Nashville, TN—Throughout the month of May, especially the week of May 8-12, the Tennessee Department of Education invites all Tennesseans to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Month, Week, and Day and will highlight all the impactful work our teachers are doing across the state.
Governor Bill Lee proclaimed May 2023 as Teacher Appreciation Month, to recognize Tennessee teachers for their tireless dedication to students across the state. Additionally, Teacher Appreciation Week is May 8-12, and Teacher Appreciation Day is May 2. If you want to share why you love your current or previous teacher(s), please share on social media using #TNSupportsTeachers. If you are a current teacher and want to share why you love teaching, please share on social media using #WhyTeachTN. Throughout the month, the department will be promoting Teacher Appreciation Month on our social media channels, and we encourage you to participate to thank a great teacher!
“Teaching is more than a career—it’s a calling,” said Governor Bill Lee. “I’m proud to proclaim it ‘Teacher Appreciation Month’ to recognize the hard work and dedication of Tennessee teachers to prepare students for success in the classroom and beyond.”
“Teachers are the backbone of our schools and play a vital role in mentoring and leading students to success in and outside of the classroom,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “Thank you to each and every one of our educators for your dedication and passion each day. The time and work that you devote to your students is truly shaping the future of Tennessee.”
Tennessee teachers are shaping the minds of the over one million K-12 students across the state to ensure they have access to a high-quality education and are successful in the classroom, workforce, and life. They go above and beyond the call of duty, wearing many hats, to meet and support the needs of all students. Teachers also support their colleagues and communities, many spending countless hours after school at sporting events, tutoring, school clubs, and other extracurricular activities.
“Having started my career as a Teacher, I can think of nothing that has been more rewarding than those years in the classroom,” said House Education Administration Chairman Mark White. “Children are the best part of all of us and being blessed with the opportunity to help a child grow and learn is indescribable. I give honor to all those serving our children and who wears the title – Teacher! Thank you for your service, hard work and dedication.”
“As a former classroom teacher, I know the work that goes into quality instruction,” said House Education Administration Vice Chair William Slater. “Tennessee’s teachers are among the finest in the country. Your investment in our students will pay never-ending dividends on future generations.”
“You are a teacher 365 days a year. Not just in a classroom but outside of the classroom. Thank you for what you do, not just today, not just this month, but every month, every day, and all year long,” said Senate Education Administration Chairman Jon Lundberg. “From everyone in the legislature, my districts and across the state thank you for what you do are doing. It is going to pay off in 5 years, 10 years and in lives changed in so many ways.”
“Teachers, you fill a role so much more than academics. You mentor, comfort, motivate and inspire every student, every day,” said Dr. Jean Luna-Vedder, Director of Schools, Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools. “The impact you make in the classroom extends for a lifetime. As a district, we are beyond grateful for your commitment to our students.”
“High-quality public education is essential to our country’s success, and teachers are at the center of that success! In honor of Teacher Appreciation Month, I would like to thank the teachers of Elizabethton City Schools for their hard work and dedication to our students and community,” said Richard VanHuss, Director of Schools, Elizabethton City Schools. “Every day across our system, teachers invest a piece of themselves in each and every student, and for that, we are forever grateful.”
“Teachers are the backbone of our public education system,” said Corby King, Director of Schools, Putnam County Schools. “We are blessed in Putnam County and the state of TN to serve alongside thousands of dedicated and caring professionals who foster a love for learning in their students. Our teachers inspire students to excel academically, socially, and emotionally. Our teachers provide students with the skills necessary to succeed beyond the classroom environment and become successful community members. Teachers are appreciated daily for investing in our students’ lives and strengthening our communities.”
In the 2022 legislative session, the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement (TISA) Act was passed by the Tennessee General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Lee, which provides new, recurring state funding for K-12 education of over $1 billion. This includes an additional investment of $125 million for teacher pay raises. This year, the Tennessee General Assembly passed, and Governor Lee signed into law an increase to the minimum teacher salary to $50,000 by 2027.
Over the last few months, the department has strategically focused efforts on hearing directly from educators across the state through the Tennessee Teacher Retention Listening Tour, learning about their lived experiences in the classroom. This has provided an opportunity for Tennessee teachers to contribute their input related to best practices and approaches to boost teacher retention across the state.