Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

Worthy Wage Day – May 1, 2025

Worthy Wage Day is annually observed on May 1. It’s the day to bring public attention to the wages of essential workers, ensuring that the amount of labor they put in reflects on their paycheck. The main goal of this day is to highlight fair compensation, specifically for childhood educators. As a teacher-led movement, this day is to remind everyone that the world’s most essential professionals – from doctors to scientists and engineers – all started from basic education. Teachers are the foundation of all professionals. It’s time to return the favor and give them the compensation they deserve.

History of Worthy Wage Day

Teachers are some of the most underpaid and undervalued professionals in the U.S. There is a history behind what was deemed ‘worthless wages’ and how it caused an uprising among educators. After the normalization of unfair compensation throughout the decades, the Worthy Wage Day was created as a form of teacher activism back in 1992. It was a day of community activities supported by over 120 organizations in 30 different states, holding rallies and teach-ins, and so much more. It garnered national attention when it was featured on “CBS Nightly News.” Everyone was aware that this movement wouldn’t yield overnight success, so it became an annual event for stakeholders to continuously raise their voices and fight for fair compensation for a largely invisible workforce.

Despite this movement, the U.S. economic system didn’t acknowledge the value of the teaching industry for a while. According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in 1994, teachers earned 1.8% less a week compared to other workers. All they could do was continue their efforts to disrupt the status quo. This lasted for at least a decade. 1991 to 2001 were the years of protests, rallies, and media campaigns.

In the early to mid-2010s, teachers’ wages were at the height of public attention. In 2014, further research showed that half of the teaching workforce depended on food stamps to support themselves. In 2016, at least 20,000 educators from West Virginia walked out of the classrooms until the state met their demands both in insurance and salaries. In 2018, thousands of teachers in Oklahoma seized the capitol, vowing not to leave until lawmakers take action on education funding. As of today, fair compensation activism in the teaching industry is still a continuous movement for the government to make necessary changes. Worthy Wage Day reminds everyone that teachers deserve so much more for their contributions.

Worthy Wage Day timeline

First Publicly-Funded Preschool

U.S. President Johnson creates Head Start, the first publicly-funded preschool to support low-income families.

First Worthy Wage Day

Teachers start an activism event to raise awareness for fair compensation in the education sector.

Activism in West Virginia

In West Virginia, 20,000 teachers walk out of their classrooms, demanding that the state grant their demands on insurance and salaries.

Activism in Oklahoma

Thousands of teachers in Oklahoma head to the capitol and rally for fair compensation.

Worthy Wage Day FAQs

What are the qualifications to be a teacher in the U.S.?

The qualifications to be a professional educator include a bachelor’s degree, state-approved program completion, the passage of licensure exam, successful background check, and other local school requirements.

What is the average annual salary of high school teachers in the U.S.?

A high school teacher’s average annual income in the U.S. is $64,340.

Do teachers get paid in the summer?

No, teachers don’t get paid during the summer and on holidays. However, some teachers may opt for a 12-month pay structure in which their total annual pay excluding holidays will be divided and given to them each month. That way, from a budgeting point of view, it seems like they’re getting paid during holidays.

How to Observe Worthy Wage Day

  1. Participate in fundraisers

    Multiple organizations in different states conduct fundraising events for educators on Worthy Wage Day. These events are dedicated to helping educators provide the necessary tools, materials, and resources for teaching.

  2. Remember your favorite teacher

    Worthy Wage Day is not just about raising awareness of unfair compensation, it’s also about celebrating every teacher’s value. One of the simplest ways to do that is to send your favorite teacher a letter or gift, expressing your appreciation for them.

  3. Join awareness campaigns

    The fight for every teacher’s worth is an ongoing battle. Every Worthy Wage Day, teachers and other essential workers within the education industry conduct campaigns such as seminars, parades, and rallies to continuously bring public attention to this epidemic. You may join these events as a volunteer or spectator.

5 Interesting Facts About Wages

  1. Worst wage stagnation of all professions

    According to the Department of Education’s data, 3.2 million public teachers are earning less than average than they did in 1990 with inflation-adjusted dollars.

  2. Wages in Arizona are plummeting

    According to “Time” magazine, the average teacher’s annual wages in Arizona are down by $5,000.

  3. An ongoing centuries-long issue

    In 1647, the first public school was established in Massachusetts, where teachers were asked to do the job for less pay.

  4. New York is the highest-paying state

    According to Newsweek, the average annual income of teachers in New York is $87,543.

  5. It started in California

    The Worthy Wage Day campaign started in the Child Care Employee Project in California.

Why Worthy Wage Day is Important

  1. We love our teachers

    We all have had a special connection to teachers since we were kids. They helped us hone our character and support us to find our passion for future careers. Worthy Wage Day is the time of the year to give back and recognize the value of the profession.

  2. We support wage equality

    In the era of wage equality amongst men and women of all professions, it only makes sense to show support to this invisible workforce. Teachers may not always be in the spotlight making headlines, but fair compensation in their industry is not any less important.

  3. Education is key to success

    Supporting fair compensation for teachers is key to the foundation of better education in the U.S. Honing and nurturing educators creates a ripple effect on the future of the American education system, strengthening the workforce, and mobilizing their passion into action.

Worthy Wage Day dates

2025May 1Thursday
2026May 1Friday
2027May 1Saturday
2028May 1Monday
2029May 1Tuesday
Hurricane Preparedness Week
National Physical Education and Sport Week
Agriculture and Labor Day
Blessing Day
Calan Mai
Couple Appreciation Day
CSS Reboot Day
Executive Coaching Day
Frequent Flyer Day
Global Love Day
International Sunflower Guerilla Gardening Day
Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 Day
Labor Day Philippines
Learn to Ride a Bike Day
Lei Day
Marshall Islands Constitution Day
May Day
Mother Goose Day
National Black Barber Shop Appreciation Day
National Chocolate Parfait Day
National Day of Prayer
National Day of Reason
National Infertility Survival Day
National Loyalty Day
National Mantra Day
National Purebred Dog Day
National Rotate Your Beer Day
New Homeowners Day
Phone in Sick Day
Save The Rhino Day
School Principals' Day
Silver Star Banner Day
Therapeutic Massage Awareness Day
World Password Day
Worthy Wage Day
ALS Awareness Month
American Cheese Month
American Wetlands Month
Anxiety Awareness Month
Arthritis Awareness Month
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Awareness of Medical Orphans Month
Be Kind to Animals Month
Bealtaine Festival
Better Sleep Month
Better Speech and Hearing Month
Bladder Cancer Awareness Month
Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month
Brain Cancer Awareness Month
Building Safety Month
Celiac Awareness Month
Chip Your Pet Month
Chronic Fatigue Awareness Month
Clean Air Month
Community Action Month
Correct Posture Month
Creative Beginnings Month
Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month
Date Your Mate Month
Deck Safety Month
EDS Awareness Month
Electromagnetic Radiation Awareness Month
Family Wellness Month
Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness Month
Food Allergy Action Month
Fungal Infection Awareness Month
Gardening for Wildlife Month
Get Caught Reading Month
Gifts From The Garden Month
Global Employee Health and Fitness Month
Global Youth Traffic Safety Month
Haitian Heritage Month
Heal the Children Month
Healthy Vision Month
Hepatitis Awareness Month
Homeschool Awareness Month
Huntington's Disease Awareness Month
Indian Heritage Month
Internal Audit Awareness Month
International Business Image Improvement Month
International Civility Awareness Month
International Drum Month
International Respect for Chickens Month
International Victorious Woman Month
Jewish American Heritage Month
Labor History Month
Latino Books Month
Leaders of Tomorrow Month
Lettuce Month
Local and Community History Month
Lung Health Awareness Month
Lupus Awareness Month
Make May Purple /Action On Stroke Month
Maternal Mental Health Month
May Measurement Month
MCS Awareness Month
Meditation Month
Mediterranean Diet Month
Melanoma / Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month
Mental Health Awareness Month
Military Appreciation Month
Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
National Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month
National Asparagus Month
National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month
National Barbecue Month
National Bicycle Safety Month
National Blood Pressure Month
National Chocolate Custard Month
National Comfort Month
National Digestive Disease Awareness Month
National Duckling Month
fried egg on national egg month
National Egg Month
National Foster Care Month
National Hamburger Month
National Heritage Month
National Inventors Month
a nurse on National Lyme Disease Awareness Month
National Lyme Disease Awareness Month
National Moving Month
National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month
National Pet Month
National Photography Month
National Physical Fitness and Sports Month
National Physiotherapy Month
National Physiotherapy Month
National Preservation Month
National Prom Graduation Safety Month
National Recommitment Month
National Salad Month
National Salsa Month
National San Architect Month
National Service Dog Eye Examination Month
National Share a Story Month
National Show Your Smile Month
National Sight-Saving Month
National Strawberry Month
National Teen Self-Esteem Month
National Tennis Month
National Toxic Encephalopathy and Chemical Injury Awareness Month
National Tuberous Sclerosis Awareness Month
National Vinegar Month
National Walking Month
National Youth Traffic Safety Month
Necrotizing Fasciitis Awareness Month
Neurofibromatosis Month
Older Americans Month
Personal History Awareness Month
Pet Sitter Safety Month
Responsible Animal Guardian Month
Revise Your Work Schedule Month
Small Business Month
Speech and Hearing Awareness Month
Steelmark Month
Strike Out Strokes Month
Stroke Awareness Month
Syringomyelia Awareness Month
Teen CEO Month
Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month
Tuberous Sclerosis Awareness Month
Ultraviolet Awareness Month
Women's Health Month
Zombie Awareness Month

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.