National Teacher Appreciation Day, also known as National Teacher Day, is observed on the Tuesday of the first full week in May.
Everyone can think of a teacher who had a huge influence on their lives, and National Teacher Day is a day to honor their hard work and the critical role they have in children's learning and development. While we are always grateful for their contributions, it's still important to have a special day set aside to express our appreciation!
The History of National Teacher Appreciation Day
Political and educational leaders began discussions for a day to honor teachers in 1944. In 1953, Eleanor Roosevelt persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim National Teachers’ Day. Congress declared March 7, 1980, as National Teacher Day. The National Education Association continued to observe Teacher Day on the first Tuesday in March until 1985 when the National PTA established Teacher Appreciation Week as the first full week of May. The NEA Representative Assembly then voted to make the Tuesday of that week National Teacher Day.
Ways to Celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Day
Teachers play a pivotal role in our children’s lives, inspiring a lifelong love of learning and discovery and making a difference in their well-being and long-term success.
There are many ways to show appreciate to teachers! Here are some ideas for both children and adults:
Send heartfelt letters, cards and messages of appreciation
Create artwork, poems and video messages
Recognize teachers with awards
Decorate schools and teacher lounges
Host surprise assemblies and other events to honor teachers
Volunteer in classrooms to help teachers
Share on social media about your favorite teacher and thank them using the official hashtag #ThankATeacher.
Why National Teacher Appreciation Day is Important
Whether it is a professor, guidance counselor, art teacher, or principal - an educator in each of our lives went above and beyond to inspire our learning. Thanking teachers for challenging us and believing in our ability to succeed only scratches the surface of repaying the deeper gratitude that’s due.
While teachers' contributions are impossible to truly quantify, their hard work all too often goes unrecognized. According to Gallup research, only 29% of teachers strongly agree with the statement, "In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work."
Recognition isn't just about feeling good. Research shows that consistent recognition for doing good work has a direct influence on the key performance measures that we use to evaluate our schools. In fact, teachers who receive regular recognition and praise:
are more productive;
are more engaged at work;
are more likely to stay with their school; and
are more likely to receive higher satisfaction scores from students and parents.
What are some ways you and your child will honor the special teacher(s) in your life? Let us know in the comments!