Utica, NY (WIBX) - Today is Teacher Appreciation Day but the celebrations are going on all this week. Dennis Van Roekel is President of the National Education Association. He says this week should be dedicated to honoring those who spend their lives teaching.

He said, "The Department of Education says in the next ten years we're going to need 1.6 million more teachers. So, maybe if we stop making it sound like a horrible job--It is a great job, it is a great profession, it is an honorable profession--and maybe we can get people excited about becoming teachers and through this day of recognition of teachers all across America, we can encourage some to enter the profession. We need a lot over the next ten years."

Van Roekel has this idea on how you can honor a teacher,"For adults who are no longer students, think of a teacher that made a difference in your life, Google their names, see if you can find them and send them a note. I can tell you as a class room teacher for 23-years, I was a high school Math teacher, there is nothing more powerful, more blessed, more exciting, than to receive a note, a communication, an email, from a former student who said, 'thank you.'" He says current students can also do the same for their teachers.

Thanks to Eleanor Roosevelt, National Teacher Day has been celebrated since 1953. National Teacher week is from May 7 - 11. To learn more about NEA or to get ideas on how to celebrate a special teacher, visit, www.nea.org.