As we enter the month of May and children draw near to the end of their academic year, I hope we can all take a moment to reflect on the importance of our teachers and the vital role they play in shaping our nation’s youth. Tuesday, May 8th is National Teacher Day and serves as an opportunity for all of us to thank and honor all educators.
The origins of National Teacher Day began in 1944, when Arkansas teacher Mattye Whyte Woodridge engaged in advocacy efforts and letter writing campaigns to various political and education leaders about the need to have a national day to recognize teachers. Woodridge was able to garner support from Eleanor Roosevelt in 1953, who in turn persuaded Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day. The National Education Association has continued to recognize National Teacher Day on the Tuesday of Teacher Appreciation Week, which occurs during the first full week of May every year.
The lessons that we have all learned from our teachers are invaluable. From mathematics to science to reading this article, we have teachers to thank for imparting useful, life-long skills that provide the foundation for future success. In an increasingly competitive global environment, the value of an education cannot be understated.
Beyond academic lectures, our teachers also help shape our character and encourage civic engagement. Through their guidance, students learn important lessons about respect, how to think critically, and teamwork. The best teachers lead by example and I have a teacher to thank for showing me the value of public service.
On May 8th, please take a moment to thank the teachers in your life and take time to reflect on the importance of their dedicated work. By reflecting on the lessons we have been taught, we can all strive to be positive role models, and teachers to our children and our grandchildren.