UNCW calls on area residents to honor teachers via hashtag

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Devon Fort, a field experience coordinator with the Watson College of Education, chats with Bradley Creek Elementary School students as part of a coordinated visit from teachers in training. Watson and UNCW are calling local residents to celebrate the profession on Teacher Appreciation Day by sharing memories of their favorite teachers via Twitter. Photo by Jamie Moncrief.
Devon Fort with UNCW’s Watson College of Education chats with Bradley Creek Elementary School students as part of a coordinated visit from teachers in training. Watson is calling on area residents to celebrate past, current and future educators by sharing memories of their favorite teachers via Twitter. Photo by Jamie Moncrief.

Put away those freshly polished red apples – UNC-Wilmington is helping local residents say thanks to teachers, 21st century-style.

Today (Tuesday) is Teacher Appreciation Day and in honor of the annual observance, the university’s Watson College of Education has launched a Twitter campaign to virtually illustrate the very real impact a devoted educator can make in a student’s life.

The day is part of Teacher Appreciation Week, held each year during the first full week of May. It was first proclaimed by federal lawmakers in 1953 at the urging of Eleanor Roosevelt and eventually came to be celebrated in early March until the National PTA established the week-long acknowledgement in 1985.

Using the hashtags #TeachingMatters and #uncw, Seahawk students, parents and the public at large can share – in their own words or with a 10-second video – their personal stories about their favorite head of the class, whether it was that bubbly first grade teacher from 40 years ago or a firm but caring current college professor.

And Watson welcomes thoughts about why the profession itself is important.

“Educators have an incredibly positive impact in our communities,” said Van Dempsey, dean of the education department. “We are excited to have this opportunity to publicly recognize teachers’ commitment, hard work and dedication to the children in our region and their families.”

The initiative is in line with what’s trending on Twitter this week, as similar hashtags – #whyiteach and #TeachersInspiredMeTo – are being tweeted across the nation.

Watson College of Education students will also be on hand at UNCW’s Randall Library from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today to shoot and post short videos for people who want to give a shout out to a special teacher.

Hilary Snow is a reporter at Port City Daily. Reach her at hilary.s@portcitydaily.com.

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