Happy American Education Week, celebrated Nov. 15-19, 2021!

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Amy McCoy serves lunch to preschoolers at her Forever Young Daycare facility, Monday, Oct. 25, 2021, in Mountlake Terrace, Wash. Child care centers once operated under the promise that it would always be there when parents have to work. Now, each teacher resignation, coronavirus exposure, and day care center closure reveals an industry on the brink, with wide-reaching implications for an entire economy’s workforce. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

DENVER – This week, Nov. 15 – 19, is American Education Week, intended to honor everyone serving the public school system, from the bus driver and classroom teacher to the cafeteria worker, administrative staff, and countless others.

“The public education experience really is a team effort,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and president of the Colorado Education Association. “Our educators, administrative staff, support staff and parents work in concert to always give the best to our students so that they can be successful.”

This year’s version of American Education Week is marred by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, educator shortages, burnout and a hyper-political climate.

“This is about as tough a time for educators as we’ve ever seen,” said Baca-Oehlert. “It is great to celebrate one week out of the year, but we must come together to find solutions to the problems facing educators, students and public education that affect them every day of the year.”

The American Education Week schedule is as follows:

  • Monday – Kick Off Day – Across the country, schools will celebrate excellence in education by hosting kickoff events and activities.
  • Tuesday – Family Day – On this day, schools across the nation invite parents into the classroom to experience what the day is like for their child.
  • Wednesday – Education Support Professionals (ESP) Day – On Wednesday we’ll honor ESPs, who go well beyond anything we have seen before as they work to meet the needs of our school communities in the midst of a pandemic, like ensuring students were fed though schools were closed.
  • Thursday – Educator for a Day – This year, having community members come into the classroom is not an option for many schools as they implement their distance learning or building reopening plans. 
  • Friday – Substitute Educators Day – Substitute educators play a vital role in the maintenance and continuity of daily education and we honor their willingness to help classrooms continue to function. 

“Whether it’s recognizing every educators’ right to have a voice on the job, tackling Colorado’s school funding issues, or providing access to mental health resources, it’s clear there’s a lot our legislators and decision makers can do to really show their support of our educators, students, and public schools,” said Baca-Oehlert.

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