Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week

History and Ways to Support

5/7/2024 | Angela Whitlock, CSRA

Teacher Appreciation Week is a time to celebrate the impactful educators within your life. It takes place beginning on May 6th and continues throughout the week. The week has taken place on the first full week of May since 1984. National Teacher Appreciation Day falls on May 7th. The week helps acknowledge the dedication of teachers to their students and communities and is also a time for students, parents, and administrators to express gratitude for the hard work and service educators provide.  

In the 1950s, Eleanor Roosevelt convinced Congress that we needed a dedicated time to thank teachers for their hard work. She wrote: “Teachers are, of course, among the most important people in our nation. Day in and day out they are at work preparing the future citizens of the U.S….I have always felt that we did not give an honorable enough place in our communities to the teachers. Next to parents they are the most important people in our communities.”  

National Teacher Day was declared in 1953 at Roosevelt’s urging, but the holiday did not gain instant attention. It was not until 1985 that the National PTA established Teacher Appreciation Week.  


We Are Teachers advocates using Teacher Appreciation Week to advocate for fair compensation, smaller class sizes, quality educational resources, and the respect and trust that educators have earned. “What teachers really want is to be valued, paid fairly, and supported in their jobs. They want a safe teaching environment and reasonable class sizes, with quality resources to serve ever student’s needs. Teachers want equipment that works; texts that are up-to-date, relevant, and diverse; and plentiful classroom supplies that they don’t have to pay for out of their own pockets. Most of all, teachers want respect.”  

The best way to help teachers is to use Teacher Appreciation Week to advocate for these amazing supporters. However, teachers also appreciate recognition on an individual basis. Other ways to show support and appreciation for the teachers who have made an impact on your life can include:  

  • Writing thank-you letters. 

  • Asking parents, administrators, and school board members to volunteer their time to cover recess or lunch duty, so teachers can get a break.  

  • Creating collaborative art and/or decorating their classroom doors.  

  • Purchasing some of the supplies that they would otherwise pay for themselves.  

  • Create gift baskets.  

  • Offer to buy them lunch.  

  • Ask local businesses to offer freebies or discounts.  


Champaign County Forest Preserves and Museum of the Grand Prairie understand the value of education, and it is a core component of our programming. We also offer loan kits for educators to check out and use in the classroom.  

Museum of the Grand Prairie’s Museum Store will be offering a discount to all teachers during the week of May 6th. Stop into the Museum Store and let us know that you are or were an educator, and you will receive 20% off your final order.  

To all teachers and educators, thank you for your continued support in helping shape the minds of tomorrow.  


Sources: WeAreTeachers.com, TeachersofTomorrow.org 

Image: Unsplash