American Education Week

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American Education Week

Happy American Education Week!

Public schools are the cornerstone of our communities. We welcome students of all backgrounds, abilities, and incomes. We each play a role in ensuring our schools are open to all.

During American Education Week, we celebrate public education and show our appreciation for the men and women who make a difference in students' lives every day.

This year, American Education Week is more important than ever, as educators and support professionals work tirelessly to keep student learning on track amid a pandemic.

Join the celebration. Snap a picture that represents your pride in public schools and post it to social media using #PublicSchoolsForAll.

Meet Dee Scales, the 2021 ESP of the Year!

There’s no better time than American Education Week to celebrate our hardworking ESP members. And none more deserving of recognition than Dee Scales, the 2021 Dolores McCracken PSEA Education Support Professional of the Year.

“I am honored to receive this recognition,” Scales said. “It means a lot because support professionals do a lot of work, not only within our schools but in our communities, as well. Many support professionals live in the communities where they work so they have a great rapport not just with students but with students’ families, too.”

Scales has worked as a paraprofessional in the Woodland Hills School District for the past 26 years, including working with students having special needs in life skills, learning support, and emotional support classrooms. She currently works with students in an emotional support classroom in the Dickson Preparatory STEAM Academy.

Scales serves as president of PSEA’s Education Support Professionals Western Division and sits on PSEA’s Racial Justice and Equity Taskforce, PSEA’s Resolutions Committee, and PSEA’s Credentials and Elections Committee. She is a delegate to both PSEA’s House of Delegates and the National Education Association’s Representative Assembly.

Dee on a recent episode of PA Newsmakers explaining the roles of paraprofessionals and support staff in schools.

Schedule of events

Monday, November 15
Kickoff Day 

Tuesday, November 16
Family Day 

Wednesday, November 17
Education Support Professionals Day

Thursday, November 18
Educator for a Day

Friday, November 19
Substitute Educators Day 

What is American Education Week?

American Education Week is a time for all Pennsylvanians and Americans to celebrate public education and honor the women and men who are making a difference in our schools every day.

Join the celebration

Join us as we show our support for PA public schools and send the message that our schools are here for each and every student.

Just snap a picture that represents your pride in public schools and post it to your social channels using #PublicSchoolsForAll.

A letter to the Editor


With American Education Week upon us, I want to take a moment to recognize everyone who makes Pennsylvania’s public schools terrific. That includes the educators and support professionals in our schools as well as the parents, guardians, and community leaders who partner with them. When it comes to educating the next generation of Pennsylvanians, we’re all in it together — and we all have a role to play.

The wonderful thing about our public schools is that every day the door is open to children of all backgrounds, abilities, and incomes. Dedicated professionals are there ready to help those students tackle tough challenges and succeed. 

Over the past 20 months, educators have also partnered with school counselors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers to address the mental health needs of students who have struggled as a result of the pandemic.

Please join me during American Education Week Nov. 15-19 in saying thank you to the educators and support staff in your community schools. And let me say thank you for supporting Pennsylvania’s schools and educators, especially during these challenging times.

Our schools couldn’t do all that they do without your support. 

Rich Askey,
President, PA State Education Association

Letter to the Editor - PSEA President, Rich Askey 

Readers React: Thank you for supporting Pennsylvania’s educators 
Allentown Morning Call

It's National Education Week
Clarion News

Be sure to thank educators during American Education Week | Letter
LehighValleyLive/Easton Express Times

Letter: American Education Week Edit
The Carlisle Sentinel

Letter: American Education Week a time to thank community
Reading Eagle

Letter to the editor: Thank educators during American Education Week
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Thankful for PA educators, support staff
Centre Daily Times

LETTER: Thank an educator this week

American Education Week 
Daily Item

Now is a perfect time to thank a teacher
York Dispatch

Find more resources

Find event ideas, suggested social media posts, videos and more at NEA's American Education Week web page.

Educator Spotlight

Wee Deliver

In a world increasingly reliant on technology for basic communication, it’s nice to know there’s still a place that appreciates the value of a simple handwritten letter. That place is Garrettford Elementary School in the Upper Darby School District.

Schoolwide Mobile Makerspace

Finding creative new ways to engage kids in learning is one of teaching’s toughest challenges. Making it work for multiple classrooms across an entire school is tougher still. But that’s just what Katie Waddell, a second-grade teacher in the General McLane School District, Erie County, has accomplished with her Schoolwide Mobile Makerspace program.

Cyber Seniors

Most days, the residents of the Conestoga View Nursing & Rehabilitation facility in Lancaster don’t spend much time on the computer, or hanging out with young people. But, now, they’re getting plenty of time to do both, courtesy of the J.P. McCaskey High School Computer Club.

Virtual reality in the classroom

Picture this. You're standing on the surface of a rocky, alien landscape on the edge of an enormous crater. Deposits of what look like snow and ice dot the landscape. You turn to the left to see Jupiter looming massively over distant mountains, dominating an alien sky packed with brilliant stars. 

Teachers in the Parks

On a warm, June day, groups of students are huddled around enthusiastic teachers. Children are laughing, smiling, and enjoying their lessons. And as the breeze blows and birds sing a summer song, this doesn’t feel like a community that is struggling. It feels like a community with hope.