By Donna Krache, CNN
(CNN) - October 5 is World Teachers' Day. Organized by UNESCO in 1994, the day aims to mobilize support for teachers around the world.
In the U.S. alone, there were about 3.7 million teachers working in elementary and secondary schools in 2011.
In a prepared statement, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that World Teachers' Day "gives us an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of teachers across the globe."
"In meeting with thousands of teachers, I am continually inspired by their vision and enthusiasm for what we can do to make the world’s most important profession also its most respected one. Education is essential to eliminating gender inequality, reducing poverty, creating a sustainable planet and fostering peace. In the knowledge economy, education is the new currency by which nations maintain economic competitiveness and global prosperity. On World Teachers’ Day we recognize that our great teachers make these goals possible," said Duncan.
Students can send e-cards to their teachers by visiting the UNESCO World Teachers' Day site.
How have teachers contributed to who you are and how you see the world? Share in the comments!