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By Julian Peeples

During a school year that has been anything but normal, the care and support of California’s educators has been a reassuring constant as students across the state returned to in-person learning. Tomorrow’s California Day of the Teacher celebration honors the daily efforts of educators to teach and nurture students, uplift communities and help create a brighter tomorrow.

This year’s theme is “California Educators: At the Heart of Communities, Powering Our Future.” (download poster here) As part of the celebration, CTA has produced a series of television, radio and Internet advertisements highlighting the vital contributions of educators, which are running across the state this week and all month. One ad, “Love of Teaching,” spotlights the whole community it takes to make schools run every day, while “Appreciation” showcases the thankful words of parents and families for the difference educators make in their children’s lives. Both ads are also available in Spanish (“Amor Por La Enseñanza” and “Corazón De La Comunidad”)

CTA Web Spot | 'Love of Teaching'

#DayOfTheTeacher is modeled after the traditional “El Dia del Maestro,” which is observed in Mexico and many Latin American countries. California Day of the Teacher arose out of legislation co-sponsored by CTA and the Association of Mexican American Educators in 1982. Since then, each May Californians honor instructional excellence in public schools, community colleges and universities.

National School Nurse Day is also on May 11. The celebration recognizes the contributions school nurses make every day to improve the safety, health and academic success of all students. And schools wouldn’t run without Education Support Professionals (ESPs), who are honored on CTA ESP Day on May 17.

In honor of California Day of the Teacher, some of California’s elected leaders shared their thoughts and gratitude for the educators who played important roles in their lives:

“Thanks to teachers, mentors, and family members, I overcame many barriers as a youth – loss of a parent, poverty, etc. My high school algebra teacher helped me work through my difficulties in learning math. She was patient and never gave up on me. My sixth-grade teacher conducted math and science relays to make learning interesting and got the entire classroom involved in an activity that is critically important to legislators – public speaking.” –Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond

“I would say my favorite teacher would be Mrs. Wright. She was my third- and fourth-grade teacher. Her interest and love for all her students was obvious in everything she did. Her impact encouraged you so much that you wanted to succeed because you did not want to let her down. She was a super teacher who I will always remember.” – Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach)

“My 12th grade government teacher, Ms. McCauley, at California High School in Whittier exposed me to a world I previously hadn’t thought much about. Little did I know one day I would be practicing all that she taught!” – Anthony Rendon, Speaker of the California State Assembly


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