Celebrate The Teachers In Your Lives
May 7, 2013

Celebrate The Teachers In Your Lives

According to the Holiday Insights website, the first Tuesday of the first full week in May is always National Teacher Appreciation Day (sometimes called National Teachers Day). This year, that means that Tuesday, May 7, 2013, is the day to celebrate the teachers in your life. From kindergarten teachers to college professors, today is a specific day to appreciate their work. Whether that is because you are a student or maybe you are married to or otherwise related to a teacher or even a friend to one, today is the day that you should take time to celebrate their commitment to a profession that is crucial for the advancement of society and knowledge.

The National Education Association (NEA) website explains the 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.”

Obviously, this day has special importance to me since I am an English professor. More importantly, though, I come from a long line of teachers on both sides of my family. I have aunts and uncles and cousins who have taught from kindergarten through to high school. I have relatives who teach at technical institutes and on college campuses. Teaching is one of the oldest traditions my family has. Many of my family members who are not traditional teachers are teachers in their own rights or at least trainers, who are just teachers after all.

Teaching deserves daily recognition, of course, but sometimes we need a day set aside to remind ourselves to appreciate those who have taught us, are teaching us, or will soon teach us. Teaching is a profession that people should pursue out of a love for their subject and for helping others connect to and learn about that subject. Teaching is a commitment to others. Today is a day to recognize and appreciate that.

The National Education Association website further provides several ideas on how to celebrate teachers today. One such example is to change our Facebook pics with an image from NEA’s website page. They also suggest posting an update thanking specific teachers from our lives. If Facebook isn’t your thing, then tweet about your favorite prof. Or maybe just blog about teachers and learning in general. And if you’re related to a teacher, take time today to hug, kiss, and thank them. Without teachers, life would be decidedly more difficult. Learning would take longer, be more frustrating, and be more an individual experience as opposed to a society one. Teachers commit their careers to helping others reach their goals and learn about the past, present, and future.

Teachers do more than just provide us the path to knowledge. They become our counselors, mentors, friends, and family. They help us find our passions while also providing protection and love.

Today, I will be thanking all the teachers I know. Hopefully, so will you.

Image Credit: Photos.com

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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