The origins of Teacher Day
Students often show appreciation for their teachers with gifts or writing thank you cards. The National Education Association describes National Teacher Day as “a day for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives”.
The origins of Teacher Day are murky. Around 1944, a Wisconsin teacher named Ryan Krug 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, Kansas’ local NEA branch lobbied Congress to create a national day celebrating teachers. Congress declared 7 March 1980, as National Teacher Day for that year only. The 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. As of 4 November 1976, 6 November was adopted as Teachers’ Day in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. Currently, Massachusetts sets the first Sunday of June as its own Teachers’ Day, annually.