Future Teachers of America Day is on Nov. 20. It’s a celebration of the importance and dedication of educators, present and future, across the country.
Role model is a complicated phrase. If you ask most people to name one, they might say an Oscar-winning actor, a sports star, or a successful entrepreneur. Kids might respond with their favorite superhero or movie character. Role models may get their status because of high-level achievements, how they carry themselves, or even their profession (e.g., superhero). However, empowerment and encouragement are usually at the forefront if you ask a kid or adult about their favorite teacher.
Teachers are the role models we don’t get to choose. The best ones elevate students, encourage them to find and pursue their passions and empower them to do their best.
Statistics on Teaching
If you’re looking to impress your friends on Future Teachers of America Day with some interesting facts about the profession in America, you’re in luck.
- More than 4.49 million teachers are employed in the U.S., and 74.3% of all instructors are women.
- Teachers work an average of 50 hours a week, and two out of three students say their professors are role models.
- About 44% of teachers will quit within five years of starting their job — two major reasons are low salaries and long hours.
- About 87% of adults wish they had told their teachers how much they appreciated all they did for them.
Teaching is hard. Instructors work long hours and receive low wages while being expected to complete the essential task of educating future generations. With these notions in mind, here are some great ways to celebrate teachers during this observance.
Send Your Teacher(s) a Thank You
If you look back on your early schooling years, there are bound to be a few teachers or educators who stand out. Take a few minutes out of your day to write a letter or email about the impact your teacher had on your life, education, or career path. While it might seem trivial to you, it may make that teacher’s day, which alone is worth the time and effort.
If you have children in school, you could have them write a card or note to their favorite teacher(s) explaining why. You can also send an education student in your life or your local education college a message of encouragement.
Give Your Teacher a Tree
If you want a sustainable way to say thank you, planting a tree through the Arbor Day Foundation or The Trees Remember is a great way to honor teachers or future educators.
This gift benefits our nation’s forests and gives the gift-giver a perfect analogy: I planted a tree to recognize you as a teacher, just like you helped me grow as a student (win-win).
If You Know a Teacher, Thank Them!
There are only so many teachers in the educational world, so if you have friends, family, or loved ones that work in the occupation or are studying to be an educator, make sure to thank them for their dedication. It’s easy only to remember the instructors that taught you, but it’s important to recognize that they all contribute to the education system, even if you were never or will never be in their classroom. “Thank you” only takes two words to say, but it means so much more.
Future Teachers of America Day offers an important lesson for all of us to celebrate past, current, and aspiring educators and recognize their selfless dedication to children’s education. On that note: Thank you to my favorite elementary school teacher, Mr. Trainor, for everything!