National Teacher Appreciation Week 2010: History, Traditions, And How To Participate

It's officially National Teacher Appreciation Week 2010, beginning today May 3 and lasting until Friday, May 7.

National Appreciation Day will take place tomorrow, May 4, 2010, though activities will take place all week. The National Education Association describes the festivities as "honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives."

The history of National Appreciation Week, and National Appreciation Day, is not certain. The movement for such an observance is commonly thought to have begun around the time of World War II and Eleanor Roosevelt made a major push for the day in 1953.

Congress declared a National Teacher Day in 1980 and in 1985 the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) established National Teacher Week as the first week of May. It has been celebrated annually since.

There's plenty of ways to get involved. For current students (or parents of current students), you can bring a special gift to your favorite teachers. For former students, a note to an old teacher goes a long way.

You can find gift ideas and resources for Teacher Appreciation Week at the PTA Web site and You can also check the PTA Facebook group "Thank-A-Teacher" for more info and ideas.

This Web site has chocolate bars, lapel pins, tote bags, coffee mugs, and other items available for purchase for the occasion.