ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — April 29, 2011 — 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. During this week-long celebration, parents and students have the opportunity to thank teachers for the hard work they do each day to make public schools great for every child.
The origins of Teacher Appreciation events are somewhat complicated. Although most agree that sometime around 1944, Arkansas teacher Mattye Whyte Woodridge began corresponding with political and educational leaders about the need for a national day to honor teachers and show teacher appreciation.
In 1953, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was able to persuade the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day. It wasn't until 1980 that the National Education Association convinced Congress to observe the day and that victory was short-lived since it only occurred that year.
Finally, in 1985 the National PTA established Teacher Appreciation Week as the first full week of May and it has been celebrated every year since then.
The work that all teaches do is important but DoDEA teachers often play a special role in children's lives since many students have parents deploy - sometimes for more than a year at a time.
The school and the educational leaders in a military child's life provide a sense of stability and normalcy when other areas of a child's life may change due to the parent's service in our nation's military.