Teachers’ Day is annually celebrated in Spain on November 27. This holiday was established to commemorate Joseph Calasanz, Catholic priest, educator and the patron saint of the first popular Christian school in Europe.
Joseph Calasanz was born on September 11, 1557. He was the youngest of eight children and his parents gave him an education at home. At the age of 14, he determined to become a priest, but his parents didn’t support his choice. Calasanz chose philosophy and law to study at the University of Lleida, where he obtained a degree of Doctor of Laws. Then he continued his theological education at the University of Valencia.
Joseph was aware of the importance of free education for poor and he founded the first public school in modern Europe, that he opened in November 1597. At that time nobody believed in public education, but Calasanz managed to set up a highly complex structure of schools. He taught his students Latin, native language, mathematics, and sciences.
Every year Spanish children congratulate their teachers on this day. Special festive activities are planned by every school for this day.