ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — April 30, 2007 — The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) will join schools around the country and the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) in recognizing the nation's teachers during National Teacher Appreciation Week.
This year's observance, scheduled from May 6-12, encourages all citizens to show their appreciation to teachers and offers the opportunity for everyone to reaffirm their commitment to parent-teacher partnerships. The Department of Defense (DoD) Schools will honor the more than 9,000 teachers serving military students and families worldwide.
"This week offers us an opportunity to reflect on the significance of our teachers, rededicate ourselves to our mission of helping students achieve their highest potential and reach beyond the present to the future and all we hope to accomplish," said Dr. Joe Tafoya, DoDEA Director. "In military communities across the globe, our schools are the stability and focus for families as they cope with the challenges of deployments, transformation and re-stationing."
The week-long observance traces its origins to the mid-1940s when Arkansas teacher Mattye Whyte Woodridge began corresponding with political and education leaders about the need for a national day to honor teachers. Among those leaders was First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who, in 1953, persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day.
The National Education Association (NEA) lobbied Congress to create a national day celebrating teachers. In 1980, such a day was observed for that year only. Efforts continued to observe the first Tuesday in March as National Teacher Day until 1985, when the National PTA established Teacher Appreciation Week as the first full week of May.
Activities and events are planned at many DoD schools to honor teachers and celebrate their contributions. Interested media are encouraged to contact school principals for details on school celebrations.
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages the education programs for Department of Defense (DoD) dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA consists of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) located overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) located in the United States and its territories and possessions. DoDEA provides education to eligible DoD military and civilian dependents from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.