Teachers demonstrate in Swaziland Teachersolidarity reviews the struggles of teachers all over the world in 2012 The past year has seen unrelenting resistance by teachers in every corner of the globe. This website has reported on struggles for pay in 27 countries, against temporary contracts in 9, against education cuts in 23, against privatisation of schools in 16. This is by no means a definitive list, simply some of the fights, which have come to our attention in 2012. And if student struggles were included the number would be higher still. Nor is this resistance confined to the struggle for education – teachers have been in the forefront of the fight for democracy and against repression in 16 countries this year, identified in articles on this site. It is important to emphasise the global reach of this resistance. It is by no means confined to the Global North, even though struggles in the South are scarcely reported except in their own countries. Of the 16 countries mentioned in struggles against privatisation only 3 are in the North, one in a transitional country and the rest are all in the Global South. All the struggles against temporary contracts, which we have reported this year, have been in the Global South, as have the majority on wages and many against cuts and neo-liberal education policies like national testing. Of course the issues overlap. The struggle for a living wage is inseparable from the struggle against cuts. Resistance to privatisation is also sometimes about resistance to low pay as well as an ideological commitment to public education. The struggle for democracy is often also a struggle for union rights and for democratic and public education. There is however a framework in which all the attacks on teaching, teachers and public education can be viewed and that is so-called neo-liberal ‘reform’. This agenda, which includes the cutting of public budgets and therefore of education budgets, the promotion of privatisation, the globalisation of curricula and control methods like national (and international) testing, performance related pay and temporary contracts, has spread over the world during the last decade like a virus. It is promoted by international finance institutions like the World Bank, by multi-national corporations and  their ‘philanthropic’ foundations. For capital it is a win-win situation – not only can profit be extracted from the multi-trillion dollar education ‘industry’ – not only can taxes be cut through the shrinking of public education – but curricula can be tailored to suit its need for a flexible and biddable workforce and for credulous and willing consumers.   Despite working in often intolerable conditions, for often low or impossibly low salaries, teachers are subject to a constant stream of denigration. The best example of this in relation to the Global South is the World Bank document ‘Making Schools Work’ whose front cover depicts an African teacher apparently asleep in a classroom and whose content goes on to deride and blame public school teachers and their work for the failure to reach the so-called Millennium Development Goal of Universal Primary Education. In the North teachers are also subject to what Henry Giroux calls ‘the war against teachers.’ This denigration is for two reasons in both North and South. Partly it is fear of what teachers can achieve – as Giroux puts it: The wealthy hedge fund managers, think tank operatives and increasingly corrupt corporate CEOs are panicked by the possibility that teachers and public schools might provide the conditions for the cultivation of an informed and critical citizenry capable of actively and critically participating in the governance of a democratic society. There is another connected reason. Teachers and their unions provide one of the main blocks to the neo-liberal agenda, as I have illustrated at the beginning of this article. It is connected because often children and students come out with teachers to fight for public education. Indeed the most successful fights involve not just the teachers and their pupils but local communities as well. Teaching at its best is not about the filling of children’s brains with facts and skills, which can be reproduced for a test, but rather a relationship, in which children and teachers work together to develop their humanity and understand the world in which they live, so that they can help to change it. The importance and the depth of that relationship was seen most clearly at Sandy Hook Elementary school, where teachers defended the lives of their pupils with their own bodies. But in truth it is reflected all over the world, as teachers struggle for democratic, public education, for the sake of themselves and above all for the future generations in their care. The hope of this website for 2013 is that teachers increasingly see themselves as part of a global struggle, that international solidarity develops and grows, and that teachers and their unions not only resist the neo-liberal education agenda, but continue to develop their own understanding of education and its role in the development of  our shared humanity.