Music Educators Can Use American Education Week to Orchestrate Success for Their Students

American Education Week—November 18-22, 2013—presents an opportunity to celebrate public education and honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education. The weeklong celebration features a special observance each day of the week (see below for details).

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) encourages music teachers to use American Education Week as an opportunity to connect with parents to remind them how music education orchestrates success for their children throughout the school year and in their lives. NAfME’s “How Music Education Orchestrates Success” is a free, printable card designed to hand to parents and other supporters — and potential supporters — of music education. 

American Education Week observances include:

Monday, November 18: Kickoff Day

For the Nationwide Kickoff, schools across the United States will celebrate excellence in education by hosting a variety of events and activities.

Tuesday, November 19: Parents Day

Schools will invite parents into the classroom for a firsthand look at what the school day is like for their children.

Wednesday, November 20: Education Support Professionals Day

Education Support Professionals keep schools running and students safe, healthy and ready to learn. 

Thursday, November 21: Educator for a Day

Community leaders will be invited to experience the day as educators and experience the challenges of teaching and the needs of students.

 Friday, November 22: Substitute Educators Day

Substitute educators play a vital role in the maintenance and continuity of daily education. Learn more about these professionals and take a look at resources and tips for substitute educators.

The National Education Association was one of the creators and original sponsors of American Education Week. Concerned that 25 percent of the country’s World War I draftees were illiterate and 9 percent were physically unfit, representatives of the NEA and the American Legion met in 1919 to seek ways to generate public support for education.

The conventions of both organizations subsequently adopted resolutions of support for a national effort to raise public awareness of the importance of education. In 1921, the NEA Representative Assembly in Des Moines, Iowa, called for designation of one week each year to spotlight education.

In its resolution, the NEA called for: “An educational week … observed in all communities annually for the purpose of informing the public of the accomplishments and needs of the public schools and to secure the cooperation and support of the public in meeting those needs.”

The first observance of American Education Week was December 4-10, 1921, with the NEA and American Legion as the cosponsors. A year later, the then U.S. Office of Education joined the effort as a cosponsor, and the PTA followed in 1938.

Other co-sponsors are:

  • U.S. Department of Education
  • The National PTA
  • The American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary
  •  The American Association of School Administrators
  • The National School Boards Association
  • The American Federation of Teachers
  • The American School Counselor Association
  • The Council of Chief State School Officers
  • The National School Public Relations Association
  • The National Association of State Boards of Education
  • The National Association of Elementary School Principals
  •  The National Association of Secondary School Principals.

 American Education Week is always celebrated the week before Thanksgiving. 

 Roz  Fehr, NAfME Managing Editor for News, November 12 , 2013. © National Association for Music Education