This article explores two related facets in the history of international teacher union organisations.First, a basic overview is provided of the history of a number of these networks, beginning in Europewell before 1900. Secondly, this exploration will then focus on one particular group - the WCOTP(the World Confederation of Organisations of the Teacher Profession), and specifically its activitiesduring the 1950s and 1960s. This organisation, like its counterparts, was actively involved over itsentire history in discussing and promoting a wide variety of issues and activities relating to publiceducation. However, it was also involved in more partisan political activities, in the context of its ColdWar engagement with national teacher organisations globally. Drawing on the work of Claus Offe,Maria Elena Cook and Ken Skipes, the article explores these intra- and inter-union affairs, relationswith state apparatus, and raises questions about the overarching nature of teachers' work.