What happens when National Teacher Appreciation Week meets Star Wars Day?


We’ve all had some sort of mentor who left a major mark on our life. Someone who helped turn us from a learner into a … master.

Perhaps it was that teacher who encouraged you to try out for the school play or a tutor who was patient as they taught you how to code and gave you room to experiment and explore.

Maybe it was a backward-talking muppet in a remote swamp world who made you carry him around on your shoulders while you faced your Freudian fears in a mystical cave and tried and failed to levitate a —

What? That never happened to you?

GIF from “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.”

Obviously the “Star Wars” saga is full of masters and learners. And now the US Rebel Alliance has found a cool new way to show appreciation for the amazing Yodas in all our lives.

As it turns out, this year’s International Star Wars Day (you know, “May the Fourth” be with you) coincides perfectly with Teacher Appreciation Week.

And our teachers deserve a celebration that would make the Ewoks proud. 

GIF from “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.”

Clear your mind of questions, cause here’s how it works:

All you have to do is post your own personal story about an inspirational educator anywhere on social media with the hashtag #TeachMeYouDid, and the US Rebel Alliance will collect the stories to share on the #TeachMeYouDid website.

That’s way easier than telepathically lifting a sunken X-wing out of a swamp, am I right?!

GIF from “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.”

#TeachMeYouDid is about more than just spreading the love. It’s also about paying it forward, in a cash-friendly kind of way.

The best teachers can make miracles out of nothing  — but they shouldn’t have to. That’s why the US Rebel Alliance is also giving away five cash prizes of up to $1,000 to the subjects of the top #TeachMeYouDid entries, to ease some of the burden while the teachers continue doing the amazing work they do.

Teachers are totes luminous. GIF from “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.”

Because in case you haven’t noticed, the situation for many of our teachers isn’t so hot.

We live in a time of seemingly-endless budget cuts to education, where schools are forced to cut entire days from the calendar just to save money. Some districts might even be unable to pay their teachers their summer paychecks because of state budget issues, effectively robbing teachers of the money they’re owed for work they already did.

Sorry, kindergarteners. Yer on yer own. GIF from “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.”

And that’s exactly why #TeachMeYouDid is so important.

Not just for the delightful “Star Wars” puns, although clearly those are wonderful. But because our society sometimes forgets how much education really matters. 

We try to turn the concept of “learning” into some kind quantifiable business metrics measured by facts and information, and we ignore what’s really important — that we’re teaching people how to think and how to choose what to think.

Without masters to train the learners in their ways, there won’t be anyone left to lead the next generation.

GIF from “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.”

So what are we waiting for? Let’s show our metaphorical Jedi Masters just how much we appreciate their magical training.

You can check out all the awesome entries so far on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, or the official #TeachMeYouDid website.

And in case you need a little inspiration of your own, here’s a powerful video promoting the campaign as well. Although, let’s be honest, there’s a teacher out there who already gave you all the inspiration you could need.


Thumbnail photo by Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images.

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