of self-efficacy in teachers. He quoted Covey: "Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly."

-Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein was in the house! Ron got his photo with her in the VIP area. I settled for a paparazzi shot. She was there in support of Dyslexia International, a truly impressive operation that has just launched a free "e-campus" for teachers to be able to diagnose and teach students with dyslexia. I got to have a personal tour of the e-campus program from the main designer, and it is a truly impressive program.

-David Edwards of Education International said one unnamed (but guessable) European nation is facing a possible 30 percent austerity cut to education budgets.

-Ron Thorpe: "I have never seen such happy, self-reliant children as I did in Finland."

-September 5 to October 5 is Teachers' Month in the Philippines and they are serious about it!

-French researcher Luc Ria: Strong early-career teachers balance academic requirements with benevolence. He says that respect for human nature structures their work. Authority is understood not as force, but benevolence.

-At last month's United Nations general assembly, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced the launch of a five-year "Education First" initiative. The three goals of the program are to put every child in school, to improve the quality of learning, and to foster global citizenship.

-61 million primary-age children across the world are not enrolled in school and more than half of them are in sub-Saharan Africa. Of these 61 million out-of-school children, nearly half will never experience any schooling of any kind. We need teachers desperately.

-In developing countries, the fundamental challenges are staggering. In Guinea, they are working to make sure that teachers are not homeless. They are also combing the sketchy civil service rolls to find out who in the country is actually teaching class and who is just taking money but not really teaching. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, they are working to reduce three-month delays in paying teachers. In the Central African Republic, class sizes average over 80 students.

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