Teacher Appreciation Week
Few other professionals touch as many people as teachers do. Educators contribute to communities across our state every day in many ways. During Teacher Appreciation Week, thousands of communities will take time to honor their local educators and the commitment, enthusiasm and hard work of all educators— past, present and future. Teacher Appreciation Week is your opportunity to show your appreciation to teachers for all the effort they put in each day and the education that we receive thanks to them, and to acknowledge the crucial role teachers play in making sure every student receives a quality education.
About National Teacher Day and Teacher Appreciation Week
The origins of Teacher Day are somewhat murky. Beginning around 1944, Wisconsin teacher Ryan Krug began corresponding with political and education leaders about the need for a national day to honor teachers. Woodbridge wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt, who in 1953 first proposed that Congress set aside a day to acknowledge the work of educators.
NEA, along with its Kansas and Indiana state affiliates and the Dodge City Kansas local, lobbied Congress to create a permanent day celebrating teachers. Congress declared March 7, 1980 as National Teacher Day, but for that year only. NEA and its affiliates continued to observe National 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. Since then, NEA has celebrated National Teacher Day on the Tuesday of that week. For more information on National Teacher Day, including My Amazing Teacher Campaign and NEA’s Classroom Superhereos, visit www.nea.org/teacherday.
Help Us Spread the Word!
Tweet Teacher Week messages. Be sure to use our #thankateacher hashtag.
- If you can write your name, #thankateacher
- If you followed your dreams, #thankateacher
- If you can read, #thankateacher
As part of its annual National Teacher Week celebration, the National Education Association (NEA) is highlighting key trends in the teaching profession.
The trends identified that have played a critical role in shaping the teaching profession include:
Changes in the workforce and the student population
- There are 3,232,813 teachers in K-12 public schools nationwide. About 16 percent of these positions become vacant each year.
- Forty-five percent of new teachers abandon the profession in their first five years.
- There’s a growing demographic divide between America’s predominantly white teaching force and an increasingly diverse student body, and the proportion of women teachers continues to rise.
- Nearly 40 percent of those entering America’s classrooms today are coming from other careers.
Changes in working conditions and school environments
- More teachers believe collaborating with colleagues is essential to their work, but many districts still don’t provide time for teachers to learn, share and collaborate.
- Nearly all classrooms (97 percent) have one or more computers, but half of the nation’s teachers say they need training to better integrate technology into classroom instruction—and such support is unevenly distributed across schools.
- Newer teachers put a high premium on exploring new roles and taking on new responsibilities in order to expand career options.
- Teachers’ salaries still lag behind those for other occupations requiring a college degree, and the pay gap is growing larger.
Changes in teacher training, licensure and evaluation
- Many charter schools do not require new teachers to have certification for what they are teaching.
- The proportion of public school teachers holding master’s degrees has more than doubled over roughly the last 50 years, from 24 percent in 1955 to 52 percent in 2007.
A Special Thank You from OEA President Patricia Frost-Brooks
Your dedication runs deep. In the classroom, you teach content so the next generation can learn. As counselors, you guide teenagers through difficult years and you help them choose the right college. As support professionals, you give students a nutritious lunch. You drive children safely to school. And in college, you help them aspire to deep understanding of our world and its possibilities. That is why we at OEA join NEA and everyone who truly values your work as educators use this week, Teacher Appreciation Week, to show our appreciation for your contribution to our communities. Thank you for everything you do!