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Local schools celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week

SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Teachers are known for being able to make the greatest impact on a student’s life with the words they speak and the special ways show attention. From Kindergarten to twelfth grade, teachers influence students in more ways than they will ever know. Next week May 8-12 is Teacher Appreciation Week and teachers all across the nation will be recognized for their hard work and accomplishments within the classroom with a variety of celebrations

Teacher Appreciation Week is an opportunity to thank or share small gifts to the teachers within your community. Anyone can participate in celebratory week. Whether you are a parent, guardian of student, or if you are a high school graduate wanting to celebrate a teacher that made a massive impact on you while growing up, local teachers, both current and retired, can be recognized for their hard work in teaching generations of student in past and to come.

“It is an honor to have three students in the Sylacauga City School System, two of which have gone through all four schools, because of the excellent quality of teachers,” said parent Lisa Wood.” So many of the teachers go past just simply teaching my children. They mentor them and help lead them in the right direction.”

Recently, Sylacauga High School was ranked the 40th Best High School in the state of Alabama by a world report on out of more than 1,000 high schools. Not only did the school system receive this award, but a few months earlier the state recognized Sylacauga City Schools was one of the top 14 Career and Technical Education programs in the state of Alabama. These awards represent the hard work of teachers and staff.

Teacher Appreciation Week has a deep history dating back to the early 1940s. Though the exact origins of the day are unclear, some believe that an Arkansas teacher felt unappreciated and wrote a letter to Eleanor Roosevelt regarding her complaint which was the true beginning of the day long celebration of teachers. In the early 1950s, people began celebrating National Teacher Day yearly at the beginning of March. This was possible by the efforts of Eleanor Roosevelt who believed that educators deserved a day to be recognized. This began her the fight against the United States Congress to have the day past nationally. It took almost 30 more years, in 1980, for the celebration to become a national day when the National Education Association (NEA)  and others lobbied against Congress allowing National Teacher Day to be March 7.

For years, many school systems continued to celebrate the day at the beginning of March. However, the National Parent Teacher Association (NPTA) felt teachers not only deserved one day of recognition but an entire week. The NPTA designated the first full week of May as Teacher Appreciation Week in 1984. Making the change from March to May caused the NEA to move the National Teacher Day to the Tuesday of Teacher Appreciation Week. The only state to not recognize day on that Tuesday is Massachusetts which celebrates Teacher’s Day on the first Saturday of June.

Help celebrate all of our local teachers next week by finding ways to recognize or thank teachers that have made an impact on you or your student’s life. Post any and all photos of you with past or current teachers and tag in your post with the hashtag #SylTeachersRock.

Caitlyn McTier for | © 2017, City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Michael Brannon is a former news and sports anchor from Mobile, Ala. and serves as RadioAlabama's Executive Vice President, Managing Editor & Director of Digital Projects & Strategy.

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