Hug a teacher today

Teachers' hard work and dedication is celebrated today on National Teacher Appreciation Day.

Art by Eugenia Dominguez-Chaires

Teachers' hard work and dedication is celebrated today on National Teacher Appreciation Day.

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Teachers all around the world dedicate their lives to educating the humans who will one day be tomorrow’s leaders. Millions of teachers do much more than teach. Teachers are parents for those students who have none, friends for those pupils who need some laughter, fans for those children who need encouragement, and mentors for those who need guidance.

Teachers all around the world are celebrated today on National Teacher Appreciation Day for their hard work and dedication to both education and students.

According to the National Education Association, National Teacher Appreciation Day started in 1944 by  Arkansas teacher Mattye Whyte Woodridge, who wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt in 1953 to persuade the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day.

Finally, Congress declared March 7, 1980 as National Teacher Day for that year only.

However, National Teacher Day continued to be celebrate in March until 1985, when the NEA Representative Assembly voted to change the event to Tuesday of the first full week of May.

The NEA reports that “teachers spend an average of 50 hours per week on instructional duties, including an average of 12 hours each week on non-compensated school-related activities such as grading papers, bus duty, and club advising.”

Teachers stay up late grading papers, creating lesson plans, and checking grades. And if that isn’t enough, teachers not only work and dedicate themselves to their students during school, but also after school hours.

Even when it does not pad their paychecks.

Teachers in every corner of the world commit themselves not because they are required, but because they want to help other people. Yes, this notion might sound crazy, but teachers want to help their students grow, learn, and achieve their goals even if that means staying after hours.

As The Washington Post describes it, “Teaching is joyous, but hard work.”

Teachers put their hearts, souls, and minds into their profession. Each teacher has their own unique ways of teaching. However, all teachers have that same passion and love for their profession.

“I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a teacher, cheering on my students and believing in them,” Ms. Brittney Cairns, a Cathedral Catholic High School English teacher, said. “I want to motivate them to be better than those who came before them.”

Students realize teachers work hard.

“Being a student is hard sometimes, and I’m glad I’ve been able to count on some teachers to get through academic and personal problems,” CCHS student Megan Monroe ‘19 said.

Being a teacher is perhaps one of the most undeniably selfless jobs one could choose. All these teachers who wake up early, stay after school, and go to sleep late do it because they know that by educating one student, they leave the world a better place.

“I like working with young people,” Mr. Don DeAngelo, a CCHS and college U.S. history and government teacher, said. “I love the learning process and helping young people make most of that experience.”

Behind that sweat and grind, all teachers see their hard work in play once May hits.

“When you look out and ask people to give feedback, and you can tell they get it, they have this ‘aha moment’ and that’s when you know you’ve succeeded,” Mr. DeAngelo said.

Today is the day to honor and to recognize all the lasting contributions teachers have made to the lives of students everywhere. 

German physicist Albert Einstein once said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

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