Here’s what you should know about Thank a Teacher Day - and ideas for showing appreciation to yours

March 20 marks national “Thank a Teacher Day” in the UK - a day especially important in light of the pandemic.

While teachers work hard every year, 2020 has posted its own unique set of challenges, with many teachers doing lessons online and in some cases, still going to work.

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Here’s what you need to know about Thank a Teacher Day - and how to show your appreciation for yours.

What is Thank a Teacher Day? 

Thank a Teacher Day on March 20 is a national day for the country to celebrate the hard work of teachers and thank them for all their efforts.

It’s run by the Teaching Awards Trust and aims to raise the profile of teaching as a profession as well as demonstrate the positive impact of teachers and school leaders on society.

The day also marks an opportunity to thank teaching assistants, school leaders and support staff for their contributions to educating students.

Winners of the Pearson National Teaching Awards are usually announced on March 20, but this year the awards are being delayed until students are back in school.

Students of all ages, from reception right up to sixth form, are invited to use the day to give thanks to teachers who have made a big impact on their education and lives.

Why is it important? 

Giving thanks to educators has always been important, but this year’s celebrations have taken on an extra significance in light of the pandemic.

Thousands of teachers across the country have continued teaching key workers’ children, while also ensuring that those at home have work to do throughout lockdown.

Some have been going above and beyond to make sure children don’t go hungry too.

Simon Carter, marketing and propositions director of technology supplier, RM Education, said: “We should take every opportunity we can to celebrate the work that our teachers do, day in day out. But this year’s National Thank a Teacher Day is particularly important in light of the pandemic, which has shone a bright light on just how vital teachers are to our society.

“In the face of unprecedented challenges, they’ve continued to deliver lessons to millions of children across the UK; and all of us in education should be applauding their creativity, dedication and commitment.”

How can I thank my teacher?

Award-winning illustrator Axel Scheffler - who illustrated The Gruffalo - has designed an e-card which can be sent by students to teachers and schools.

This year, the campaign is also encouraging people to send messages on social media to their teachers using the hashtags #ThankATeacher, #ClassroomHeroes and #HowWillYouSayThankYou

You can tag the Teaching Awards trust on Twitter @UKThankATeacher, Facebook ThankATeacherUK, or Instagram @thankateacherUK. They can also be contacted via  email at [email protected]

Some students have created short video messages to share on social media, explaining which teacher they’re thanking and why.

Michael Morpurgo, author and president of the Teaching Awards Trust, said: “So often and for so many of us, it is a teacher who changed our lives, was at our side through hard and difficult times, who lifted us up when we were down, helped us find our voice, gave us confidence when we needed it most, set us on a path that we have followed ever since.”