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National Teacher Appreciation Day: Thank you, teachers!

National Teacher Appreciation Week kicked off yesterday, but the biggest day for educators is today, May 8, as National Teacher Appreciation Day.

While the origins of the holiday date back to the early 1940s, National Teacher Day was first celebrated in 1953 after Eleanor Roosevelt persuaded Congress to set aside a day to honor educators. It was officially recognized as a national day in 1980, and four years later the first full week of May of each year became Teacher Appreciation Week. Since 1985, the Tuesday of every Teacher Appreciation Week is observed as National Teacher Day.

On this day, students, parents, and communities around the country get to celebrate teachers and honor all they do. And while showing our appreciation shouldn’t be limited to this week and day, it’s a wonderful opportunity to reflect on how teachers and staff go above to help students go beyond.

As a former elementary educator, I know firsthand how incredibly rewarding it is to ignite curiosity and spark a lifelong love of learning in students. But I also know how challenging it can be, as well.

We are living in chaotic times, and we ask a lot of our teachers. It is during these most turbulent of times that we must remember the importance of a good teacher and not take that for granted. The burdens placed on today’s educators are many, and they often cut to the very core of the teaching profession. For some, this has been one of the hardest years of their teaching career.

But teachers are resilient. They will continue to be pulled and yanked in every direction, but I know they will continue to tirelessly toil and endlessly love their students.

Teachers, your efforts aren’t going unnoticed. Your influence can never be erased. And you aren’t in this alone.

May today and always be a reminder of how appreciated and supported you are.

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