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Celebrating Day of the Teacher

California’s Day of the Teacher has its roots in the community and is patterned after the celebration of the traditional “El Dia del Maestro,” which is observed in Mexico and Latin America countries. 

Our California’s Day of the Teacher arose out of legislation co-sponsored by CTA and the Association of Mexican American Educators in 1982. Since then, every year in May we honor instructional excellence in our public schools, community colleges and universities. 


California Educators: Cultivating Minds and Healing Hearts

May 12 is the California Day of the Teacher and this year’s theme is Cultivating Minds & Healing Hearts. The power of public education is something we have always known is key to the prosperity of our state and our students. Never has that been more evident than last year. Amid a stressful and unprecedented time in history, we never failed to raise our voices for critical resources that are needed to keep our students, peers, and communities safe, including many that were needed even before the pandemic.


How to Participate

Educators, parents, community organizations and education supporters can all participate in the California Day of the Teacher. 

  • Use hashtags #DayOfTheTeacher on social media to thank a teacher.
  • Do you know a teacher who is retiring this year? Thank them publicly for what they’ve done to educate our students.
  • Share the Day of the Teacher poster on social media.
  • E-mail a teacher who has touched your life.
  • Send us your ideas!


This Year’s Poster

Bringing this year’s theme to life is LA-based social justice artist Audrey Chan. For Audrey, this year’s theme suggested the image of a field of California poppies to represent the nurturing role of educators and ESPs in students’ lives, growing their capacity for knowledge and empathy. It has been an incredibly challenging year, and Audrey wanted to create vignettes of healing and connection among the golden blooms.