Celebration of Teaching

Celebration of Teaching is KDP's Signature Service Initiative

This program encourages KDP members to support current teachers, cultivate future teachers, and advocate for our profession.

Why Celebration of Teaching?

Nearly every person can point to an exceptional teacher who played a critical role in his or her life. Sadly, many of these educators find themselves leaving the classroom long before retirement. In fact, a staggering 41% of teachers will leave the profession within the first 5 years. KDP is committed to curbing this burnout and supporting young professionals as they enter the classroom and beyond. Why Celebration of Teaching? We’re glad you asked:    

To identify, recruit, and support promising students who demonstrate an interest in teaching 
To encourage more students of color to consider teaching as a career 
To promote collaboration between public school teachers, university professors, students, and parents 
To promote public interest in the education profession 
To elevate the profession by celebrating outstanding educators  

Teaching is often referred to as “The Noblest Profession.” Without it, other professions would simply not exist. The goals of Celebration of Teaching are simple: Cultivate the best teachers, retain the best teachers, and continue to elevate the noblest profession.

How To Participate 

Chapters can participate by hosting any event or project that fits one of the following themes.  After the event or program is complete, share your project’s success with KDP. 

  • Host a program designed to support or recognize current teachers. 
  • Host a program that encourages middle and high school students to consider teaching as a career option. 
  • Advocate for the profession in your community. 

Celebration of Teaching Resources 

Planning for your Celebration of Teaching Project is just as important as the day of the event itself. KDP has the resources to help you develop new programs—or even elevate existing ones!

Celebration of Teaching Awards 

Congratulations to Our Celebration of Teaching 2022 Recipients 

Fifteen exceptional projects will be selected to receive a Celebration of Teaching Award, the levels of which are explained below: 

Gold Award, Five Chapters: Large chapter plaque, recognition in KDP communications, and $200 award. 
Silver and Bronze Awards, Five Chapters Each: Small chapter plaque, recognition in KDP communications, and $100 award. 

In addition to these benefits, some award-winning chapters will be selected to lead a panel discussion on their program at KDP’s next Convocation. 

Delta Iota Chapter – University of Louisiana Lafayette: Teacher Preparation Peer Mentoring Program 

The Teacher Preparation Peer Mentoring Program (TPPMP) at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette) was created because there was something missing within the College of Education that encouraged us as preservice teachers to foster a connection with our preservice teacher peers. Our fellow teacher candidates are either completing or have finished benchmark assignments, courses, exams, and in-school fieldwork; asked instructors and advisors lots of questions; and participated in organizations to help them develop as educators. Learning from one another is an invaluable resource that teaching candidates should take advantage of because we can learn so much from our peers.

Alpha Epsilon Sigma Chapter – Western Governors University: Showing Appreciation to Educators

We decided to make shirts with words and phrases of appreciation for the teachers. Our first step was to have committee members nominate a school to be the recipient of the project. After nominations, we had our general membership vote on which school they thought should be chosen. We did this so that choosing a school would be more objective. Next, we decided to get the positive words/phrases from the community where the school is located. While we could have brainstormed the words and phrases ourselves, we thought it would mean more to the staff and teachers if the words came from their own community. After obtaining many words and phrases, we made those words into a word cloud, which we then put on a shirt. Enough shirts for everyone in the school were ordered and delivered to our committee member that works at the school. In addition, we also sent them some books that were left over from a book drive that we did so that we could help them build their classroom library. The committee member that works at the school wrapped up the shirts in ribbon and a cute card and distributed them to the teachers and staff. Lastly, we had a catered Chick Fil A breakfast delivered to the school to show our own appreciation for them.

Upsilon Chapter – University of Florida: Teacher Appreciation Week

In the Fall, we debuted our Teacher Appreciation week project with events all week, each with a different purpose that met our objectives. We created teacher appreciation cards and emails for various teachers that have impacted our lives. 18 members sent emails to those that inspired them to also pursue a career in education. We also created two posters and displayed them at the College of Education, with the prompts “I want to be a teacher because…” and “A professor who I am grateful for is…”. These posters were created by 7 members and signed by over 20 individuals in just one week. These posters stayed on display throughout the entire academic year, generating over 100 responses by May. This was a concrete example of how we celebrated professors throughout the Gainesville community and showed our appreciation for those in the field of education. Our last events centered around teacher grams, where we used funds from our various fundraisers to create mini gift bags for professors and teachers in our community. 10 members, including individuals in our service committee, created, and distributed over 25 teacher grams that were filled with school supplies, a small candle, and a note of appreciation from a KDP member. We saw the impact that this event had in the Fall and decided that it was important to continue this Celebration of Teaching endeavor in the Spring. We focused more on inspiring the future generation of teachers with this week’s events, a direct correlation to the mission and values of KDP. In the spring, we sent 19 teacher appreciation emails and gave 10 teachers in Alachua County a small gift of appreciation, varying from a Starbucks gift card to a bundle of school supplies for their classroom. Members also paid it forward by donating to various Donors Choose projects of Title 1 Teachers in Alachua County and other nearby school districts. Our member’s donated approximately $120 to various projects that would enhance the learning of students in numerous classrooms. Additionally, we created an additional poster to put on display at the College of Education, this time with a focus on the future. The prompt read “Someone that I know will be a great educator,” which was created by our Director of Service Projects, Madison Fallacara. 38 members signed this poster and shared who they believe will be an amazing educator, and by the end of the week the poster had over 100 names. For our members, we led a “self-care social” that highlighted the importance of taking care of yourself while continuing to inspire your students. Lastly, we hosted our Teacher Panel, which included two educators from Alachua County School District, one who is a first-year teacher and another who has served students for over 13 years. They shared their experiences in the classroom and inspired future teachers, and we showed our appreciation through a small gift card that they can use for classroom supplies and expenditures. Overall, every event was a success and allowed us to celebrate the educators in our lives, including ourselves.

If you have any questions, please contact MET@kdp.org