American Education Week: history and purpose
American Education Weekhas been celebrated since 1921 and this year it is going to be the 95th anniversary of this holiday. The purpose of its creation was to raise the awareness of public of how important education is. All the Americans have a great opportunity to celebrate public education on these days as well as honor all the individuals, who contribute to the high quality of the educational process. Usually, there is a week-long list of the numerous events for each day of the week dedicated to all the members to takes or used to take part in the teaching and learning processes. Here you can see the examples of the activities to be performed during this week.
All the Americans have a great opportunity to celebrate public education on these days as well as honor all the individuals, who contribute to the high quality of educational process.
Wonderful Media Activities
- Advertisement or quiz on the history of education on radio or TV
Not all parents and children remember about AEW in the flow of everyday life. That is why a short but spectacular ad on the local channel can remind of the importance of education as well as the time of its celebration. Any quizzes or topics for compositions and essays connected with this week will expand pupils’ and teachers’ knowledge about its history as well as result in more extraordinary and creative ways of its celebration.
- A posted “Letter to the editor” written by the authority representative
Local newspapers and magazines never lose their popularity among adults and a letter of congratulations can be a good variant to attract public attention to the event. Students can do the same thing posting a letter in the school or college newspaper.
- Reading of motivational quotes on radio, TV or popular Internet websites
There is an abundance of interesting and funny quotes connected with education and many of them can be rather inspiring though unknown to masses so it might be interesting for everyone to hear, see or read them.
- Students photos and essays posted in the local edition
What can be more exciting than to see your kid’s or grandchild’s photos from school in the newspaper as well as read his own piece of writing there? Most of the parent will not only be moved but also proud of their children. At the same time, it will also shed light on the modern educational process and students’ leisure activities.
- An interview of short phrases about the best liked at school
Only imagine smiling faces of all the members of the educational process, who remember the best moments from their studying or teaching experience. Moreover, some of such pleasant situations can be repeated by other students as well as inspire to work harder and more productive.
- Launching a contest for students
It is always a good initiative to encourage students to show off their skills and talents. Moreover, a sense of competition only adds courage and desire to win the prize. That is why an annual contest can be a perfect way to draw students’ attention to AEW and participate. The ideas can be various: essays, photos, designs of covers, rhymes, a show of talents or a contest between students and teachers etc.
- A school fair
Many people adore different fairs because of an opportunity to get rid of unnecessary things and purchase something useful for a minimal price. School can be a perfect place to do that. It can be a pastry fair or book one, a kind of flea-market or even a charity fair, where received money will be donated to the needy children.
- Retired teachers, students or parents are invited to conduct their lesson
It would be a great experience for students to receive a new teacher for a while – only imagine how funny it is to see a familiar person in front of you. It is a good way to honor retired educators as well as attract parents to the school life of their children. Some of such lessons will prove to kids that only professional teachers are able to make lessons interesting and provide knowledge.
- One day back in time – photos from the childhood
There is hardly anything more moving and funny than photos from the childhood of people, who you see on a daily basis. It would be twice more exciting to suppose (write below or according to the number of photos), who it is and praise winners, who were the first to guess. It is also a good reminder how education has already changed each of us and what awaits us in future.
- An unusual party for students
Students are an indispensable part of the educational process and they also should have an opportunity to let their hair down. Of course, it is impossible to organize one celebration for different ages, so each group should have its own holiday. It can be a concert with after-party or a play, a masquerade or a theme party – an interesting activity to allow students to rest.
Ways to salute the staff
- Post cards and saluting bulletins
There is nothing more customary than congratulations written on paper, though they still are the most popular and appreciated kind of a present. Each teacher can be moved with a hand-made example as well as get happy to see the pleasant words and rhymes concerning his or her activity.
Each person likes to be treated with something delicious and school and college staff is not an exception. Either it is a bus driver or a teacher, a nurse or assistants – each of them will be glad to receive a free lunch or a coupon, be treated with cookies and pastry, fruits and candies. Each similar way to honor the staff is the utmost pleasure for them.
- Congratulations from local associations
Not only students must salute teachers during AEW, there is always a local association responsible for this fact too. It can organize a variety of events to honor teachers as well as praise their labor providing them with small gifts.
- Nominations and awards
Only imagine how pleasant it is to be awarded for the work you do on a daily basis. Students and parents can organize the annual “Oscar” for teachers and determine winners in each nomination. Non-winners can be given small prizes too. The holiday will be even more spectacular if you use the sense of humor and show talents to them.
- Shoot a short film for each teacher
Every person’s work requires appreciation and students do not need to make many efforts to show their love for teachers. Small interviews of pupils mentioning their favorite teacher can be transformed into a short video. It can be shown at the local representative assembly or given to each teacher personally.
- A dinner with retired teachers
It is important to remember those ones, who might be unjustly forgotten on these lovely days – retired teachers. Their contribution is not always appreciated by right, but these are people, who taught our relatives and parents, who consequently raise a modern generation. A tea party with pastries from the local association can be a good way to listen to the reminiscent career of theirs.
- Downtown windows are decorated with children’s drawings and artworks
Children’s drawings are always interesting to gaze at as their vision of the world greatly differs from the adult one. And if they were offered to create a picture on some serious topic, the results would be more than just amazing. To celebrate an AEW children can be suggested drawing on the topic “The role of teacher or school in my life” and many visitors of the downtown will remember how important a teacher was or still is in their lives. At the same time, these pictures will remind of the education week in general too.
- Organized exhibitions and career fairs are held
The AEW can boast numerous exhibitions to enlighten people. These are presentations of newly released books, educational software, artworks, private collections as well as mass visits of museums and galleries. These places play not less important role in educating the population, so this holiday concerns them as well.
- Awarding of the best teachers and educational community workers
It is always pleasant if your efforts are appreciated but not only taken for granted. Each educator or community worker connected with this process should be awarded for his or her achievements and AEW is a perfect time to do that.
- Local libraries invite people for interesting activities
Another important educational establishment is a library and despite the technological development they still should do their best to attract new readers. Interesting tasks, performances, meetings with famous writers will contribute to the overall celebration of this holiday week.
These are only some of the activities that can be held during the American Education Week, but each of them will be appreciated both by students and educational workers. AEW has proved its importance for so many years of its existence, so it is a necessity to find as many creative ideas for its celebration as possible.
Also published on Medium.
American Education Week (November 13-17), first celebrated in 1921, is an opportunity to celebrate public education, to inform the community of the accomplishments and needs of public schools, to secure cooperation and support from the public, and to honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education.
How will you kick off American Education Week?
Monday, November 14: Kickoff Day
Across the country, schools will celebrate excellence in education by hosting kickoff events and activities for American Education Week. Check out this Online Toolkit packed with ideas and promotional materials to help you get the party started!
How you can participate:
- Celebrate with your social networks. For ideas, check out this NEA social media “cheat sheet” and be sure to use #AEW2017.
- Snap a picture that represents your public school pride and post it on your social channels using #PublicSchoolsForAll.
- Check out some events that are already planned on Twitter at #AEW2017 and then tweet your ideas or plan to join the conversation.
- Check out the artwork from NEA – free and available for use to promote the celebration.
- Update your Facebook status to highlight the importance of quality public education and thank educators for their dedication and hard work.
Tuesday, November 14: Parents Day
We know that keeping the lines of communication open with parents and families is a key factor in student success. Parents Day is a great day for schools and teachers to invite parents into the classroom for a firsthand look at what the school day is like for their children.
In this new Tchvideo, children and parents participate in a wide range of outdoor activities. Led by a naturalist, children explore bugs, go on a nature walk, paint with mud, and engage in other hands-on projects. It’s wonderful to watch parents learn how to engage their children in environmental science in a developmentally appropriate way. Watch all of the videos in this series.
- Check out these four tips for communicating with your students’ families throughout the school year.
- As educators and school leaders, what are we doing to help nourish families? Here are a few tips to make sure our students’ families are supported.
- Family Engineering Nights invite families and the community to engage with school curriculum in a way that is equitable, interactive, and fun.
- On Parents Day, share this listicle from NEA of “15 Awesome Questions to Generate Conversation with Your Kids.”
- Take a look at NEA’s parental involvement tips and share your own tips for success.
Wednesday, November 15: Education Support Professionals Day
When it comes to education, it really does take a village! Education Support Professionals Day is a great time to remember that support professionals, such as school secretaries, food service workers, custodians, and bus drivers are essential partners in education. Education Support Professionals (ESPs) work side-by-side with teachers and administrators to keep schools running and students safe, healthy, and ready to learn.
Thursday, November 16: Educator for a Day
Invite your school board directors, legislators, and community leaders to be an Educator for A Day and experience the challenges of teaching and meeting the needs of all students every day.
- If you’re a community leader, step out of your comfort zone and volunteer at a local public school. Check out this article on one Louisiana legislator who makes education a top priority by substitute teaching.
- Tell your stories! Whether you’re engaging your community leaders in person or virtually, it’s important to share your experiences in the classroom and participate in the conversations that impact education policy and change. Check out our storytelling series, Leading Out Loud: Teacher As Storyteller for some tips to get started.
Friday, November 17: Substitute Educators Day
Substitute educators play a vital role in the maintenance and continuity of daily education.
- Check out this post from Paul Oh, Director of Teaching and Learning at Substantial, that asks, “What do substitute teachers need to thrive?”
Saturday, November 18th: Watch Inspiring Videos
Teaching Channel partnered with NEA to produce a series of videos on Collaborating to Plan & Teach Gifted ELA Lessons. Watch all of the videos in this series.
And this series is just the tip of the iceberg!
Wrap up American Education Week this year by exploring the many inspiring videos from Teaching Channel. Interact with the featured teachers and the Tch Community in the comments below the videos that resonate with you, and download the lesson plans so you can try out your favorite strategies next week.
Which Tch videos were your favorites? Let us know in the comments below.
Lisa Hollenbach is Editorial Content Manager for Teaching Channel. She’s a former high school Social Studies teacher and Department Chair, an adjunct professor, working with pre-service social studies teachers and behavioral science students, and serves as a mentor for the Teacher Leadership program at Mt. Holyoke College. Lisa is passionate about storytelling, teacher voice and leadership, collaboration, innovative instruction, social learning, and redefining professional development. Lisa is a member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Teacher Advisory Council, several ECET2 Steering Committees, and is a Co-Founder, Director, and Writing Coach for the National Blogging Collaborative, a non-profit organization that cultivates and supports the capacity of all educators to use their unique voice to elevate the craft of teaching and learning. Lisa leads the Collaborative in engagement and social media storytelling. Connect with Lisa on Teaching Channel, on her blog, or on Twitter: @lisa_hollenbach.