As the school year winds down, it’s time thank the dedicated teachers who spent the past nine months toiling over your term papers, introducing you to your new favorite book or giving you a newfound understanding of Shakespeare.

Teacher Appreciation Week, also known as Teacher Appreciation Day, begins on May 5, and its exact origins are unknown. According to the National Education Association, the group that organizes the holiday, the idea may have first gained traction in 1944 when an Arkansas teacher, Mattye Whyte Woodridge, wrote to political and educational leaders requesting an official day to recognize educators nationwide. Eleanor Roosevelt received one of those letters and later convinced the 81st Congress to proclaim the first National Teacher Day in 1953.

The first National Teacher Day was declared on March 7, 1980. Later, the NEA and its affiliates voted to change the event to the first full week of May. This year, Teacher Appreciation Day, as it's now called, is on May 6, and the entire week is dedicated to celebrating America’s educators.

To mark Teacher Appreciation Week, here are 15 quotes below about giving thanks to our best educators:

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” - William A. Ward

“When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” - Maya Angelou

“What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.” - Karl Menninger

“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” - Carl Jung

“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.’” - Dan Rather

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” - Henry Adams

“He who opens a school door, closes a prison.” - Victor Hugo

“Those who educate children well are more to be honored than parents, for these only gave life, those the art of living well.” - Aristotle

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” - Henry Brooks Adams

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” - Albert Einstein

“A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge and wisdom in the pupils.” - Ever Garrison

“Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.” - B.F. Skinner

“The good teacher makes the poor student good and the good student superior.” - Marva Collins

“A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations.” - Patricia Neal

“A good teacher is like a candle -- it consumes itself to light the way for others.” - Mustafa Kemal Atatürk