Over 200 Parent, Civil Rights and Student Groups, Other National and State-Level Advocates, Join American Federation of Teachers to Praise and Celebrate America’s Teachers
NATIONWIDE—The American Federation of Teachers has partnered with 214 parent groups, civil rights groups, student groups and fellow unions representing more than 10 million people nationwide to say “thank you” to America’s teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week (May 2-6) with ads in 16 major newspapers across the country.
The ad, to be published Tuesday, thanks teachers for persevering through the pandemic and giving the nation’s kids the basic skills they need: “From reading, writing and arithmetic, to building lasting relationships, you equip the next generation with the skills and knowledge they need to become critical thinkers and engaged citizens and to seize their future.”
The ad also acknowledges the added difficulty extremist politicians have created for educators by waging culture wars and trying to drive wedges between parents and teachers in order to weaken our public schools. The parent groups that signed the ad, and many more parents around the country, know that teachers and parents work together every day to do what’s best for kids and are committed to maintaining those trusting relationships.
AFT President Randi Weingarten said: “This week, parent, student and civic groups, as well as labor unions, civil rights leaders and more, are saying thank you to America’s hardworking teachers. Teaching has never been an easy job, but today’s educators have really been through it. They’re getting our kids caught up on their lessons, filling in during staff shortages, digging into their pockets for money for school supplies, and juggling individual students’ academic and emotional needs with insufficient support and class sizes that are way too large. They need support to help our kids recover, not attacks from political extremists who make their jobs harder. We want every educator out there to hear one important message during Teacher Appreciation Week: Your work matters, and we are grateful.”
Katie Paris, founder of the national parents group Red Wine & Blue, said: “The last two years have been hard on our kids, us and our teachers, but we got through them—together. Those of us with kids in the schools saw firsthand how hard our teachers work. We have their backs. We will not let extremists undermine the parent-teacher team with no regard for what’s best for our kids.”
A PDF copy of the New York Times ad can be viewed here.
To America’s educators:
You put your heart and soul into educating our nation’s students every day.
Together with parents and caregivers, you have helped carry our kids through the toughest times of the pandemic by working to safely reopen our classrooms and ensuring our kids and families bounce back academically, socially and emotionally. From reading, writing and arithmetic, to building lasting relationships, you equip the next generation with the skills and knowledge they need to become critical thinkers and engaged citizens and to seize their future.
Despite political interference, disrespect for your professionalism, and a seemingly endless struggle for resources, you rise to the occasion to help prepare every child for whatever comes next, and you do it with incredible humanity and grace.
Your work changes lives for the better. Thank you for helping every child in America lay the groundwork to build a better life, which starts right in their very own school.
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week.
The full list of groups that signed the ad can be viewed here.
The ad will run in the following newspapers on Tuesday, May 3: Albuquerque Journal, Arizona Republic, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Chicago Sun-Times, Dallas Morning News, Detroit Free Press, Houston Chronicle, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, New Hampshire Union Leader, New York Daily News, New York Times, Orlando Sentinel, Philadelphia Inquirer, Star Tribune (Minnesota) and Sun Sentinel (South Florida).
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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.