Teacher Appreciation Day

The what and why of why we should gift on teacher appreciation day!

What is Teacher appreciation Day?

History of Teacher Appreciation Day

The history of Teacher Appreciation Day dates all the way back to 1953, when the first lady at that time, Eleanor Roosevelt, suggested that there should be a day to recognize the untiring services of all teachers. Apparently, Roosevelt was approached by a couple of teachers, who convinced her to raise her voice for this cause. Some sources state it was either a teacher from Arkansas or Wisconsin who wrote letters to Eleanor Roosevelt and urged her to actually go on and win recognition for the teachers nationwide. There are even a few sources that say that a few states already practiced a day for teachers; however, there is no actual documented evidence to support these claims.

The supporters of the Arkansas theory say that it was a woman by the name of Mattie Woolridge who started this campaign and had been in touch with prominent figures and dignitaries in the education system. Ultimately, she sought help from the first lady to use her influence for this worthy cause. Eventually, Woolridge was successful in attaining the attention of the first lady and convincing her to work for this cause.

teacher appreciation day

Roosevelt presented the idea before Congress to appreciate the vital role of teachers in nation-building. It took almost 27 years for this cause to finally convince Congress and ultimately get a designated day, at a national level, established for it. The State Boards of Education from the states of Indiana and Kansas worked together with the National Education Association (NEA), and they combined all their efforts to get unanimous recognition for all teachers all over the nation.

In 1980, March 7th was observed as Teacher Appreciation Day for the very first time. However, from 1984 onwards, Teacher Appreciation Week in May replaced National Teacher Day in March. The National Education Association and National Parent Teacher Association were behind this change, as they wanted a whole week to recognize the role and efforts of teachers. Hence, they nominated the entire first week of May to appreciate teachers. In 1985, the National Education Association decided to opt for Tuesday, during the first week of May, to celebrate National Teachers Day. Most of the states now follow the same whole week to recognize and appreciate teachers, however, some instead celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day instead rather than the full week.  There are also a handful of states or local school districts that choose to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day or week at different times.

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