This week, being the first week in May, is Teacher Appreciation Week
and today is National Teacher Day.
A little history:
According to the NEA's website:
"The origins of 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. Woodbridge 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 celebrating teachers. Congress declared March 7, 1980, as National Teacher Day for that year only.
NEA and its affiliates continued to observe Teacher Day on the first Tuesday in March until 1985, when the National PTA established Teacher Appreciation Week as the first full week of May. The NEA Representative Assembly then voted to make the Tuesday of that week National Teacher Day."
I'm going to take a moment and share a little bit about my colleagues. The building where I work is home to our district's Alternative High Program. We serve about 70 Full Time Equivalent students in addition to pull-outs from the Career and Technical Ed. Programs. We have in this building a group of the most dedicated, generous individuals that I have ever had the priviedge of knowing.
Every day these teachers go far beyond their job descriptions to make a positive impact in lives of our students. If a kid comes to school hungry, they make sure they are fed. If they need clothes, they get them. If one of the students is having problems in the home or their personal lives, there are ears ready to listen and resources brought to bear to help them.
Students are encouraged to actively participate in community enrichment projects. They have opportunities to travel. They are exposed to a rich body of art and literature. Several times a year they work together preparing feasts for their peers, teachers, parents and administration members.
It's not all sweetness and light, though. We have our share of drug busts, violence, and mischief. But all in all, these kids come out of this program academically and socially prepared for their post-secondary lives (for the most part).
So, maybe today you can reflect on a teacher who made a positive impact on your life (or your child's life...). Or, perhaps you'd care to share a story about a special teacher who made a real difference in your life.
So, here's to teachers everywhere, and especially the ones who frequent Dailky Kos!