Do you have a teacher who changed (or changes) your life for the better? Someone who introduced you to amazing literature and ideas and encouraged you to follow your dreams? Someone who taught you to think critically, tackle algebra, or write your name in cursive? Today, National Teacher Day is your opportunity to say thank you.

National Teacher Day was founded in 1980 to honor the crucial role teachers play in providing a quality education for their students. Teaching a roomful of kids is hard work, and many teachers go above and beyond to make sure their students get the best. Meanwhile, Judaism deeply honors the value of education – in fact, passing lessons and wisdom onto future generations is one of the central aspects of the tradition!

So take today as an opportunity to celebrate education by honoring the teachers that made a difference in your life. Here are some ways to let your teacher (or teachers) know how much you appreciate them!

  • Make a Video: The National Education Association and Parenting magazine have teamed up to help you make your teacher’s day by uploading a video tribute to them online. Check out the videos already posted to get ideas.
  • #ThankaTeacher: Tweet your appreciation for all that good learnin’ – just use the #thankateacher hashtag.
  • Israel Teaching Fellows: Thank your teachers by becoming one yourself! College grads can apply to teach English while helping to close the achievement gap in Israel. Apply here to be a 2012-2013 fellow.
  • The Jewish Education Project: This org’s Young Pioneer Awards honors superstar Jewish educators who are making a difference. The deadline to nominate a Young Pioneer is closed for this year, but check out the winners on June 4th!
  • One Laptop Per Child: Support all kids’ right to education by ensuring that students across the world have access to the technology they need to learn.

How are you celebrating National Teacher Day? Let us know below or by tweeting @repairtheworld.