CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Students at E.C. Killin Elementary School had lots to say about their favorite teachers during lunchtime Tuesday.

Second-grader Mozan Daniels, 8, says his teacher, Gerald Thompson, is “the bestest teacher in the world, because he’s funny and lets us play games when we have enough class time.”

In between bites of waffles and sips of chocolate milk, the youngsters shared messages of gratitude and admiration in honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week, which runs May 4-10.

The observance week was made official in 1985 by the National Parent Teacher Association, although it dates back to 1944.

“Great Teachers Make Great Public Schools” is this year’s theme.

Teachers around Okinawa were showered with accolades and presents, from the quintessential apple to chocolate treats. Seven-year-old Katie Kelly said she plans on giving her first-grade teacher, Susan Hefner, a special gift.

“I’m going to give her a tadpole. She really likes tadpoles,” Katie said.

Joshua Chase, 10, said his fifth-grade teacher, Tim McCarty and all others deserve a week of vacation for the long hours they put in reviewing math problems, reading stories and conducting science experiments.

“Principals should give them time off for all the hard work they do,” Joshua said.

But not too much, said his classmate, Justin Gozun, 10.

“At least a couple of days, but not too much, because we don’t have many substitutes,” Justin explained.

As 9-year-old Nadia Cunningham, a third-grader in Sandra Dailo’s class, put it: “It’d be pretty boring if there were no teachers.”

Why do you appreciate your teacher?

"Because he’s funny and he always wears the same shoes." Mozan Daniels, Gerald Thompson’s second-grade class

"He lets us have fun Fridays." Damien Burke, Gerald Thompson’s second-grade class

"Because he teaches us fourth grade and makes us super smart." Tanya Thomas, Gerald Thompson’s second-grade class

"I’m so sad it’s going to be summer. Ms. Minkle is super nice." Kaye-Shana Ebreo, Emily Minkle’s fourth-grade class

"Because that’s what a teacher does, teach!" Ty Johnson, Kristy Shobe’s first-grade clas

"If you get stuck, you know she won’t let you down, she’ll try to help you." Cassandra Torres, Emily Minkle’s fourth-grade class

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