What comes into your mind when you hear the word teacher? You might say a teacher is an educator, a person who teaches in school, or rather, an occupation but we all should know that a teacher is beyond these implications. A teacher is more than just an occupation. It does not stop in the definition “a person who teaches.” A teacher is more than that. They do not only teach but also give inspiration to students to strive for greatness, they do not only instruct but also devote encouragement to students to be their best. They are not just teachers; they are the people who made a big impact to our lives. With all the things they have done, their sacrifices and their commitment in teaching, they deserve to be acknowledged and appreciated. They deserve to be celebrated. They deserve the Teacher Appreciation Day.

Teacher Appreciation Day

The event is a long week celebration of the teachers. It takes place on first full week in May with Tuesday as the main day of Teacher Appreciation Day. The National Education Association (NEA) describes the annual celebration of National Teacher Day as “a day of honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives.”

national teacher's day

Teacher Appreciation Day or sometimes referred as Teachers’ Day or National Teacher Day, is the day dedicated to teachers around the world to thank and recognize their constant effort and commitment. It is the day to pay tribute to their contribution to the education, to the society and most specially, to the lives of their students. A lot of teachers and students anticipated for this day, for this occasion is a way of students honoring and expressing their genuine appreciation and gratefulness to their teachers. Some people may express them through writing a thank you letter or cards. Some may express them through giving flowers, gifts, cake. Some even do some surprise visit. Some give teachers a small token of appreciation while others make big tokens to show their appreciation. Aside from these, a lot of activities will happen in different schools.


The story behind teachers’ day is actually quite interesting. Although the history on when the Teachers’ Appreciation Day really originated in the United States is debatable, but it is believed that the movement begun around the time of World War II in 1953 when Eleanor Roosevelt persuaded the 81st Congress to set aside a day to recognize educators and proclaim a National Teacher Day.

It all started with one person, an Arkansas teacher Mattye Whyte Woodridge. Around 1944, Woodridge began corresponding with political and education leaders about the need for a national day to honor teachers. Woodridge wrote a letter to Eleanor Roosevelt that Teachers’ Appreciation Day should be established. The National Education Association, together with its Kansas and Indiana state affiliates and the Dodge City () (Kan.) Local, lobbied Congress was able to push and create a national day to celebrate teachers. It was declared on March 7, 1980, as National Teacher Day but for that year only. Until the NEA representative voted to change the event and establish the National Teacher Week to Tuesday on the first full week of May and it has been celebrated annually since.

national teacher's day

In other countries, most of them celebrate World Teachers’ Day on October 5, while the national Teachers’ Day usually may depend on a significant event or important local educator to commemorate. Various events in a lot of countries will happen on this day. Some countries consider Teachers’ Day as public holiday but for some, it is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Fun Facts

  • On October 5, 1994, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) established World Teachers’ Day.
  • In Brunei, the celebration of their Teachers’ Day is celebrated on their 28th Sultan’s birthday. It is an early advocate for the country’s free education.
  • Massachusetts observes Teachers’ Day on the first Sunday of June
  • On the year 2012, National Center for Education Statistics shows that the United States has 3.7 million people that work as elementary and secondary teachers in public school.
  • Argentina celebrates Teachers’ Day on the 11th day of September. It is to honor Domingo Faustino, their seventh president who championed education in their country. He died on September 11, 1888.
  • Teachers’ Day on June 22 in El Salvador is considered as holiday.
  • Some countries have a wonderful tradition where “senior students” are allowed to teach class on Teachers’ Day as an act of appreciation to the teacher.
  • Over 500,000 teachers in the Philippines are being honored in a month-long celebration that begins on the 5th day of September and ends with World Teachers’ Day on the 5th day of October.
  • Colombia’s Teacher’s Day celebration honors Pope Pius XII’s appointment of San Juan Bautista de la Salle. He won over free and universal education, as the patron of teachers.
  • In Cuba, December 22, 1961, was declared free of illiteracy and that day is now celebrated as their Teachers’ Day.
  • In India, some give small crystal Taj Mahal replicas to their well respected teachers, which is normal or common for them. They celebrate it on the 5th day of September which is also the birthdate of their former president who is significant to the education in the country.
  • In the survey conducted by the National Education Association, about 40% of people entering the profession came from other careers.

Teachers’ Day, who pop first into your mind? Be sure to express your gratitude to that person. To all teachers in the United States, and to all over the world, Happy Teachers’ Day! So let us come together on the 1st week of May and celebrate the National Teacher Day!