California Educators Kick Off May With Celebrations Honoring Teachers, Education Support Professionals, and School Nurses

Burlingame, CA…The California Teachers Association (CTA) is proud to kick off May with a monthlong celebration honoring teachers, education support professionals (ESPs), and school nurses. This week, CTA starts off with National Teacher Appreciation Week and National Teacher Day (May 4), to honor all educators who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to reach each one of their students. Amid a stressful and unprecedented time in history, educators doubled down their advocacy – on behalf of students, their families, and school staff – for critical resources and safety as they pivoted back to in-person teaching and learning. This week, throughout May, and beyond, we honor educators for cultivating the minds of students and leading conversations to heal and restore justice in our communities.

While there are never enough ways to express our gratitude, we pay tribute to all the educators who stepped up, adapted quickly, and persevered through it all. We would not be able to get through one of the hardest events in our lifetime without the dedication of teachers, ESPs, and school nurses. It is through their work that we can nurture, empower, and inspire students for generations to come. Thank you, educators, for always believing in our students and helping them believe in themselves,” said CTA President E. Toby Boyd.

On May 12, educators are proud to celebrate California Day of the Teacher. California Day of the Teacher has its roots in the community and is patterned after the celebration of the traditional “El Día del Maestro,” which is observed in Mexico and Latin American countries. California Day of the Teacher arose out of legislation co-sponsored by CTA and the Association of Mexican American Educators in 1982. Since then, every year in May we honor instructional excellence in our public schools, community colleges, and universities. Throughout California and across the country, educators have stepped up to safely support students, their families, and one another through the pandemic, working harder than ever to show that even though buildings were closed, teaching and learning never stopped.

On May 12, educators also celebrate National School Nurse Day. Nurses, such as Shadlie Kensrue, help keep our community safe and have been the champions for a safe return to in-person instruction. They are essential to the school community.

Then on May 18, educators celebrate CTA ESP Day. ESPs make up one-third of the entire education workforce, and California’s schools could not run without them. Every May, CTA ESP Day celebrates the work of ESPs in our schools. ESPs like Maggie Peacock-Butler are committed to their students and are essential to the day-to-day work in schools. This day is part of ESP Week (May 16-22), which is officially recognized by the state as Classified School Employee Week.

May truly illustrates the power and value of all educators throughout California. They worked closely with families to educate and nourish students, even more so during the devastating pandemic.


The 310,000-member California Teachers Association is affiliated with the 3 million-member National Education Association.