These Teacher Appreciation Week tributes are ridiculously heartwarming.

It's Teacher Appreciation Week, and students, parents, and administrators all across America are stepping up to honor the people who devote their careers to enriching minds and shaping lives.

Educators from Maine to Alaska walked into their schools to find their desks, doors, and hallways covered with messages of love, support, and thanks.

The tributes were about as lovely — and creative — as you'd expect.


Some teachers were showered with gifts.

Others were showered with ... nachos.

Some students upped their fruit game.

And others upped their decoration game ... like these fourth-graders in Wisconsin.

Kids at a Las Vegas school honored their teachers with a dance routine:

A North Carolina school created a Walk of Fame for its star educators.

"I felt super special," says Emily Francis, an ESL teacher.  "Reading every teacher's names made me feel part of a team making a difference and changing lives."

Students from a Missouri elementary school went classic and delivered flowers to their teachers.

"A parent stood at the door and gave each kid a flower as they walked in, after they had already delivered an empty 'vase' (popcorn bucket) to each of us before the day started," says Jen Bearden, a first-grade teacher at the school. "I was then greeted with 21 smiles and thank-yous to begin my week."

And a Baltimore-area school won the day by treating its teachers to the greatest gift of all: free pizza.

Meanwhile, hundreds of adults posted on Twitter to pay tribute to the educators who shaped their lives:

Americans clearly appreciate their teachers — but as a country, we sometimes have a funny way of showing it.

A 2016 study published by the Economic Policy Institute found that public school teachers earn 17% less than other college-educated professionals on average.

Teacher salaries have actually decreased since the mid-'90s, when adjusted for inflation, despite them working 10+ hour days, in many cases.

Truly acknowledging our teachers' centrality in shaping our lives and the lives of our children should mean paying them what they're worth and helping them do their jobs effectively.

That means supporting teachers' right to a strong union and supporting their efforts to negotiate higher salaries. It can also mean donating classroom supplies, which many teachers have to provide themselves, or volunteering in your local school.

For next Teacher Appreciation Week, it's on us to help give America's educators the best gifts of all: support in the classroom, adequate time off, and a fair wage.

Though ... I'm sure they'd appreciate the free pizza again too.

The 40-day fasting period of Ramadan observed by Muslims around the world is a both an individual and communal observance. For the individual, it's a time to grow closer to God through sacrifice and detachment from physical desires. For the community, it's a time to gather in joy and fellowship at sunset, breaking bread together after abstaining from food and drink since sunrise.

The COVID-19 pandemic has limited group gatherings in many countries, putting a damper on the communal part of Ramadan. But for one community in Barcelona, Spain, a different faith has stepped up to make the after sunset meal, known as Iftar, as safe as possible for the Muslim community.

According to Reuters, Father Peio Sanchez, Santa Anna's rector, has opened the doors of the Catholic church's open-air cloisters to local Muslims to use for breaking the Ramadan fast. He sees the different faiths coming together as a symbol of civic coexistence.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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