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Celebrate American Education Week

Conner McNeely is a foreign language and lit teacher at Perry Township Schools and a member of Perry Education Association. In addition, he serves as an ISTA Early Career Educator Ambassador. He wrote this article and submitted it for publication in the Fall 2022 edition of the Advocate.

Like every year, the week before Thanksgiving is American Education Week. In case you aren’t counting down, that’s Nov. 14 – 18.  American Education Week has a long history, and it’s a perfect way to engage members (and potential members) in your local and a way to show appreciation to the teachers and education support professionals in the public schools in our communities.

American Education Week was first celebrated in 1921. The National Education Association partnered with other organizations to advocate for more funding for public schools to combat the illiteracy rate at the time. One-hundred-and-one years later, as members of our locals, ISTA and the NEA, we continue to advocate for our students, our profession and the success of our communities.  American Education Week is celebrated to honor the work we do daily as educators!

So, how can we celebrate?!

Make it daily, a local affair and engage both members and potential members.

Ideas for Celebration

● Kick off the week by providing an all-staff breakfast and/or donuts before school in the workroom.

● Leave a box of treats in common spaces throughout the building for school staff to enjoy. 

● Write a letter to the editor to be published at the beginning of the week, outlining the importance of our schools and their accomplishments.

● Do a schoolwide (or district wide) spirit week. Get the whole community involved!

● Is there a home game this week? Choose a theme for the game to celebrate the accomplishments of our student athletes, coaches, students and staff.

● Have students “hug” the school! Arrange for students to surround the exterior of the building and have local media cover it.

There is a myriad of ways to celebrate our public schools and American Education Week. As you plan to celebrate in your local, do it in a way that lifts up the accomplishments of our students, the work of the school staff and shines a light on your greater school community.