May has a number of days devoted to celebrating the work educators do everyday to nurture and teach California’s students.

As most schools across the state have reopened for in-person instruction in some form, it took everyone working together to make that happen — teachers, education support professionals (ESPs), nurses, counselors, and more. Therefore, this year we are highlighting that collaboration to promote special celebrations in May: California Day of the Teacher, National School Nurse Day, and CTA ESP Day.

This year’s California Day of the Teacher is on May 12, 2021. National School Nurse Day falls on the same day. Nearly a week later, on May 18, we will recognize the vital work of ESPs on CTA ESP Day.

This year’s theme for our combined May celebrations is

California Educators: Cultivating Minds and Healing Hearts

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Bringing this year’s theme to life is LA-based social justice artist Audrey Chan. For Audrey, this year’s theme suggested the image of a field of California poppies to represent the nurturing role of educators and ESPs in students’ lives, growing their capacity for knowledge and empathy. It has been an incredibly challenging year, and Audrey wanted to create vignettes of healing and connection among the golden blooms. Learn more about Audrey and her approach to this year’s poster in the latestCalifornia Educator magazine.