Teachers play a critical role in educating and shaping our children: the future leaders of our country. They are kind, patient, hard-working, dedicated, and understanding professionals that mold our children’s lives in a positive direction.
Can you believe we have almost 9,000 classrooms in the NWESD region and a dedicated educator in each one of those rooms?! I kept this fact in mind as I traveled through the region earlier this month and saw many schools celebrating their teachers for Teacher Appreciation week May 8-12. I observed everything from banners in hallways to PTA-sponsored lunches, all in the spirit of thanking our teachers for the dedication to their students! It is such a wonderful way to honor our teachers, it made me wonder how this celebration all started.
After a little research, I discovered that this event dates back to 1944. Eleanor Roosevelt persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim National Teachers’ Day in 1953. The National Education Association continued to observe 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.
Teacher Appreciation brings to mind the story of Dr. Teddy Stallard. Teddy was a disheveled, troubled kid when he began 5th grade. His teacher, Mrs. Thompson, decided to read his cumulative record to find out more about his history and found that his mother died when he was in third grade. Prior to that, Teddy was a bright student. During the holidays that year, Teddy gave Mrs. Thompson a half-empty bottle of perfume and a broken bracelet. She dabbed some of the perfume on, and later that day Teddy told her that she smelled just like his mother. This had such a profound impact on Mrs. Thompson that she decided to give Teddy the extra attention he needed to blossom again. Fifth grade ended up being a wonderful experience for Teddy and he began to flourish with the extra attention from his mentor and teacher. Teddy went on to graduate at the top of his class in high school, then college where he graduated with honors, and after that continued on to medical school! Check out the full youtube https://youtu.be/wJOYAIL9UVg
Most of us have at least one teacher whom we remember for inspiring us to be a better student and person. Teacher Appreciation Week gives us the opportunity to celebrate teachers who have made lasting contributions to our lives. Who was your Mrs. Thompson? Have you thanked that teacher for always being there and encouraging you? It is never too late to thank a teacher during Teacher Appreciation Week or any day of the year for helping you along the way. #thankateacher