Today’s colorful Google Doodle is in celebration of Teacher Appreciation Day in the United States, showing the many roles a teacher plays in a child’s life.

In the United States, two holidays celebrate the impact of teachers in children’s lives. First established by Congress in 1953, National Teacher Day is a single day of the year that honors educators, and later in 1984, the National PTA established Teacher Appreciation Week, which is to be celebrated in May. Starting in 1985, these two holidays were aligned to be celebrated together, moving National Teacher Day to the Tuesday of the first full week of May.

On any given day, a teacher has to play numerous roles and jobs, whether it’s teaching a variety of subjects, offering guidance and direction, or simply serving as a role model to their students. Teachers who have done their job well may be remembered by students for the rest of their lives.

To do their part in honoring teachers around the country, Google’s homepage today features Teacher Appreciation Day artwork. The Doodle was created by artist Erich Nagler, who worked with the 2022 State Teachers of the Year to be his inspiration. Each of these teachers was also given a $5000 award by the National Teacher of the Year program and Google for Education.

It was a treat to meet with such a passionate and insightful group of teachers as part of the Doodle development process. The State Teachers of the Year shared overarching themes of their roles and specific examples from their classrooms to inform the Doodle illustration. They even took pencil to paper themselves to sketch their ideas for what the artwork could look like. One quote from our brainstorm that stuck with me was, “Teachers empower students with tools to share their ideas.” So I tried to create a still-life of all these various tools of learning around the teacher’s desk and chalkboard.

The Doodle artwork shows a typical classroom environment, focusing on the teacher’s desk covered in supplies for a variety of subjects as well as individual drawings of appreciation from students. Along the back of the Doodle, you’ll find the letters of “Google” crafted from usual teaching elements, including handwriting examples, a globe, the atomic model, and a musical staff. Cleverly, all of the accent colors used throughout the Doodle are from Google’s own four-color logo.

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Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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