U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued the following statement today, recognizing Teacher Appreciation Week, May 6--10, 2013.
"Teachers are central to every single community in America. Each day, teachers come to school ready to tackle a job that is critically important, extraordinarily complex, often joyful, and, at times, heartbreaking. In essence, teachers help others to become their best selves and I can think of no more important work.
"Teacher Appreciation Week is a time to recognize teachers' work and listen to their perspective on ways we can continue improving our schools and views of the teaching profession. It is our collective responsibility to make sure that the 3.2 million teachers in America's classrooms have the tools, time, and professional development to be the very best they can be. The quality of our education system can only be as good as the quality of the teaching happening in classrooms and every member of society has a part to play in supporting our teachers and students.
"In an age of dizzying technological advances and a rapidly evolving knowledge economy, students must know and be able to do more than ever before in order to compete. The task of preparing them for this increasingly demanding landscape falls largely to teachers, who must lead a rapid evolution of their own profession.
"Teacher Appreciation Week is a moment to say thank you to teachers for everything that they give in the name of helping students achieve. Teaching is an art, a science, and a public service, and I thank all teachers for their relentless efforts."