By Michael Jagora, Julia Wojtkowski, Angelle Thorington, and Michael Rodriguez
Have you ever heard of National Teachers Day? This holiday is celebrated on May 3rd this year. The holiday was created to show our gratitude for the lasting contributions teachers make to our lives. We should all celebrate this holiday because teachers play a critical role in educating and shaping our children: the future leaders of our country. They are kind, patient, hard-working, dedicated, and understanding professionals that mold our lives in a positive direction. We should all celebrate this holiday in honor of the people that shape our future.
Aren’t you curious about the origin of National Teachers Day? Around 1944 Arkansas teacher Mattye Whyte Woodridge began conversing with political and education leaders about the need for a national day to honor teachers. Woodridge wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt, who in 1953 persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teachers Day. National Teachers Day provides an opportunity to recognize and show appreciation for the enormous impact that this nation’s teachers have made and continue to make on its youth. Mrs. Roosevelt convinced Congress to proclaim a day in May as National Teacher Day.
Our current President is amongst the many teachers to celebrate on this day. When he was Professor Obama, he insisted on class discussions and required students to share their views and defend them. President Obama spent 12 years at the University of Chicago Law School. When one of President Obama’s students came to visit him in the White House, they reflected on how our 44th president stood out as an educator.“Professor Obama taught me that the point of politics is not to gain more power, or to defeat opponents, or to become more famous. The point—and the ultimate measure of success—is whether other people’s lives are improved. That’s it. That goal is worth our time, energy, and effort. He also taught me that the impact of a great teacher, like the impact of a great leader, lasts forever.”
Teachers have an impact on people everywhere even in the U.S. President Bill Clinton is best known for two things: his legacy as the 42nd president of the United States, and his love of playing the saxophone. Clinton’s high school band director, Mr. Virgil Spurlin, helped to create both of Clinton’s path in the future. Mr. Spurlin didn’t just support Clinton as he developed musically; he also took an interest in his life and was always there to help if he was having trouble at home or in school. Clinton says that he has thought of Mr. Spurlin and his influence all his life, staying in touch with him until he passed away. He believes that his years with Mr. Spurlin made him what he is today, and that he convinced him that he could “organize and run things,” doing whatever he wanted to do in life. As you can see teachers have a great impact on your life no matter who you are and we should honor them all on National Teachers Day.