As they learn to read and explore the world of learning, elementary age kids can be fun and delightful. And teachers of children this age need to do lots of creative work to get their students interested in learning.
Elementary School Teacher Day is a time to pay special attention to the teachers of these young students as they work to lay an educational foundation for the way these students will function in the future!
History of Elementary School Teacher Day
Education in a child’s early years is a critical part of preparing them for the future in their own lives, for their communities and for the greater benefit of making the world a better place. Learning how to read, appreciate books and literature, do mathematics, and get connected with the world through history and social studies, elementary school students have a lot on their plates. And elementary school teachers have a very big job!
Elementary schools have been around in the United States for more than a century. Although education in the early days of the settlement of the country was a bit difficult and often done at home, by the year 1918 all children in the US were required to at least attend elementary school, and some were required to go on to high school at that time as well.
The ages of the students in elementary schools can vary based on the particular local school district. Children from 1st to 4th grade are usually considered part of elementary school, but the cutoff can go as far up as eighth grade.
While the general day for teachers of children of all ages, National Teacher Day, falls in the month of May, this day is specifically meant to celebrate those who teach the younger crowd of student – those in elementary school.
Now is the time to learn about and get involved with celebrating Elementary School Teacher Day!
How to Celebrate Elementary School Teacher Day
Make sure those elementary school teachers know how much they are needed and appreciated by celebrating Elementary School Teacher Day with some of these ideas:
Show Appreciation to Elementary School Teachers
Parents of children in elementary school can take a special time on this day to show their children’s teachers how much they are appreciated. This can be done through thank you cards, special gifts, or even presentations like songs or poems that are just for the teacher!
Contact a Former Elementary School Teacher
For those adults who had a favorite or impactful teacher during elementary or primary school, Elementary School Teacher Day might be a great time to reach out and contact them to say thank you. Pull out that old yearbook from those days to be reminded of which teachers were most important.
Perhaps some of those teachers are still teaching at the same school several years later, or maybe they can be found through social media channels. Reach out to that special teacher and let them know what an important part of your life and education they were. It’s likely that they would really love to catch up and hear about how their former student’s life turned out!
Watch a Movie About Elementary School
Have some fun in honor of Elementary School Teacher Day by reaching back into some fond memories through entertainment. Get started with some of these fun flicks:
- School of Rock (2003). This irreverent movie starring Jack Black offers a fun and whimsical look at what happens when a substitute teacher starts a rock band at an uptight private elementary school after being kicked out of his own rock band.
- Wonder (2017). Based on the inspiring book of the same name, this movie tells the story of August Pullman who is a fifth grader with a rare facial abnormality. Starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson. While it is not based on one true story, Wonder’s origins come from a real-life incident that the author once had.
- Matilda (1996). A little girl with big powers helps her elementary school teacher when the principal is unkind to her. The original fantasy comedy story is by Roald Dahl and the film stars Danny DeVito, Rhea Pearlman and Mara Wilson.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010). This family comedy film is also based on the series of books by the same name. In fact, there is a series of at least five films (one animated) that all feature the stories of Greg Heffley, who is a fictional character in elementary school who records his difficulties and victories in his family with friends and at school.
Arrange a School Assembly
Take some extra time out on Elementary School Teacher Day to gather all of the school together in an assembly and have an event to say thank you. Parents and administrators can organize the event where students put on a small play or sing in a choir to show how much they care. It could even be arranged to have a special award given to honor the “Teacher of the Year” and perhaps the students could vote on which elementary school teacher is their absolute favorite!
Learn Some Facts about Elementary School Teachers
One important way to show support and care on Elementary School Teacher Day might be to learn a little bit more about it. Here are some bits of trivia and information that might be interesting to know on this day:
Between 2018 and 2019, there were more than 87,000 elementary schools operating in the United States, both public and private.
The student to teacher ratio in US elementary schools continues to decline. In the 1950s the average was as high as 26, but today it is around 16 per teacher, which is a positive step. 
The job outlook for elementary school teachers looks favorable, with an anticipated growth of 4% in the next decade.
The median pay for elementary school teachers in the US in 2021 was more than $61,000 annually.