Tomorrow Is California Day of the Teacher

While the Public Thanks Educators for “Inspiring Generations” Teachers Raise Funds for Students and Their Families

BURLINGAME – May 13 is California Day of the Teacher, and “California Teachers: Inspiring Generations” is the theme for the 2020 Day of the Teacher celebration. On a day when the public is thanking teachers and college faculty, educators are organizing fundraisers for their students against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While we are all in this together, educators are taking their love and commitment for their students to new levels in caring for their students at a safe distance, or delivering meals to families in need. I am proud of how our educators have responded during this pandemic to continue reaching and teaching students.”

— CTA President E. Toby Boyd

Teaching is a Family Tradition
Boyd noted inspiring students has become a family tradition for many CTA members*. “Educators have been inspiring generations of students to be leaders, thinkers and innovators. The time is now to recognize all educators for their dedication and strength during this crisis, and for all they’ve for the generations before us.”

*Editor’s Note: The teachers featured here are available for interviews

Thank An Educator Online
CTA is asking educators and the public to share memorable lessons learned from their teachers using the #DayoftheTeacher and #InspiringGenerations hashtags. CTA is providing a variety of ways for students, parents and the public to say thank you by submitting a video, photo or story to this Thank An Educator site.

“As a teacher, it’s heartwarming to hear thank you from my students. This is the perfect time to tell these amazing educators just how much they mean to us.

— CTA President E. Toby Boyd

Inspiring Generations Poster

Famed social justice artist Ricardo Levins Morales designed this year’s “Inspiring Generations” poster. He notes that teachers, like families, “are tasked with the job of being gardeners, creating an environment where children can flourish. In good times and bad, teachers provide the consistent element of teaching, which is about watering roots, cultivating, and weeding, so students can flourish and pollinate and be part of a community. It’s an ecosystem, a web of connections and relationships.” To help parents and teachers calm children and help them deal with the impact of COVID-19, Morales also created a coloring book that is a free digital download called What to do in a pandemic.

Download the poster here.

While the public is thanking teachers, educators are advocating for their students. Here is a small sampling of California Day of the Teacher events on Wednesday, May 13:

Anaheim Secondary Teachers Association started a video series called ASTA Educator Spotlight! In this episode, Teacher of the Year Christie Bettendorf (English/IB Film, Kennedy HS) shares what inspired her to become a teacher and what drives her to stay passionate about her craft after all these years. #WeAreASTA #ASTAEducatorSpotlight. Contact ASTA President Grant Schuster at 562-810-4035.

National City Elementary Teachers Association in Chula Vista has partnered with two local National City non-profits to provide “A hero teaches here” window decals and other goodies for NCETA members. NCETA volunteers are doing a drive-through distribution on Wednesday during teachers’ “duty-free lunch” as well as after school. NCETA has also been hosting a Teacher Appreciation social media campaign asking all who support teachers to post a video, meme, or message to their Facebook page. Contact President Christina Benson at 619-885-3181.

Pioneer Teachers Association in Hanford is forgoing the usual Day of the Teacher plans and providing food to health care workers to thank them for keeping their students safe. Contact PTA President Alicyn Cawley at 559-217-6201.

San Mateo Union High School District Educators have raised some $8,600 for local organizations providing food, shelter and essential services to the neediest members of the community. Their union donated $1,000 each to the Samaritan House, YMCA of South San Francisco, and Second Harvest Food Bank of Silicon Valley. Union leaders shared the impact of a single donation and opportunities to donate on the SMUHSDTA Facebook page:


  • $25 = 1 grocery bag of healthy food
  • $100 = 4 grocery bags of healthy food
  • $250 = 10 grocery bags of healthy food or a utility bill
  • $1250 = 50 grocery bags of healthy food or help with rent

Contact Jenny Caughey at 415-602-6006 or Arienne Adamcikova at 415-425-6927.

Sequoia District Teachers Association members who teach at East Palo Alto Academy in Redwood City are trying to “raise 40K by the end of May” as part of their Bulldog Buzzcut Challenge.  Their answer to “How can our students complete math homework when they’re stressed about rent and food?” is to raise funds to provide Wi-Fi access and grocery bills to lower stress levels.  Teachers representing yellow, teal, green, red, and purple teams are making videos promoting their fundraising goals and showing team members getting a buzz cut once their team goals are met. (Pun video promo). Contact Caren McDonald at 626-319-4544.

Vacaville Teachers Association donated $3,000 to the Vacaville FIRST Office’s Family Resource Center, which helps struggling families during COVID-19. Contact VTA President Todd Blanset at 707-365-2293 or VTA Member Corey Penrose at 530-867-3255.

California Day of the Teacher stems from a partnership between CTA and the Association of Mexican American Educators.




The 310,000-member California Teachers Association is affiliated with the 3 million-member National Education Association.