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Author Bio: Lily Eskelsen García, an elementary teacher from Utah, is Vice President of the National Education Association. She is one of the highest-ranking labor leaders in the country and one of its most influential Hispanic educators.
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Thank you, Mr. Olsen. Thank you Ms. Lee. Thank you Sister Claire. Thank you Mrs. Hildebrand.
My list is a long one. There are so many teachers who brought me to where I am in my life, and except for one or two, I have no idea where they are today. I went to Catholic school in Georgia until I was ten and then I mostly went to Department of Defense schools wherever the Army sent my dad.  I went to public schools in Fairbank at Ryan Jr. High and Queen Anne High School in Seattle and Box Elder High School in Brigham City, Utah and El Paso Community College in (not El Paso, but) Colorado Springs and then on to the University of Utah.
I had incredible teachers all my life. And I am not alone.
NEA TodayNational Teacher DayDownload posters and web art for National Teacher Day on May 6th, 2014.Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week May 4-10th, 2014 and National Teacher Day on May 6th!28 Pun-Tastic Teacher Gifts24 Awesomely Thoughtful Gifts For TeachersWhat teachers really want, by Lily EskelsenAs part of National Teacher Day activities, the NEA leveraged the Pinterest phenomenon and delivered what they call "inspiration boxes" to five educators from across the country, who have active and robust Pinterest boards. The boxes contained items that they have pinned on their boards, as well as useful products and gift cards to help them purchase their wish list items. One of the five winner-pinners was Bethel EA member and Frederickson Elementary 2nd-grade teacher, Courtney Bertsch-Martin!We have compiled a list of teacher-approved, educator-friendly and inspiring movies you can watch with the whole family or with your students.Teacher's Survival Kit (Gift Idea), from Serenity NowGet inspired by the voices of appreciation here — and send an e-card to a teacher who has made a difference in your life."If you think education is expensive ... try ignorance!  Thank a Teacher!If you can read this thank a teacher  <3Made this for Luke's teacher. Teacher Appriciation Week starts May 6th...don't forget to thank a teacher!Always Remember To Thank A TeacherIt's Teacher Appreciation Week! Thank a teacher this week!Sometimes, it takes a life-changing event to spur people to action.  Dr. Lee Buono, a neurosurgeon from Medford, Burlington County, was encouraged by one of his patients to thank Albert Siedlecki, the teacher who inspired him to become a neurosurgeon.  In the 1980s, Mr. Siedlecki taught Dr. Buono how to dissect a frogs brain. Nearly 20 years lat...Download our "How To Thank A Teacher" guide for ideas on how to thank your favorite educators. (It even includes tips on how to pen the perfect thank-you note!)Report Card Success:  Thank A Teacher for a job well done!From the president to astronauts, see how they are thanking their teachers. (It will make you smile) #thankateacherWhat do teachers really want for National Teacher Day? We asked them! Turns out fewer apples, more RESPECTAdorable handmade gifts for teachers. #thankateacherChart: What do teachers want? We asked them. Fewer apples, more respect! Check out the results of our poll. you need (and more) to celebrate National Teacher Day and honor the educators who made a difference in your life! #thankAteacherOld School Vs. New SchoolIt's time to thank a teacher and all the educators for what they do everyday! you can read a map, or have a global perspective, thank a teacher. National Teacher Day is May 6, use this image to update your Facebook cover image and #thankAteacher. you think outside the box? Thank your teachers! National Teacher Day is May 6, use this image to update your Facebook cover image and #thankAteacher. you can write a beautiful or powerful essay, #thankAteacher. National Teacher Day is May 7, use this image to update your Facebook cover image and #thankAteacher. you don't just read, but LOVE to read #thankAteacher. National Teacher Day is May 6, use this image to update your Facebook cover image and #thankAteacher. quote from the new National Teacher of the Year, Jeff Chabornneau. #thankateacherEven with a different job title, all librarians are teachers. <3#thankateacher#thankateacher out some inspirational educator quotes.I love being a teacher (even if it is just substituting right now)! So thankful for the opportunity to have followed my dream and passion!Thank A Math Teacher MugTeacher gift ideas-I made this several years in a row, but mine was white under the ruler, then the Thank you, plus cut an apple in 1/2 & dipped in red paint and stamped on the pot."If you think education is expensive ... try ignorance!  Thank a Teacher!Teacher gift "Thank you for quenching my thirst for knowledge" Maybe with a gift card included inside the cup.If you can read this, thank a teacher.AMEN!!!  Thank a teacher.  They work long hours for not enough pay and they get blamed when your child doesn't perform the way YOU think they should.  I applaud my daughter and son-in-law who teach.If you can read this thank a teacher  <3Always Remember To Thank A TeacherThank a teacher.25 ways to thank a teacherTeacher Gift Ideas My son is a middle school teacher and coaches also. He is at school 12-13 hours and on Sat, there is all day sports. He loves his job and his students. I was over to his home and on his table was a,thank you note from one of his students. He cherishes that. Please thank a teacher, it means so much.In honor of National Teacher Day this May, we asked our Twitter followers to tweet a line about their favorite teacher using #thankateacher, or, if they are a teacher, to tell us why they teach. This word cloud shows the highlights!National Teacher Day—Whos Your Favorite Teacher?"If you can create an ecard without several misspelled words and half a dozen punctuation errors, thank a #teacher."Want to print this and pair with super hero themed end of year teacher gift. I feel like much of that should have been hyphenated... maybe I should have paid more attention to my own super hero teachers? ;)See On
It is a common American experience to feel a connection to your schools and the people who touched your lives there. It is a historic American experience that some of our most revered, courageous social justice icons fought to give ALL children – no matter the color of their skin, the language they spoke, or where they found God – to be able to have a good public neighborhood school that cherished all of them.
In the beautiful month of May we commemorate a lawsuit that changed, literally, the face of public schools. Mr. Oliver Brown was a welder and part-time pastor in Topeka, Kansas.  His little girl, Linda, had been prevented from enrolling in the neighborhood public school and forced to walk six blocks to the bus stop and ride to an all-black school far from her house.
Mr. Brown was listed first in a string of plaintiffs who sued the Topeka Board of Education and so the case bears his name: Brown vs. The Board of Education. But, as we know, winning a lawsuit doesn’t win hearts and minds.  Brown vs. the Board was only the beginning of one hard-fought win after another after another. It was a fight. Hearts were broken. Heads were broken. But the marches of the Civil Rights Movement marched us to this place today.
Because enough hearts and minds were won, children have rights.  They have a right to a clean building and paper and pencils and books and everything that goes with a quality public education. They have a right to have caring school support staff to feed them and maintain the building and answer the phones. And most of all, they have a right to a teacher who sees them as the miracles that they are and who opens them up to the possibilities of who they could become.
They have a right to a loving, competent, prepared and passionate teacher. It’s time to celebrate those teachers, preschool to graduate school.  Say thank you to your favorite teachers using the NEA hashtag – #thankateacher – during Teacher Appreciation Week May 4th through 10th. Or make a Vine video thanking your teacher.
We are inspired by how far we’ve come. We are driven to move ever forward. But we cannot forget to stop every now and then and remember. And smile. And thank a teacher.
Thank you Dr. Sorensen. Thank you Mr. Larson. Thank you Mr. Fleming. Thank you Mrs. Stuart.