What is Teacher's Day?

woman teaching in front of the room

Adobe Stock / mangpor2004

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Valerie L. Sizelove375
Freelance writer, mom of four.
The one thing excellent teachers all have in common is that they care about and inspire their students. They’re important. None of us would be who we are today without the influence of teachers who have touched our lives. 
We owe teachers more than a little recognition, don’t you think?

What is Teacher’s Day?

World Teacher’s Day is October 5 and celebrates the anniversary of United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)'s 1966 recommendation concerning the status of teachers. This international holiday started in 1994, is a time to show appreciation to teachers and reassess the state of education throughout the world.
That recommendation concerning the status of teachers was to create standards for teachers in their rights and responsibilities. It also added standards for teachers’ initial schooling and further education.  The October holiday has become a day to mark progress and continue assessing the growth in teaching standards while talking about remaining challenges. Other similar types of appreciation days that are recognized are employee appreciation day and caregiver appreciation day. Teachers are employees, so they get to have a double holiday. Caregivers are appreciated for their committed work as well.

National Teacher's Day 

The first full week in May each year is recognized in the U.S. as Teacher Appreciation Week; National Teacher's Day, also known as National Teacher Appreciation Day, is observed on the Tuesday of Teacher Appreciation Week. According to the National Education Association, Teacher Day is "a day for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives."
Teacher's Day Observation Dates
May 72019
May 52020
May 42021
May 32022
May 22023
May 72024

Why teachers deserve this day:

We should definitely be showing teachers appreciation — if only because of the hard work they do purely from their hearts. They teach individuals who will soon run the world, so quality teachers will produce a quality educated population. Therefore, they’re extremely important to our population.
Teachers dedicate their lives (often with lower pay than they deserve) to improving the lives of those they teach.
Many teachers even spend their own money to buy classroom materials in order to improve their students’ learning experience. 
Most of all, teachers teach because they want to. They want to be there for children to help them learn and grow. Since they’re not there for the income, this makes them some of the most selfless and important people out there. Let’s all take a moment and learn about the special day that recognizes teachers.

How is it celebrated?

There are a number of ways to celebrate Teacher’s Day, no matter where you live or what day the holiday occurs.
Here’s a list of just some of the ways that you can show a teacher thank you:
  • Stage a performance. Put on a small production, play or music show for teachers at school. The show material can be something that exudes gratitude to teachers.
  • Bring a gift. Have your child ready to bring a nice gift to their teacher on this day. Anything from handmade art to a piece of jewelry will express your gratitude to your teacher.
  • Just say thank you. Sometimes, words mean more than anything else. Simply taking the time and effort to verbally tell your teacher "thank you" shows them you care.
  • Decorate the classroom. This is better for older students. Use your imagination and create paper chains, drawings, whatever it takes to decorate your classroom a little bit for Teacher’s Day. It will definitely make your teacher feel special. 
  • Write a letter or essay. Your child might feel comfortable expressing their gratitude in long letter format, and writing a long letter about their gratitude will feel personal. An essay may be easier than speaking directly to the teacher in the writing.
  • Contact the school administration. Let them know how impressed you are with your teacher. Perhaps the school would take your comments into account when deciding to promote this teacher.
  • Adults can find old teachers on social media. Send them a little message letting them know you still think about them and are thankful for their role in your life.
On Teacher’s Day, some organizations focus on improving the working environments, benefits, paychecks and more for teachers. This is their way of respecting and thanking teachers.
There continues to be a shortage of teachers worldwide, so UNESCO’s hope is that by dedicating this day to teachers, they will feel recognized and important for the work they do.  

Teachers beyond the classroom.

Let’s not forget that not all teachers are in the classroom. Think about Mr. Miyagi who taught Daniel-san great life lessons. He was a teacher too. 
Every type of teacher should be appreciated because they are willing to put themselves out there to help people become better versions of themselves. Whether it’s a coach, a tutor or someone who helped you discover something about yourself, take this day to thank them, too. 
Don’t forget caregivers and other people who teach you about life. They deserve to be celebrated too. Caregiver Appreciation Day is another day we can appreciate the caregivers around us.
If you want to start preparing for Teacher's Day and still don’t know how you’re going to say thank you, check out our list of gifts your teacher will love. Giving something handmade passes a little piece of love along to the teacher receiving it. They may value your gift for the rest of their career and life.

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Valerie Sizelove is a freelance writer of blog posts, career guides and more. Her specialties lie in writing about mental health, administration and parenting. When she's not writing up a storm, you might find Valerie cooking a huge dinner for her family of 6 or tinkering around in her amateur vegetable garden. Books are pretty good, too. You can find her on LinkedIn and Facebook.