National Teacher Day Spotlights Key Issues Facing Profession
Tennessee Education Association
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The teaching profession has changed dramatically over the past 50 years. As part of its annual National Teacher Day celebration, taking place this year on Tuesday, May 3, the National Education Association (NEA) is highlighting key trends in the teaching profession.
“Each year on National Teacher Day we thank the nation’s hardworking public school educators and take time out to reflect on the future of the teaching profession,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “This year, we’re highlighting 50 years of NEA research on the nation’s public school teachers, including survey research from the Status of the Public School Teacher collected and analyzed since 1961.”
The trends identified that have played a critical role in shaping the teaching profession include:
Changes in the workforce and the student population
Changes in working conditions and school environments
Changes in teacher training, licensure and evaluation
“In the U.S. there is a common belief that ‘anybody can teach,’” said Van Roekel. “Rather than help dispel this perception, too many colleges of education offer mediocre teacher preparation programs that lack academic rigor and frequently fail to provide real-world, practical experience. Some new teachers are thrust into classrooms with almost no preparation whatsoever.”
About National Teacher Day and Teacher Appreciation Week
National Teacher Day has been celebrated since 1953 when Eleanor Roosevelt first proposed that Congress set aside a day to acknowledge the work of educators. Since 1985, NEA has celebrated National Teacher Day on the Tuesday of the first full week of May.
National Teacher Day is part of Teacher Appreciation Week, when the nation honors our nation’s teachers. For more information on National Teacher Day, including NEA’s Teacher Thank-You Card Project and NEA’s Classroom Superhereos, visit www.nea.org/teacherday.
“Our profession, our teachers, our classrooms and our schools are changing,” said NEA President Van Roekel. “As part of this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week, we need to honor the commitment, enthusiasm and hard work of educators— past, present and future.”