The idea of celebrating the day of all teachers has spread in many countries in the 19th century. The World Teachers’ Day, as an international holiday, is on October 5. This date was established in 1994 by UNESCO, and many countries such as Canada, Germany, Netherlands or United Kingdom celebrate their Teachers’ Day annually on that day. Depending on the country, however, it may be celebrated on different dates.
In the United States there is more than just one day honoring the work of teachers. The first full week of May is the Teacher Appreciation Week. The second day of this week – Tuesday – is the National Teacher Day. That date, however, was not always the same. The first mention about establishing a national Teacher Day appeared in 1944, when one of the teachers started to correspond with political and education leaders about this idea. One of those leaders was Eleanor Roosevelt – the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. She was the one to persuade the 81st Congress to implement a National Teacher Day. For the year 1980 the National Teacher Day was March 7. For the next few years it was celebrated on the first Tuesday of March, until the first full week of May became in 1985 established a Teacher Appreciation Week. From then on, Tuesday during the Teacher Appreciation Week is considered to be the National Teacher Day. One exception is the state of Massachusetts, which celebrates its Teachers’ Day on the first Sunday of June.
As it is in most countries, in the USA the Teachers’ Day is an occasion for children and their parents to thank the teachers for their help and efforts aiming at bringing up another generation of Americans. Many schools organize special speeches or performances that day, and some kids give small gifts to their favorite teachers, such as chocolate or flowers.
Did you know?
On the website of the American National Education Association – www.neatoday.org - pupils can share special graphic cards with wishes for their teachers. They can enter their own message or choose one of the prepared ones, for example: “Thank you for being the best teacher a kid could ask for”. Social media are becoming a more and more popular way of thanking teachers.