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Virginia Journal of Education


Your Association



Get Ready to Celebrate
American Education Week

For the 86th year, NEA will sponsor American Education Week, an annual event that focuses well-deserved attention on our students, our educators and our schools. This year's celebration, with the theme "Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility," will be held November 11-17, and several days during that week have been designated as special ones:

. Tuesday, Nov. 13 is Take Your Parents to School Day, and schools are encouraged to invite parents to come see firsthand what a day in the classroom life of their children is like. Everyone is better off when parents are actively involved in the education of their children, and so Tuesday is designed to spotlight the important role of family members.

. Wednesday, Nov. 14 is Education Support Professionals Day, an observance dedicated to the critical work of school employees such as paraprofessionals, secretaries, food service workers, maintenance personnel, bus drivers and school security officers. As part of a nationwide focus on ESPs, NEA will hold an Education Support Professionals for a Day event in Washington, D.C., in which notable public figures will job-shadow ESPs.

. Thursday, Nov. 15 is Educator for a Day, in which schools are asked to invite members of the community to serve as educators in order to offer them a glimpse of what life is like as a school employee. All of the parts of the normal routine-teaching students, monitoring the cafeteria and hallways, supervising recess and bus loading-can be included. There may be no better way to demonstrate to public officials and community leaders the challenges faced every day by educators.

. Friday, Nov. 16 is Substitute Educators Day, a chance to show appreciation for those who step into our classrooms and other areas of the school when the regular staff is out sick or on other leave.

NEA is one of the original sponsors of American Education Week (AEW), which grew out of a partnership between the Association and the American Legion. The two groups met in 1919 and, in 1921 at the NEA convention in Des Moines, Iowa, delegates called for the setting aside of one week per year to spotlight public education. In 1922, the U.S. Office of Education signed on as a co-sponsor, and the National PTA followed in 1938. AEW is always held during the full week that precedes Thanksgiving.

For more information, resources and tips on how to celebrate AEW, visit www.nea.org/aew/index.html .


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