Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week
Posted on 04/30/2015

Teacher Appreciation Week is Monday, May 4, through Friday, May 8, 2015.  According to information from Hallmark and the National Parent Teacher Association, people in the United States started celebrating National Teacher Day in 1953 when Eleanor Roosevelt persuaded Congress to set aside a day to recognize educators. Then, in 1984, the National PTA designated the first week of May as a special time to honor those who lend their passion and skills to educating our children. This year, the School District of the Menomonie Area is partnering with UW-Stout to make Teacher Appreciation Week a community-wide celebration.

There are many opportunities for expressing appreciation and gratitude for the teachers and other education personnel who have impacted our lives. At 4:00 p.m., on Monday, May 4, a public ceremony will be held at the UW-Stout Student Center Outdoor Amphitheater, during which university and school district officials will issue a public proclamation in recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week. Menomonie High School teacher Sue Halama will give a keynote address, and Chancellor Meyer will join me and representatives from the university’s School of Education in the signing ceremony. 

The Teacher Appreciation Week Committee at UW-Stout has also been working on securing a day of discounts for educators next week, as well as encouraging other community displays of appreciation.  There will be a wall of teacher accomplishments on display in the lobby at the UW-Stout Memorial Student Center, and local businesses interested in participating in Teacher Appreciation Week are invited to post signs or messages on their marquees.  Some other ideas for expressing appreciation to teachers might include sending a letter, email, or other message of gratitude, making a phone call, posting a tweet with the hashtag #ThankATeacher, or giving an apple, treat, or some other gift.

It is no secret that the past few years have included many difficult changes for educators and other public employees in Wisconsin.  While the impact of the Great Recession was felt across the globe, other less-related policy changes at both the federal and state levels have greatly impacted public education in Wisconsin and the perceived value of educators. It is important to note that, despite what we sometimes hear from the media, satisfaction related to education is actually increasing.  

According to an article about recent polling information, Rebecca Riffkin stated, “For as long as Gallup has measured it, U.S. parents of school-aged children are more likely to be satisfied with the quality of their child's education than Americans are with the quality of education in the country. Most parents are satisfied with their child's education, while historically the majority of Americans have been dissatisfied with the quality of U.S. education. This long-evident "optimism gap" may result from Americans focusing on press reports of inadequate schooling in problem school districts when they are asked about education nationally, but focusing on what they perceive as a much more positive local situation when asked about the education of their own children.”

In Menomonie, we are very fortunate to be living in an area very rich in educational opportunities. The School District of the Menomonie Area continues to grow and develop its distinction as a “destination district” providing ALL children with a rigorous and well-rounded education that prepares them for much success. UW-Stout continues to add to a long history of success as Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, and it continues to offer innovative, career-focused degrees based on active learning, applied theory, and research.

Should school stakeholders have any questions about the Teacher Appreciation Week, or anything else in our school district, I invite you to visit the Administrative Service Center on Pine Avenue or contact me at 715-232-1642.  More information about our schools can be found on the school district website (www.sdmaonline.com) and on Twitter (www.twitter.com/sdmaonline).