Ideas and Activities for Celebrating National Teacher Day
Recognizing and celebrating the important roles and contributions of educators can take many forms. Below are some ideas to get you started in your community.
In the Community
- Run congratulatory messages on electronic signs outside banks or other businesses, or on billboards, banners or storefront signs.
- Offer teachers discounts on purchases made on Teacher Day.
- Invite all teachers to a reception in their honor, hosted by the mayor, school board, school administrators, Chamber of Commerce or other group.
- Invite teachers to a before-school "coffee, juice and pastries" salute at a local grocery store or other business - or even in a school parking lot (think tailgate party!).
Consider the following actions that may be taken up by a school volunteer organization:
- Hang a sign on each classroom door saluting, by name, the teacher within.
- Have National Honor Society, Student Council or other student groups furnish punch and cookies for the teacher's lounge on Teacher Day.
- Give teachers candy, apples or other food gifts with appropriate notes attached (e.g., fortune cookies with a note about how fortunate the school is to have a teacher of such high caliber).
- Provide balloon bouquets and flowers for every teachers' lounge.
- Set up a lunchtime "Relaxation and Rejuvenation Spa" on Teacher Day, where teachers are treated to hand, foot, back and neck massages, perhaps while being serenaded by a student or parent playing a mellow cello.
Local Education Association Activities
The local association affiliate may consider the following items for action among the many ways to celebrate this day:
- Wear a button proclaiming your work and your membership in your local, state and national affiliate.
- Check out the artwork on the National Teacher Day Web site. Download and use as appropriate.
- Sponsor an essay contest on "A Teacher to Remember," where students write about the special teacher who's made the biggest impact on their life. On Teacher Day, award savings bonds to the students and plaques to the teachers commemorated.
- Give each teacher a small gift from the Association (perhaps a mug or notepad featuring the Teacher Day logo, or a bumper sticker with an appropriate slogan).
- If you host a banquet for retiring teachers, or a Teacher of the Year celebration or some other happy event each spring, consider rescheduling it for National Teacher Day.
- For each school library, buy books portraying teachers in a positive light. Inside each, place a bookplate noting that the book was a National Teacher Day gift from the Association.
- Make Teacher Day a community service day, identifying one project on which all members can target their energies.
- Use Teacher Day as the occasion to say thank you to those in the community who have made teachers' jobs a little easier by volunteering, donating equipment or otherwise helping schools work. Invite them to the classroom or school for recognition.
Consider the following to bring the day to the attention of the local media:
- Invite a local newspaper reporter or editorial writer, or a local TV news personality, to spend a day as a guest teacher or classroom observer, and then to publish or air his or her observations on what being a teacher is like today.
- Suggest that local media outlets either publish or broadcast quick interviews where local citizens - both well-known and not - answer one question: What teacher had the greatest influence on your life? This can also make a great topic for a call-in radio show on Teacher Day.
- Remind the community that teachers make a difference--in the classroom and beyond--by running an ad in the local newspaper on Teacher Day, listing all the local organizations where teachers do volunteer work.
- Contact the advertising department of your local newspaper to suggest that they offer special classified ad rates for students and others in the community to "advertise" their appreciation of local teachers on Teacher Day. Ads can be directed to a specific teacher or a whole faculty. Local merchants may also want to purchase space on this special page or spread for a display ad saluting area teachers.
- Contact a popular local radio station about the possibility of airing public service announcements to get the word to the public about Teacher Day. Script the spots and offer to record them yourself or have students record them.
5 Easy Ways to Make a Difference in the Lives of Teachers
1. Urge your elected leaders to stand up for teachers and students by restoring funding for early childhood education, special ed, college work-study and more.
2. Petition your representative to issue a proclamation celebrating teachers and declaring Tuesday, May 7 National Teacher Day.
3. Support public education by making a donation to the NEA Foundation. Your investment will help educators close the achievement gaps, increase classroom innovations, provide professional development opportunities, and more.
4. Nominate an amazing teacher for a national award. The Grammy Foundation is looking for outstanding music educators and People Magazine is accepting nominations for the 2013 Teacher of the Year Award.
5. Visit your local school and find out how you can help. Volunteer in the concession stand at a football game, donate supplies, or chaperone an event