Say "thank you" to a teacher

WASHINGTON -- When asked what gift they would most like to receive from their students, nearly half of all teachers say a simple "thank you" will suffice, according to a recent National Education Association online poll. In keeping with the wishes of the nation's educators, NEA and the National Parent Teacher Association are joining forces to build the "Nation's Largest Teacher Thank You Card."

The effort -- part of NEA's National Teacher Day celebration (May 8) and PTA's Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6-12) -- will culminate in spring 2008 with the card's unveiling.  Thousands of individual thank you cards from people across the nation, including famous actors, athletes, musicians, television personalities, politicians and notable public figures, will be compiled and fused into one gigantic card. The "Nation's Largest Teacher Thank You Card" will serve as a public tribute to teachers and a reminder of the hard work and dedication that goes into teaching.

"Together with the PTA, we're saying thanks to the nation's 3 million public school teachers in a big way," said NEA President Reg Weaver. "We're encouraging everyone nationwide to get involved in this innovative project and take a minute of their day to say ‘thanks' to teachers. Our goal is to create a tapestry of thank you's dedicated to teachers and the important role they play in our society."

NEA and the PTA are offering two easy ways for people across the country to take part in creating the largest teacher thank you card. From May 7, 2007, through December 28, 2007, individuals can send a thank you e-card by logging on to www.teacherthankyoucard.org or mail a thank you card to:

The Nation's Largest Teacher Thank You Card
c/o NEA/PTA
P.O. Box 66458
Washington, D.C. 20035

The cards collected will be merged into a single oversized card that will travel to major cities and events in 2008.

"Teachers, in partnership with parents and families, truly make a positive impact on student success," said PTA National President Anna Weselak. "PTA and its 6 million members will be getting school communities nationwide excited about this huge project to show teachers the appreciation they so richly deserve."

More than 2,500 teachers participated in NEA's Teacher Gift online poll, which was conducted in March and April 2007. The poll asked teachers what gift they would most like to receive from their students/classrooms. Respondents overwhelmingly chose "hearing the words thank you/receiving a thank you card" (48 percent). Receiving a spa or other gift certificate came in second (30 percent), followed by an appreciation breakfast or lunch (15 percent), flowers or a plant (6 percent), and an apple (1 percent).

About National Teacher Day/Teacher Appreciation Week 

NEA celebrates National Teacher Day each year on Tuesday of the first full week of May. The day celebrates the outstanding work and lifelong dedication of teachers nationwide. National Teacher Day came into being through the leadership and persistence of Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1953, she persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim May 7 that year as National Teacher Day. PTA took Roosevelt's idea and dedicated a whole week to celebrate the accomplishments of educators. PTA's annual Teacher Appreciation Week honors the dedicated men and women who lend their passion and skills to educating children. 

For more information visit www.nea.org/teacherday and www.pta.org.