Today begins Teacher Appreciation Week 2012, and that means honoring your teachers with a special gift or some other token of appreciation.

We have much to thank our teachers for, whether it be inspiring us to choose a certain career path or changing the way we think about the world.

Click through the slideshow above to see pictures of some famous teachers, from substitute-turned-comedic actor Danny McBride to famed poet Maya Angelou.

Teachers have long been recognized for how they shape young minds, stretching as far back as ancient Greece.

Those who educate children well are more to be honored than parents, for these only gave life, those the art of living well, the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle once said.

Former CBS news anchor Dan Rather likened teachers to guides that help us overcome obstacles so we can achieve our goals.

The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth, Rather said about teachers.

Some say teachers are unpaid fairly given the huge responsibility they have with young children, who are the leaders of tomorrow. According to, the median salary for teachers in the United States is around $40,000.

Modern cynics and skeptics see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of their children a smaller wage than is paid to those to whom they entrust the care of their plumbing, President John F. Kennedy once said.

Teacher Appreciation Week 2012 runs from May 7 to May 11.

Need ways to show appreciation to your teacher? has a few ideas.

Simple gestures like helping teachers carry her things after class into her office, giving your teacher a simple glass of water, greeting her in the morning and on departure times are just but plain but definitely heart-warming to them, the website advises. Your culture probably hasn't got the spirit of hospitality, but it doesn't mean that you deny yourself from doing it. In fact, being nice to her during class and being attentive too can be a great way as well. It only shows that you express respect and submission to your teacher-and this definitely is the best way to show appreciation.

Showing love is another way to honor your teacher, according to the website.

Some teachers, especially the ones that touch your heart the most is perhaps very friendly and approachable. Nevertheless, no matter what attitude your teacher might be, as long as she doesn't mistreatment you, give your love to her. Show her she has a special place in your heart, the website says. Love her as your second parent, consider her as your mentor, and recognize her as someone who can speak to your life.