TEACHING IS a profession that plays a crucial role in the development of youth. It goes without saying that quality teachers are the foundation of quality education.
Teaching can be a most rewarding vocation, but one that is facing more challenges in today's society. With disciplinary and funding issues on the increase, teaching at any level is no walk in the park.
There are more than 3 million teachers in our nation's K-12 public schools. About 16 percent of these positions become vacant each year. Moreover, 45 percent of new teachers abandon the profession in their first five years.
That is why Tuesday is a special day. May 7 has been designated National Teacher Day as part of National Teacher Appreciation Week. Its origin dates back decades but it is a celebration well-deserved for a special group of workers.
Eleanor Roosevelt, at the passionate campaigning of an Arkansas educator, took the bull by the horns. The former first lady lobbied Congress to create national day to honor teachers. A National Teacher Day, however, never officially came into existence until the 1980s. It is now observed on the Tuesday of the first full week of May.
It is a national celebration long overdue. The significance that teachers play in the development of our youth is invaluable. They help shape our nation's future.
Here in the Ohio Valley we are blessed with excellent school systems, both public and private. While teaching jobs are becoming less numerous due to declining enrollment and budget issues, the academic successes realized by our students is a direct reflection of the prowess exhibited by our teachers.
"Our profession, our teachers, our classrooms and our schools are changing," said National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel. "As part of this year's Teacher Appreciation Week, we need to honor the commitment, enthusiasm and hard work of educators - past, present and future."
While Tuesday is National Teacher Day, our appreciation and respect for teachers should not be limited to a single day. They are priceless treasures, deserving of unwavering admiration.