Educational Observances and Events in 2021

Welcome to our annual roundup of education and career development awareness events, holidays, celebrations, and observances for the year ahead.

Our 2021 calendar includes days, weeks, and months to mark on your favorite smartphone, desktop planner – or even your old-school datebook. We’ve sprinkled in federal holidays and popular celebrations, plus a few “greeting card” holidays and just-plain-silly days to lighten things up.


January

Happy New Year! Even for goal-setters who make resolutions, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things and set plans in motion for the year ahead in the dark days of January. It’s especially challenging to get motivated with the added stresses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even if we’re social distancing, we can all benefit from having mentors in our lives. January is National Mentoring Month, so there’s no time like the present to find a mentor, thank a mentor, or become a mentor. Join the conversation on social media with the hashtags #MentoringMonth and #MentorIRL and get involved on the following days:

  • International Mentoring Day – Sunday, January 17
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service – Monday, January 18
  • #ThankYourMentorDay – Friday, January 29

January is Thank You Month and Get Organized Month. Grab your gratitude journal or fine stationery and express your appreciation for the people and things that help you live your best life. While you’re at it, make a pile of things and thoughts that spark joy and a pile of things and thoughts that you can do without.

A few more days to celebrate in January include:

  • Law Enforcement Appreciation Day – Saturday, January 9
  • Clean Off Your Desk Day – Monday, January 11
  • National Pharmacist Day – Tuesday, January 12
  • Inauguration Day – Wednesday, January 20
  • Handwriting Day – Saturday, January 23
  • International Day of Education – Sunday, January 24
  • Better Business Communication Day – Monday, January 25
  • Fun at Work Day – Monday, January 25 
  • National Puzzle Day – Friday, January 29

February

Punxsutawney Phil reports for duty on Tuesday, February 2. In addition to being an important day for meteorologists, Groundhog Day is the inspiration for Job Shadow Day – a time for students to observe an occupation in action.

National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), takes place February 1-5. This year’s theme is “School Counselors: Helping Build Better Humans.”

Other important days and weeks in February include:

  • Valentine’s Day – Sunday, February 14
  • Random Acts of Kindness Week – February 14-20 (#MakeKindnessTheNorm)
  • Washington’s Birthday (Presidents Day) – Monday, February 15
  • National Engineers Week – February 21-27
  • World Thinking Day – Monday, Feb 22
  • Digital Learning Day – Thursday, February 25
  • Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day– Thursday, February 25 (#GirlDay2021)

Monthlong awareness events in February include:

Career and Technical Education Month® (CTE Month®) is a public awareness campaign to celebrate the value of CTE and its achievements. Share your CTE story with the hashtag #CTEMonth.

Financial Aid Awareness Month (#FinAidFeb) offers up opportunities for college-bound students to learn about scholarships, grants, loans, and the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA).

African American History Month serves as a tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in America. Search for and use the hashtags #AfricanAmericanHistoryMonth and #BlackHistoryMonth.


March

March is Women’s History Month and Youth Art Month. Important days in March include:

  • Read Across America Day – Tuesday, March 2
  • National Salesperson Day – Friday, March 5
  • Employee Appreciation Day – Friday, March 5 
  • College Goal Sunday – Sunday, March 7
  • National Women in Construction Week – March – 7-13
  • International Women’s Day – Monday, March 8 (#EachforEqual #IWD2021)
  • National Women of Aviation Week – March 8-14 (#WOAW21)
  • National Good Samaritan Day – Saturday, March 13
  • Daylight Saving Time Begins – Sunday, March 14
  • Pi Day – Sunday, March 14 
  • St. Patrick’s Day – Wednesday, March 17
  • First Day of Spring: Vernal Equinox – Saturday, March 20
  • International Day for Achievers – Wednesday, March 24
  • International Social Emotional Learning/SEL Day – Friday, March 26 (#SELDay #SocialEmotionalLearning)

April

It’s no joke, the fourth month of the year begins with April Fool’s Day on Thursday, April 1. National Student Employment Week, sponsored by the National Student Employment Association, takes place April 11-17.

Monthlong events in April include:

  • Financial Literacy Month (#MySavingsStory #FinancialLiteracyMonth #FinLitMonth)
  • Counseling Awareness Month (#CounselorsHelp)
  • National Internship Awareness Month
  • Workplace Conflict Awareness Month
  • Mathematics Awareness Month

Special days and weeks in April include:

  • Walk to Work Day – Friday, April 2
  • National Robotics Week – April 4-10
  • National Library Week – April 4-10
  • National Assistant Principals Week – April 5–9, 2021
  • Library Worker’s Day – Tuesday, April 6
  • National Volunteer Week – April 18-24
  • Administrative Professionals Day – Wednesday, April 21 (#WeLeadUp #AdminProfessionalsDay)
  • World Creativity and Innovation Week – Wednesday, April 21 (#IAmCreative)
  • Earth Day – Thursday, April 22
  • Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day – Thursday, April 22 (#workplacesuperstars)
  • National Hug A Plumber Day – Sunday, April 25
  • Superhero Day – Wednesday, April 28
  • Arbor Day – Friday, April 30

May

It's commencement season, a time of joy and reflection for students and families. May 1 is National College Decision Day (#DecisionDay #CollegeBound). Tuesday, May 4, is National Teacher Day, and Teacher Appreciation Week runs May 3-7, so take the time to #ThankATeacher.

Monthlong celebrations and awareness in May include:

  • Mental Health Awareness Month
  • Military Appreciation Month
  • National Physical Fitness and Sports Month
  • Global Employee Health & Fitness Month
  • National Inventors Month

Special days and weeks in May include:

  • Public Service Recognition Week – May 2-8
  • National Nurses Day – Thursday, May 6
  • Space Day – Friday, May 7
  • Mother’s Day – Sunday, May 9
  • Employee Health & Fitness Day – Friday, May 21
  • Bike to Work Day – Friday, May 21
  • Memorial Day – Monday, May 31

June

Graduation ceremonies continue in June, a month that also brings summer breaks, vacations, weddings, picnics, and the following events and celebrations:

  • National Safety Month
  • Zoo and Aquarium Month
  • National Leave the Office Early Day – Wednesday, June 2 
  • National Donut Day – Friday, June 4 
  • World Environment Day – Saturday, June 5
  • World Oceans Day – Tuesday, June 8 
  • Flag Day – Monday, June 14 
  • Juneteenth – Saturday, June 19
  • First Day of Summer: Summer Solstice – Sunday, June 20
  • Father’s Day – Sunday, June 20
  • World Handshake Day – Monday, June 21
  • United Nations Public Service Day – Wednesday, June 23
  • Take Your Dog to Work Day – Friday, June 25 (#TYDTWD)
  • Online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application deadline – Wednesday, June 30

July

July begins with Independence Day on Sunday, July 4. July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. It's also National Picnic Month and National Ice Cream Month.

Special days and weeks in July include:

  • Workaholics Day – Monday, July 5
  • Space Exploration Day – Tuesday, July 20
  • National Intern Day – Thursday, July 29 
  • International Day of Friendship – Friday, July 30
  • System Administrator Appreciation Day – Friday, July 30 (#SysAdminDay)

August

August marks the beginning of the academic year for many schools and colleges. August is National Truancy Prevention Month and Get Ready for Kindergarten Month, making it the perfect time to support students’ engagement in school.

Special days in August include:

  • Happiness Happens Day – Sunday, August 8
  • Book Lovers Day – Monday, August 9
  • International Youth Day – Thursday, August 12 (#YouthDay)
  • National Aviation Day – Thursday, August 19
  • Women’s Equality Day – Thursday, August 26

September

School is back in session and summer comes to an end this month. As the academic year begins, it’s time to celebrate College Savings Month. Spread the word to families to set up a 529 plan. Suicide Prevention Month and Update Your Resume Month also take place in September.

 Also keep these September days in mind:

  • Labor Day – Monday, September 6
  • International Literacy Day – Wednesday, September 8
  • National Grandparent's Day – Sunday September 12
  • Positive Thinking Day – Monday, September 13
  • National School Backpack Awareness Day – Wednesday, September 15
  • International Dot Day – Wednesday, September 15 
  • Talk Like a Pirate Day – Sunday, September 19
  • International IT Professionals Day – Tuesday, September 21
  • First Day of Fall: Autumn Equinox – Wednesday, September 22
  • American Business Women’s Day – Wednesday, September 22

October

It’s National Principals Month, so take a moment to #ThankaPrincipal. October is also National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Careers in Construction Month, Positive Attitude Month, and Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month.

Special days in October include:

  • Manufacturing Day® – Friday, October 1
  • National Custodian Day – Saturday, October 2
  • Customer Service Week – October 4-8
  • World Teachers' Day – Tuesday, October 5
  • Columbus Day – Monday, October 11
  • National Boss’s Day – Saturday, October 16
  • National Pharmacy Technician Day – Tuesday, October 19
  • National Paralegal Day – Saturday, October 23
  • National First Responders Day – Thursday, October 28

November

November is National Career Development Month and National Scholarship Month®.

As the busy holiday season begins, take note of the following days and weeks that take place in November:

  • Daylight Saving Time Ends – Sunday, November 7
  • National STEM and STEAMDay – Monday, November 8
  • Global Entrepreneurship Week – November 8-14
  • International Accounting Day – Wednesday, November 10
  • Veterans Day – Thursday, November 11
  • National Parental Involvement Day – Thursday, November 18
  • World Children's Day – Saturday, November 20
  • Thanksgiving – Thursday, November 25
  • Giving Tuesday – Tuesday, November 30

December

December is Universal Human Rights Month, World AIDS Awareness Month, and Learn a Foreign Language Month. Before you set new year’s resolutions for 2022, take note of the following upcoming days and weeks:

  • Special Education Day – Thursday, December 2
  • International Day of People with Disabilities – Friday, December 3
  • International Volunteer Day – Sunday, December 5
  • Computer Science Education Week – December 6-12 (#CSEdWeek #CSForGood #CSforSocialJustice)
  • First Day of Winter: Winter Solstice – Tuesday, December 21
  • Christmas Day – Saturday, December 25
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About The Author

Amy Khokhar

Amy Khokhar serves as editor of the Kuder Blog. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Colby College and is a National Career Development Association Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) and Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP).

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