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National Teacher Appreciation Day – May 2, 2023

Teacher Appreciation Day falls on the Tuesday in the first full week of May. This year, it takes place on May 2. It is a day to honor the kind, hardworking, and patient individuals who create an everlasting impact on our lives. Given how we entrust teachers with the care and future of the children, every day should be teachers’ appreciation day. And yet, these incredible professionals do not always get the recognition and the pay they deserve. National Teacher Appreciation Day aims to change this narrative.

History of National Teacher Appreciation Day

Teachers have the toughest jobs in the world. One day is not enough to recognize their incredible work — though we can all agree it is a good start. But how did the day originate and when was the first National Teacher Appreciation Day? The country has Eleanor Roosevelt to thank for initiating the movement. Roosevelt convinced Congress of the value of instituting a day that recognizes teachers’ contributions.

Before Roosevelt approached Congress, some states were already observing a day for teachers in their own capacities. It is believed that the idea for this special day first came from Mattye Whyte, a teacher in Arkansas, who wrote to many leaders in the education system. She eventually began writing letters to Roosevelt, hoping that she would support the well-being of teachers and their cause. Roosevelt took the cause to Congress but it still took 27 years for the National Teacher Appreciation Day to become an official national day.

In 1980, the National Education Association (N.E.A.) joined forces with the Indiana and Kansas State Boards of Education to lobby Congress in recognizing a national day for teachers. On March 7, 1980, America celebrated the first National Teacher Appreciation Day. The celebration was moved to May in 1984. This was initiated by the National Parent Teacher Association. Instead of one day, they decided that teachers needed recognition for at least one week. Thus, the first Teacher Appreciation Week in America began. In 1985, the N.E.A. made similar changes and officially designated the Tuesday of the first full week in May as National Teacher Appreciation Day.

National Teacher Appreciation Day timeline

1857
Early Beginnings

America forms its first National Education Association.

1953
The Power of Persuasion

Eleanor Roosevelt convinces the 81st Congress to proclaim a national day for teachers.

1980
It’s Official

The country celebrates the first National Teacher Appreciation Day on March 7.

2014
Exceptional Rewards

The Global Teacher Prize institutes an annual one million U.S.D. award to the outstanding educator from any country.

National Teacher Appreciation Day FAQs

Is today National Thank A Teacher Day?

National Thank A Teacher Day is in May every year. The day celebrates teachers and support staff in schools and colleges across the U.K.

When is Teacher Appreciation Week?

U.S. schools observe Teacher Appreciation Week in May every year. Celebrations take place throughout the first week of May.

What do you do on Teacher Appreciation Week?

You can make teachers feel special in various ways. Keep specialty teas, coffees, and cookies in the teachers’ lounge. Send them cards or personalized gifts. It’s the thought that counts.

National Teacher Appreciation Day Activities

  1. Thank your teachers

    Think of the teachers who have made an impact in your life? Call or write them a message to at least say thank you.

  2. Send a gift

    Gift your favorite teachers something they will cherish. From stationery to handmade cards, a personalized gift will show them how special they are.

  3. Ask them what they need

    Whether it is a word of encouragement or classroom supplies, teachers everywhere could do with more help. Ask how you can support their efforts. Teaching is a tough job, but they do not need to do it alone.

5 Facts About Education Around The World

  1. Too much homework

    Students in China receive 14 hours of homework per week.

  2. The world’s oldest school

    Founded in 597 A.D., the King’s School in Canterbury, England still stands and imparts modern education.

  3. Self-sufficient students

    Students in Japan are taught to travel to school without parents and clean their classrooms.

  4. Schools in Brazil close by noon

    Children go home to eat lunch with their parents since sharing a meal is integral to Brazilian culture.

  5. The world’s tallest school building

    The main building of the Moscow State University is 597 feet high.

Why We Love National Teacher Appreciation Day

  1. It gives credit where it is due

    Everyone knows that teachers are overworked and underappreciated. National Teacher Appreciation Day gives them well-deserved credit and recognition.

  2. It makes someone’s day

    We love to think how teachers everywhere will feel special today. Each one of them needs appreciation.

  3. We need more teachers

    The world desperately needs incredible teachers to shape future generations. We hope today motivates teachers to keep doing what they do. Who knows, they might inspire budding teachers to take up the profession.

National Teacher Appreciation Day dates

YearDateDay
2022May 3Tuesday
2023May 2Tuesday
2024May 7Tuesday
2025May 6Tuesday
2026May 5Tuesday

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