World Teachers’ Day is back, as always, on 5 October! On this occasion, we aim to celebrate inspiring teachers around the world, whose work deserves to be highlighted. In this article, meet Leticia from Ghana, who promotes intercultural education and global citizenship in her school.

We met Leticia through the Teachers for the Planet Programme, a global coalition co-led by the Aga Khan Foundation, Learning Planet Institute and Teach For All, which witnesses inspiring examples of outstanding educators all around us. It puts teachers and education leaders at the centre of the educational response to our climate crisis.

Are you an exceptional educator like Leticia, working to address the climate crisis in your school? We are now collecting solutions, 100 of which will be presented to policymakers at COP28. 

Who / what are your sources of inspiration?

My inspiration to be a teacher stems from the admiration I had for my kindergarten teacher. She partly influenced my decision to become a teacher. She was passionate about teaching and had the ability to completely engage even very young learners in the classroom. 

I also believe that teaching is one of the few professions that offer the opportunity to be part of the success stories of others. I wanted to make a positive impact on the lives of students who live in deprived communities and study in less privileged and low resourced schools. This explains my nickname “the village teacher.”

As a teacher, I do more than teach, and my impact extends far beyond the classroom. The success stories of my students also inspire me to do more and make a difference in the lives of as many students as possible. 

How do you involve kids on topics that are important to you?

Involving teenage students on important topics is a daunting task. However, I employ my skills and experiences in engaging students this age on topics which are important to me. To begin with, I incorporate essential topics such as time management, conflict resolution, financial literacy, climate change education and intercultural education into my lessons. I also discuss important subjects during casual conversations with students. Finally, as the patron of the Leadership and Literacy Club in my school, l use club meetings as a medium of engaging students on such topics. My aim is to groom my students into global citizens.

What’s the best advice your students have given you? 

To capitalise on my strengths and explore my talents in order to make teaching and learning more meaningful, inclusive and accessible to all. 

Are you optimistic about the future?

Yes! I am optimistic about the future. As an advocate for blended/hybrid learning and intercultural education, my aim is to help revolutionise teaching and learning especially in less privileged schools. I believe the future is bright with Global Citizenship Education (GCED) and it begins with the TEACHER.

Meet Leticia

Having drawn inspiration from my kindergarten teacher, I have an intense passion for teaching. With eleven years of experience, I promote intercultural education and global citizenship in my school, St. Catherine Senior High School located at Agbakope in the southern part of Ghana. I began the Solar Powered Mower Project to find a lasting solution to challenges students face when weeding grass on the school compound due to increased rainfall caused by climate change. I am a Fulbright TEA alumna who was at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.

More about the Teachers for the Planet Programme

Learning Planet Institute, the Aga Khan Foundation and Teach For All are excited to lead the Teachers for the Planet Programme. The programme galvanizes action to foster explicit and concrete links between the education and climate change sectors for real impact at the school and system levels, with tangible outputs that position education actors for climate action and leadership.

The coalition and programme puts teachers and education leaders firmly at the centre of the educational response to our climate crisis.

The programme has two aims in the lead-up to COP28:

  • Build community: Establish a strong global community of practice for school and system-level leaders in climate and education where new solutions are discussed and debated for the future of the planet.
  • Inspire Action: Develop a new online and offline repository of proven innovations in climate and education that are useful for teachers, school leaders, and education/climate policy-makers.

Through these aims the coalition and Programme seek to increase levels of:

  • Access… By teachers, students, and Ministries of Education to new forums of technical, financial, and political decision-makers in climate change;
  • Agency…by teachers, students, and Ministries of Education to design, innovate, and showcase new school-, community-, and learner-driven solutions to addressing the climate crisis;
  • Action…by teachers, students, and Ministries of Education by offering new teacher training/customizable learning resources about addressing climate change in and through education.