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Celebrating World Teachers’ Day

By October 5, 2018 executive Ebony Frelix (right) takes time to volunteer with local San Francisco bay area teachers and students. executive Ebony Frelix (right) takes time to volunteer with local San Francisco bay area teachers and students.

Did you know that today, October 5, is World Teachers’ Day? Since education is so important to advancing our shared futures, we would like to take a moment to celebrate this special day set aside for teachers past and present from around the world. Tweet about it with the hashtag: #WorldTeachersDay

For 2018, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the theme: “The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher. It commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and serves as a reminder that the right to education cannot be realized without trained and qualified teachers.

The Impact Teachers Make

If you can read and write, thank a teacher. Literacy is key to UN Sustainable Development Goals like gender equity and more.

Some context: For much of history, only the most privileged members of society were literate. When we advance literacy, we advance social justice. After all, if you can’t read or write, it’s hard to be a responsible citizen and make effective choices.

As an article by Concordia University Portland notes, “Those who are illiterate can lack access to information, are excluded from making choices about their rights or government through voting, and have less opportunities for employment. Illiteracy keeps people trapped in a cycle of poverty and subjugation, limiting life choices and making it difficult to achieve social mobility. Literacy truly is power—power over one’s own life. While today’s American public schools are compulsory and free to attend, and we now have things like television and the internet, reading still remains a critical pathway to freedom.”

More broadly speaking, teachers help us grow. Behind every great leader is a teacher, mentor, coach or guru. Teachers uplift our spirits and give us hope in tough times. Across the world, Teachers’ Day celebrations often involve children presenting gifts, flowers, and hand-made cards and other tokens of appreciation to their beloved teachers. In Ukraine, the day begins with gatherings and concerts. In other countries, children organize day-long events such as dance recitals, songs, and theater at their school. The atmosphere is jovial, and teachers and students share camaraderie.

We celebrate teachers on World Teachers Day

Teachers in India

While the word “guru” has been adopted in the West as a colloquial term meaning “an expert at something,” it actually means “teacher” in Sanskrit. Teachers are known and valued as disruptive innovators in Indian culture. While October 5 is World Teachers’ Day, in India it is celebrated on September 5 to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who was a renowned Indian philosopher and statesman.

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, a famous Indian philosopher and statesman.
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, a famous Indian philosopher and statesman.

Here are some words of reflection and appreciation for teachers from Salesforce employees in Hyderabad:

Ravi Nanduri“Coming from a typical South Indian family where Engineering and Medicine are the only acceptable career choices, my teachers have been instrumental in advising me to follow my passion even though it’s against society’s norms. I am always grateful for their advice and direction to make me what I am today.”
– Ravi Nanduri, Sr Lead Office Manager

Khushboo Rani“I come from a family where education for women is not considered very important. My cousins got married at a very early age and never got the opportunity to explore what they could have achieved on their own, or what they wanted for themselves. I expected the same to happen with me and told my younger self not to dream big.

Thanks to my teachers who explained to my parents the importance of education and how it would enable their daughter to face anything without depending on anyone, I was supported to go to college. If it weren’t for my teachers, I wouldn’t be at Salesforce today with the amazing life I have.”
– Khushboo Rani, Lead Coordinator, Workplace Services

Swastica SinhaI owe my confidence to my teachers. Today I can trust myself and it is because my teachers trusted in me and made me a better human being. Both my parents were teachers and I saw the respect they got their entire life. Teachers have the power to change the world as they shape the future of the society in the form of students.”
– Swastica Sinha, Business Operations Analyst

Pinky Goud“My teachers have had a huge impact in my life. They have not only helped me enhance my knowledge, but also helped me grow as a responsible human being. I love teachers. Indeed, I come from a family where every other woman is a teacher!”
– Pinky Goud, Business Operations Analyst

The K-12 Team: Former Teachers Advancing Education through Technology

The K-12 education team at is passionate (and knowledgeable) about the needs of schools. Why? Well, in part, it’s because several of us are former teachers ourselves!

Adam RobertsAdam Roberts is the Senior Program Manager for K-12 Strategic Partnerships at He works primarily with the San Francisco and Oakland Unified School District to identify and implement Salesforce solutions, which enable student, educator, and school success. Adam got his start as a high school math teacher in northeast Washington, D.C., with Teach For America. After the classroom, he took the helm at KIPP DC public charter schools, where he overhauled the technology program and pioneered a 5-year federal Race to the Top District personalized learning initiative.

Adam shares: “Too often, educational and life inequities persist in the same communities where car-sharing and product delivery companies have otherwise leveled those playing fields. I’m so excited to be navigating the Fourth Industrial Revolution with these two school districts and as we leverage this technology to set every student up for success.”

Lindsey PatinLindsey Patin is a Solution Engineer at She got her start in Teach for America, and is a credentialed educator for students with special needs. She developed and delivered lessons to students with Special Needs in every major content area at the high school level. She helped advance more inclusive teaching models for students with disabilities in South Central Los Angeles. An accomplishment she celebrates is that 25% of her students with special needs were recognized in the top 12% of the overall academic class.

Lindsey shares: “Having lived for several years in the global center of technology innovation, I see how technology advances society. I always think, ‘Why can’t our students benefit from these advances as well?’ The status quo for schools today is only becoming further and further behind the rest of the world, which is going to impact our students’ access to future opportunities. That’s what motivates me to enable our schools to harness the power of one of the world’s best enterprise platforms for our future generations of students.”

Omar GarriottOmar Garriott is Senior Director of Product Marketing & Strategy for K-12 education at, having worked in previous edtech marketing roles for Apple, LinkedIn, and Adobe. But Omar’s first job out of college was as a 3rd grade Teach for America teacher in southeast Washington, D.C., where he was a finalist for the district’s new teacher award.

Omar shares: “My time in the classroom was deeply illuminating around the challenges facing our education system. It shaped everything I’ve done since. You can’t have that experience and not try to make a career out of becoming a systemic change agent. The passion, outrage and connection feel as real as ever, some 15 years later. To me, teachers are our most prized everyday heroes.”

Tim BarnesTim Barnes is a K-12 Account Executive based in Denver, Colorado. Prior to Salesforce, his education career included work as a Social Studies teacher at West Leadership Academy in Denver Public Schools. In addition to his current work of bringing transformative technology into schools, Tim continues to pursue his passion of teaching by mentoring students.

Tim shares: “Teaching public schools in Philadelphia and Denver allowed me to see firsthand how challenging teaching can be. More importantly though, I saw how immensely rewarding the day-to-day life can be for a teacher. Seeing my 9th grade students graduate this year was one of the best experiences of my life, but also reminded me to always be grateful for those teachers who are dedicating their lives to these students. I am excited about the opportunity here at where we are working to improve their day-to-day lives through technology. executives Rob Acker (CEO) and Josue Estrada (SVP Marketing and Industry Solutions) volunteer with local school kids at a STEM education event. executives Rob Acker (CEO) and Josue Estrada (SVP Marketing and Industry Solutions) volunteer with local school kids at a STEM education event.

Technology, Schools, and Helping Students be Future-Ready

At, we invest in youth from the classroom to the boardroom, and all the milestones along the way. Our commitment is focused on equality: to increase access to opportunities at every step because we live in a world where equal access is not a guarantee.

We use our technology and our skills to grow impact. Our philanthropic and employee investments work with schools and nonprofit partners to level the playing field for youth to be better equipped with what they need to succeed. We strive to get young children school-ready, teens tech-ready, and young adults workforce-ready. The world we envision will see more young girls enrolled in computer science and more minority youth represented in technology careers.

We believe equality starts with education. By investing in learning tools, confidence-building, teacher capacity, and science and math curricula, we are equipping youth with relevant educational experiences to help create global workforce that is more equitable, more skilled, diverse, and prepared for tomorrow.

But we don’t stop there. We also fundamentally believe that everyone who wants to change the world should have the tools and technology to do so. Technology is the most powerful equalizer of our time, providing access to data, knowledge, and connections.

The new Education Cloud for K-12 leverages Salesforce technology, the world’s leading CRM platform, to unlock a school’s potential and help streamline critical activities that drive school and student success, including:

Education Cloud for K-12 empowers the Connected School, putting students at the center of everything schools do. Hundreds of schoolsfrom public, to charter, to private schoolsalready use Salesforce in the areas of admissions and enrollment, student success, fundraising, marketing, analytics, and more. Join these K-12 trailblazers and learn more about schools using Salesforce!