Teachers are more than just the person at the front of the classroom: they're our neighbors, family members, and friends. They tie our shoes, give us high fives, make us laugh, and turn our frowns upside down. Teachers inspire us every day to reach our potential and believe in us even when we may not believe in ourselves. The bottom line – teachers do way more for us than we know and they deserve all our thanks.
Each year, the first full week in May is National Teacher Appreciation Week. Teacher Appreciation Week is a great time to show our utmost appreciation for the educators and school staff in our lives that help keep our schools running and our minds learning, but that doesn't mean we can't show our gratitude for teachers year-round.
Teachers certainly deserve a full week of celebrations, but National Teacher Appreciation Week actually started as National Teacher Day. In 1953, Eleanor Roosevelt convinced Congress that there needed to be a specific day on which teachers were honored and recognized. Congress agreed, but it took another 27 years for it to become a national day. In 1980, the National Education Association (NEA) joined with the Kansas State and Indiana State Boards of Education to lobby Congress to have the day nationally recognized. In 1984 the National Parent Teacher Association felt that teachers should be celebrated for more than just one day each year, so the celebration was extended to the first full week in May and has been celebrated and recognized ever since.
There are a lot of ways we can show our appreciation and thanks to those special educators in our lives. A good place to start is by giving a heartfelt "thank you" to teachers for all they've done for us, especially throughout these difficult past few years. Some other ideas on how you can #ThankATeacher include:
- Writing hand-written letters or notes with messages of appreciation and support
- Creating artwork, poems, or video messages to celebrate your teachers
- Personalized gifts or things you know your teacher likes
- Sharing memories about your favorite classroom moments
- Sharing on social media with the hashtag #ThankATeacher
No idea is too small when it comes to showing our appreciation and thanks to all the teachers and educators who enrich our minds and lives every single day. Even though National Teacher Appreciation Week is only one week long, we can continue to thank our teachers 7 days a week, 365 days a year by doing small acts of kindness and using the ideas above.
How will you show your appreciation and #ThankATeacher this year?