Teachers make great public schools

On National Teacher Day, May 8, thousands of communities take time to honor their local educators and acknowledge the crucial role teachers play in making sure every student receives a quality education. Beginning on May 7, celebrate all week long with Teacher Appreciation Week.

Prepared and offered by the NEA

Planning materials and artwork
Download the 2012 artwork including poster, web buttons, and banners.

Amazing teacher campaign
Join the National Education Association and Parenting.com in honoring public school teachers for their unwavering passion, dedication and commitment to educating America’s future. Watch these online tributes to teachers and upload your own.  

5 days, 5 ways teacher giveaway
Throughout Teacher Appreciation Week (May 7-11), our friends at Teaching Channel are celebrating with a 5 Days, 5 Ways Giveaway to thank educators for all their hard work. Tch is giving away more than 200 thank you gifts throughout the week, finishing up with a Friday Grand Thank You! Visit the 5 Days, 5 Ways Giveaway page for more information.

Help spread the word!

Tweet Teacher Week messages. Be sure to use #thankateacher hashtag.

Sample tweets:

If you can write your name, #thankateacher
If you followed your dreams, #thankateacher
If you can read, #thankateacher

NEA's Teacher Thank-You Project

Unveiled in 2009 by NEA President Dennis Van Roekel and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, NEA's "Teacher Thank-You Project" is a collection of thousands of thank-you cards artfully displayed on a larger-than-life mural measuring 8 feet tall and 75 feet wide.

The project is an unprecedented effort to collect thank-you messages for teachers around the world. Thousands of cards from celebrities, athletes, lawmakers, notable public figures, and individuals were compiled. To see a virtual version of the mural and view pictures, go to Teacher Thank-You Project.

Nominate a classroom superhero
They don’t have the cape or the flashy tights, but educators are rising to a superhero challenge every single day. Few people have such an impact on all of our lives, and the lives of our children, as educators.

NEA’s Classroom Superheroes campaign allows parents, students, and community members to show educators the support they deserve. Find out more and then nominate your classroom superheroes.  

Celebrities name most memorable teachers
Behind every famous face is an educator. Actress Hilary Swank said, "Mr. Sellereit (Eric Sellereit, Happy Valley Elementary School, Bellingham, Washington) gave me my first acting job in my school production of The Jungle Book."

History of National Teacher Day
The origins of National Teacher Day are murky. Around 1944 Arkansas teacher Mattye Whyte Woodridge began corresponding with political and education leaders about the need for a national day to honor teachers. Woodridge 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 to celebrate teachers. Congress declared March 7, 1980 as National Teacher Day for that year only.

NEA and its affiliates continued to observe National Teacher Day in March until 1985, when the NEA Representative Assembly voted to change the event to Tuesday of the first full week of May.