Haven't heard about American Education Week? Well, it's a week of events occurring the week prior to Thanksgiving that highlight why education in our country is needed. Each day highlights a different aspect of education, whether it's the parental involvement, instructional practices of teachers, or the aid that education support professionals provide the students served. Big Universe values education and seeks to support it in as many ways as possible, and so here are some ways your classroom or school can commemorate this week and make people aware of why education is important. Some of these ideas can be swapped between or conducted over multiple days.
Monday: Kick-off Day
- Create a PSA highlighting why education and learning are important to them and to our society.
- Use this week to kick off a reading fundraiser for the school, essay contest, or art display surrounding the annual theme.
- Have a pep rally and invite local high school or community band or cheer/dance teams (or other performing teams) to perform in order to get students excited about learning.
- Have a daily raffle for school members to receive prizes donated by community members and school caregivers.
- Begin week of service related to education. Have students conduct activities such as collect books to be donated to those in need or have older students in the school visit the younger classroom grades to read stories or do work with them as starter ideas.
- Give students things including bookmarks, pencils, and stickers that promote this week and the events at your school.
Tuesday: Parent's Day
- Invite caregivers to visit the school and look at learning in action, provided they do not greatly disturb the learning process.
- Send home a student-designed thank you note for their support throughout the year.
- Raffle off educational games or supplies for families to use at home.
- Have students ask parents about a favorite moment in school. Have them write a story about it and/or draw pictures and post some on a bulletin board or in the hallways.
- Recognize parental involvement by having an after school celebration, providing aftercare for children if needed.
- Send home a list of activities for children to do with caregivers.
Wednesday: Education Support Professional Day
This includes paraeducators, food service workers, maintenance workers, bus staff, nurses, and other ESPs.
- Create certificates of appreciation for each ESP and have a gift card to a local restaurant, massage parlor, or grocery store.
- An administrator can be an "ESP" for the day, assisting with the many roles and functions ESPs have in student learning.
- Take pictures of them and post it near the entrance along with their roles so families are aware of the many people supporting their child's learning.
- Have teachers and administration host a brunch for those working in these positions.
Thursday: Educator for a Day
- Invite a local public official [or students] to be an educator [teacher or administration] for the day.
- Have families/PTA/administration create Thank You Baskets for teachers.
- Give teachers a booklet where students can write and/or draw what their teacher means to them.
- Give teachers professional development books or materials to use in the classroom.
- Have teachers wear clothing related to the colleges they attended.
Friday: Substitute Educator's Day
- Announce the contributions of substitutes over the PA system or morning video show.
- Give them gifts of appreciation, such as flowers, candy, and inspirational notes.
- Create a snack bag or activity bags to help them in case of an emergency
I hope these are lesson seeds for your upcoming week. What are some ways your school celebrates American Education Week? Share your responses below!