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When is Teacher Appreciation Day?

PLUS Five Great Ways to Thank Your Favorite Teacher

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When is Teacher Appreciation Day?

If you're an educator in America, the first full week in May is a very exciting time! That week is dedicated to celebrating teachers. It is known across schools as "Teacher Appreciation Week." From public to private schools, early childhood and K-12, our talented educators experience the much-deserved spotlight during this very special week.

The Tuesday of Teacher Appreciation Week is known as Teachers' Day.

However, these celebrations haven't always been in place! Read on to learn more about the history of Teacher Appreciation Day and Teacher Appreciation Week.

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What is the history of Teacher Appreciation Day?

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Believe it or not, Teacher Appreciation Day has been around for over 70 years! In fact, it was brought about long before Teacher Appreciation Week.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt played a crucial role in the establishment of Teacher Appreciation Day in the United States. She had been advocating for the recognition of teachers for quite some time, driven by her belief in the importance of education and the pivotal role teachers play in shaping society.

The specific duration of Eleanor Roosevelt's push for Teacher Appreciation Day is not precisely documented, but her efforts came to fruition in 1953 when she successfully lobbied the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day. This day was initially celebrated on March 7th but was later moved to the first Tuesday of the first full week of May to better fit the academic calendar.

Eleanor Roosevelt's advocacy for teachers stemmed from her belief that education was the key to individual empowerment and societal progress. She recognized the dedication and hard work of teachers and sought to ensure they received the appreciation and recognition they deserved.

The establishment of Teacher Appreciation Day marked a significant milestone in acknowledging the contributions of educators and raising awareness of the importance of education. It provided a dedicated opportunity for communities to express gratitude to teachers and celebrate their impact on students' lives.

Overall, Teacher Appreciation Day, with Eleanor Roosevelt's advocacy as a driving force, serves as a reminder of the invaluable role teachers play in shaping the future and underscores the importance of supporting and honoring educators.

What is the history of Teacher Appreciation Week?

Three decades after the establishment of Teacher Appreciation Day, the National PTA expanded recognition for these vital educators by establishing Teacher Appreciation Week.

The establishment of Teacher Appreciation Week in 1984 by the National PTA marked a significant milestone in recognizing the contributions of teachers to all of society. The decision to expand the recognition from a single day to a week-long celebration was driven by several factors and involved concerted efforts by various stakeholders.

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1. Recognition of Teachers' Importance: There was a growing acknowledgment of the crucial role teachers play in shaping the lives of students and communities. The National PTA recognized the need to extend appreciation beyond just a single day to adequately honor and recognize teachers' dedication and hard work.

2. Expansion of Appreciation: While Teacher Appreciation Day provided a valuable opportunity to express gratitude to teachers, it was limited to just one day. Establishing Teacher Appreciation Week allowed for a more extensive and sustained acknowledgment of teachers' contributions, providing schools, communities, and organizations with a designated timeframe to celebrate educators' impact.

3. Advocacy and Collaboration: The National PTA played a central role in advocating for the establishment of Teacher Appreciation Week. Leveraging its platform and networks, the organization collaborated with educators, parents, policymakers, and other stakeholders to garner support for the initiative. This involved raising awareness about the importance of recognizing teachers and highlighting the benefits of dedicating a week to honor their efforts.

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4. Public Reception and Support: While there may have been initial challenges in establishing Teacher Appreciation Week, the concept was generally well-received by the public. Communities and educational institutions embraced the opportunity to show their appreciation for teachers in a more comprehensive manner. The week-long observance provided a platform for creative and meaningful expressions of gratitude, ranging from special events and activities to heartfelt gestures from students, parents, and administrators.

Overall, the establishment of Teacher Appreciation Week by the National PTA reflected a growing societal recognition of the importance of teachers and the need to honor their contributions in a meaningful and sustained manner. Through advocacy, collaboration, and public support, Teacher Appreciation Week has become an annual tradition that continues to uplift and celebrate educators across the United States and beyond.

Five Heartfelt Ways to Thank Your Favorite Teacher

1. Write a Thank-You Note: Take a moment to pen down your gratitude in a heartfelt note to your teacher. Share specific memories or instances where their guidance made a difference in your life. Teachers cherish these personal messages more than any gift. Better yet! Use giant thank you cards like these and have a whole group sign them!

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2. Create a Tribute Video: Gather messages from fellow classmates or colleagues expressing their appreciation for the teacher. Compile them into a video montage, accompanied by photos and clips from memorable moments in class. It's a touching reminder of the impact they've had on so many lives.

WeVideo is hands down the easiest and most versatile video editing software. Get a 30 day trial of it here!

3. Gift of Learning: Consider donating books to your teacher's classroom library or educational supplies they may need. You could also sponsor a subscription to an educational resource or platform they've been eyeing. Show them you value their dedication to fostering learning. Better yet! Make a purchase from Teachers Pay Teachers and share the love with both the seller and your favorite teacher!

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4. Organize a Surprise Celebration: Coordinate with other students or colleagues to organize a surprise celebration for your teacher. It could be a simple gathering with snacks and refreshments, or even a themed party reflecting their interests or favorite subjects.

5. Offer Acts of Service: Sometimes the best gift is a helping hand. Offer to assist with classroom tasks, grading papers, or setting up for lessons. Your teacher will appreciate the gesture and the extra time it affords them to focus on teaching.

These gestures, big or small, convey your appreciation and gratitude for the hard work and dedication teachers put into shaping the lives of their students.

In May and every day, join me in saying, "Thank you, Teachers!"

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