DemDaily: Thank a Teacher

May 7, 2019

There is perhaps no other profession that directly effects the lives of every individual in our universe more than that of a teacher.

"One book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world." -- Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani education advocate and Nobel Peace Prize winner

Today is National Teacher's Day, when we honor teachers and recognize the lasting contributions teachers make to our lives.

The History
A national teacher appreciation day was first adocated in 1944 by Arkansas teacher Mattye Whyte Woodridge, and eventually by Eleanor Roosevelt, who in 1953 persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day.

In 1980 Congress declared March 7th as National Teacher Day for that year only, but became the date for observance until 1985, when the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) established Teacher Appreciation Week as the first full week of May. The National Education Association then officially voted to make National Teacher Day the Tuesday of that week.

Teachers change the lives of millions of children every day, and their work and impact extends far beyond the boundaries of the classroom. -- Out of This World

When we think about the promise of education, we think about progress and hope, of future leaders and the educators who reach, teach and inspire them.

The burden placed on today's teachers, however, is endangering the future of the profession, our communities and our children's education. Despite the public outcry, education programs continue to get cut, and the pay gap between educators and other professionals continues to grow, forcing many educators out of the profession and creating a teacher shortage crisis.

Image_ United Way Bristol
On average, US teachers work more than 52 hours a week, including 30 hours on instruction and 22 hours on tasks like preparing lessons and grading papers.
At the same time, teachers work with an average of more than 20 students per class, as well as work with new students each school year.
The average starting salary for a full-time public school teacher is $39,249, and the average annual salary is $60,477. One out of five teachers must take another job to make ends meet.

The Advocates
The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is the country's largest non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children. Founded in 1897, PTA is structured as a national, state and local organization, with staff and trained volunteer leaders that provide support, programs and resources to its members.

What are Educators in your State worth? Click to find out!

The nation's two leading teachers unions are the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which collectively represent 4.9 million public school teachers, education professionals and support personnel.

Although some of their state affiliates have merged, NEA and AFT are separate organizations that work together in partnership to fight for the nation's public schools, students and educators.

The Thank You
* Send a message, a note or a post to the teacher 
who made a difference in your life.
* Show your support and solidarity for teachers by wearing
#REDforED on Wednesday, May 8th!
* Thank a Teacher: PTA.org
On a personal note, I am thankful to be a descendent of six generations of public school teachers, including my mother, who continues to teach me every day. -- Kimberly Scott, DemList Publisher

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Sources: AFT, NEA, PTA, National Center for Education Statistics

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