Tuesday, May 6, 2008

National Teacher Day

"Great Teachers Make Great Public Schools"

On National Teacher Day, thousands of communities will take time out to honor their local educators and acknowledge the contributions they make to our lives. Teacher Day annual theme has been replaced with a standing tagline, "Great Teachers Make Great Public Schools," and draws attention to the crucial role teachers play in making sure every child receives a quality public education and conveys the hard work they do each day to make public schools great for every child.

Last year, NEA conducted an online poll asking teachers what kind of gift would most make them feel appreciated. The answer? A simple "thank you," according to nearly half (48%) of all respondents. So remember to say a simple thank you to your teacher, you owe it to them.

History of National Teacher Day

The origins of National Teacher Day are not very clear. Around 1944 Arkansas teacher Mattye Whyte Woodridge 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 persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day.

NEA, along with its Kansas and Indiana state affiliates and the Dodge City (Kan.) Local, lobbied Congress to create a national day celebrating teachers. Congress declared March 7, 1980, as National Teacher Day 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. The NEA Representative Assembly then voted to make the Tuesday of that week National Teacher Day.

Celebrated on the Tuesday of the first full week of May, the actual date varies each year.

Source NEA

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