Happy Teacher Appreciation Week 2023
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! We’d like to extend an enormous thank you to all teachers and educators, but especially those in exceptional education. Day in and day out, teachers show up, do their best, and make a lasting, positive impact on their students and communities.
This year, we encourage everyone to not only thank the teachers in their lives but to also advocate for them:
Tell Congress to Prioritize Special Education Funding
Infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and/or gifts and talents participate in and benefit from all federal public education and early childhood programs. A strong federal investment in programs that provide targeted support is critical to ensuring their success in the early years, in school, and beyond, as well as increasing opportunities for all. Unfortunately, these programs are consistently and woefully underfunded. As Congress works to determine funding levels for Fiscal Year 2024, tell your delegation to use this appropriations cycle as an opportunity to reverse this trend and provide meaningful increases to the funding streams that impact your work.
Support School-Based Mental Health
Meeting the mental health needs of infants, toddlers, children, and youth is critical to supporting their education and development. Ensuring access to high-quality social-emotional learning programs and mental health services and supports is contingent on having dedicated, highly qualified school mental health professionals. Unfortunately, our nation faces severe shortages of school-based mental health professionals. Take action now to let your members of Congress know how important it is to support additional funding for mental health.
Help Rebuild the Special Educator Workforce
The shortage of special educators is at a breaking point. In recent years, 48 states and the District of Columbia reported shortages of special education teachers and specialized instructional support personnel. We must work together with Congress to ensure every student has a well-prepared educator to guide their educational success and that we stem the tide of educators leaving the field.
To show our appreciation to teachers this week, we’ve gifted five exceptional education departments and two individuals with lunch! We received dozens of nominations from administrators, teachers, and families, each showing just how wonderful exceptional education teachers are. Our winners are:
- Lapwai Special Forces of Lapwai Middle/High School
- Special Education Department of Farmington Central High School
- Escalante Middle School Department of Pharr San-Juan Alamo ISD
- Noah Paul's team at George Washington Carver Elementary School
- Early Childhood Team of Western Dubuque County Community School District
- MaryBeth Redman
- Francesca Sigmond
Follow along this week on social media with #4SpecialEducation #TeacherAppreciationWeek2023 and be sure to #ThankATeacher