A day of celebrations to last all year: National Thank a Teacher Day! 19 May 2023

National Thank a Teacher Day 2023 is fast approaching and we couldn’t be more excited. On 21st June 2023 children, students, staff and parents will come together once again to thank those who have made an impact in their life.  

But as we put the finishing touches on our plans for this year’s celebrations, we’re taking a moment to reflect on the incredible successes and overwhelming support we’ve seen on this special day over the years. 

The Teaching Awards Trust was founded in 1998 by Lord David Puttnam CBE to celebrate transformational teaching.  

It’s our mission to raise the profile of the great work done by our teaching and support staff, and highlight the positive impact they make. And what better way than to dedicate a special day for communities to come together to show appreciation? 

A nation says thank you  

Each year, our Thank a Teacher Day campaign celebrates hard-working teaching and support staff in schools, colleges and early years. As messages flood in, each year we see an outpouring of gratitude for staff all over the UK.  

Last year alone, we received an unprecedented 65,837 thank you messages through our platform. Schools, parents, and students all got stuck into the activities, creating heartfelt thank you cards, entering our competitions, and sending social media tributes to the teachers who have changed their lives.  

 

Trending on socials 

Each year, we get immense support from celebrities and other public figures on TV, radio and across social media, alongside features running on BBC’s The One Show.  

Last year, as Dame Joanna Lumley, Dame Helen Mirren, and Sir Michael Morpurgo, flanked by a raft of other celebrity supporters read out expressions of gratitude to our nation’s educators, thank you messages continued to rush in.  

And with our campaign reaching over 39 million people, it’s no wonder we were trending in spot #2 on Twitter, and number one on twitter the year before. 

Led by pupils 

Students, the life blood of our Thank a Teacher Day campaigns, do their teachers proud every year in their unwavering support. Classrooms are filled with celebration and gratitude as thank you messages are crafted and passed to school, college and nursery staff who make such a difference in these young lives.  

 Last year was no exception, as we saw record downloads of our lesson and assembly resources to help children share stories of how teachers have inspired them.  

From bakery competition entries to carefully written stories of thanks and appreciation, children delighted the staff who go above and beyond to help and nurture them every day.  

The range of thank you messages we see for the variety of staff involved in a child’s education underscores the journey education is and how many people play a part in a child’s growth and development.  

And this goes not only for the hard work done during the school day, but also for the extra effort staff make after school to give children every opportunity for enrichment. This message was sent last year to Miss Wadley of Worle Community School in Somerset: 

“Thank you for making music lessons really fun and taking time out of your day to do choir after school, I really appreciate it!” 

 

Supported by parents 

We know that parents – especially those with younger children who can’t send their own messages in – play a vital role in the success of each year’s Thank a Teacher Day celebrations.  

The volume of messages showing gratitude for how school staff care and dedicate themselves to their children’s education is always mind-blowing.  

This joyful support of school staff by parents and carers brings home the strong sense of community schools create within their local area. And a celebration like Thank a Teacher Day unites everyone, UK-wide, in celebrating the precious contributions of our educators.  

Last year, this thank you message was sent to teaching assistant, Mrs Isted at the Baird Primary Academy in East Sussex: 

“Thank you so much for supporting our son through Year 1. I know your input has really helped with any challenges he has had. He absolutely loves his farm. Thank you for taking the time to get to know and appreciate what a wonderful character he is.” 

 

A countrywide community 

Celebrations reach far beyond the school gates to touch the wider community too. Last year, public figures – namely the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Education – sent messages of support.  

And John Legend, David Walliams, and Sanjeev Bhaskar joined Rob Biddulph, Charlene White, Bobby Seagul and Edith Bowman to read out some of the thank you messages sent to our nation’s education staff.  

In addition to their week-long feature for the Pearson National Teaching Awards in the Autumn, BBC’s The One Show also show their support every summer by featuring our campaign.  

 

Shining a spotlight on the unsung heroes 

While our annual campaign champions the work of teachers to educate and nurture our young people, we also recognise the unwavering support of all school staff.  

We love reading the many messages of thanks for teaching assistants, office staff, caretakers, and everyone working tirelessly behind the scenes to provide a safe and nurturing environment for pupils to learn and grow.  

These unsung heroes are always showered with recognition, highlighting the collective effort that goes into the enriching educational experience created by schools, colleges and nurseries throughout the UK.  

And it isn’t just parents and students who send messages. Senior leadership teams show their appreciation too. Like this message sent last year by leader Irinder Minhas to school staff at The Lady Byron School in Leicestershire: 

“Nearly a year has passed since the opening of our new school for students with Autism.  What a rollercoaster of a year…but you have all hung in there to make sure we create a wonderful school for our young people.  Because of you our students attend school every day when some have not accessed any education for years.  Because of you they are learning and progressing and developing valuable skills.  You all have been fabulous and from my heart I thank you all.” 

 

Looking forward 

Thank a Teacher Day 2022 was a fantastic event, demonstrating the power of collective gratitude and celebration. The fantastic support and love from students, parents and the wider community brought home the importance of recognising the hard work and dedication of our education staff.  

And as we anticipate Thank a Teacher Day 2023, we invite schools, pupils, parents and communities across the country to join us on 21st June, to create an even louder celebration.  

Let’s continue to make a difference and show these superheroes how much they mean to us and how important they are in the educational journey of our young people.  

Let’s never stop saying thank you to those who do so much to shape young minds as they look forward to happy, healthy and successful futures. 

Why not get involved this year? Send a thank you message via our platform and sign up for news about the activities and competitions we’ve got in store this year.  

Thank a Teacher Day will take place on 21st June 2023. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and get involved on the day using the hashtags #ThankATeacherDay and #WhoHelpedYou.