17 November 2008 09:44 AM

American Education Week

by Dr. Rick

The National Education Association’s (NEA) American Education Week is this week, November 16 – 22.  Sylvan Learning is partnering with the NEA in their annual celebration of teachers and the teaching profession. In celebration, I am going to have a series of posts throughout the week to follow with the American Education Week theme. I’ll also have some surprise guest bloggers!


American Education Week is a time to pay respect to our current teachers and express thanks to important teachers from our past, all while reinforcing the notion that academics is a shared responsibility between students, parents and educators. It’s also a time for us to let our children know that we value learning, that we honor the teachers who have helped us, and that we care about what goes on in their schools.  


We should take advantage of every chance we get to let our kids know that we value learning and encourage them to gain new knowledge and skills at every opportunity.


What can we adults do to show our kids our high esteem of the best teachers?  Here are a few suggestions.


  1. Tell your kids about your favorite teachers.  It’s a great dinner-time conversation.  Kids love to hear about our childhoods.
  2. Write a letter to your favorite teacher.  Have your child write one to hers.  Work on your letters together.
  3. Start a family scrapbook.  On the top of a page, write, “My favorite teacher.”  Pass the book along to everyone in the family, from grandparents to kids.  Each person writes a couple of sentences.  (This is fun during family get-togethers.)  You’ll be amazed at the funny, touching stories.  On other pages, write things like, “My favorite family memory,” “My best friend in elementary school,” “My favorite holiday memory,” “My proudest moment,” or, well, you get the idea.  I promise you, this scrapbook will become a family heirloom.
  4. Show appreciation. Give a gift certificate to a favorite teacher for a restaurant, or an indulgent massage.  Take a class portrait, informal and fun, and give a framed print to the teacher.  Send treats to the teachers’ lounge during NEA’s American Education Week.
  5. Give your time at school beyond NEA’s American Education Week.  Volunteer in the front office and see a microcosm of your community, condensed and immediate.  (And gain a whole new respect for the school secretary.  How does she do it? )  Run off copies in the duplication room. Raise money for the teachers’ favorite charity.  If you’re brave enough, volunteer in the cafeteria.

Respect for learning doesn’t have to be a one-week-only event, of course.  By showing our children our respect for what they do in school, we give them the lifelong attitudes and values that will serve them well forever.  Not a bad gift.


P.S.  To read some personal reflections, go to my blog of June 17, 2008, “My favorite teachers.”  I received some heartfelt responses.  This would be a good time to hear from some more of you so please share comments below!


Stay tuned the rest of this week for other topics to celebrate American Education Week. 


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