“You are not teachers, you are emissaries of teaching,” Education Minister Naftali Bennett conveyed to educators ahead of National Teacher’s Day on Thursday.Municipalities, schools, parents and students throughout the country prepared to pay tribute to some of the most influential people in their lives - their teachers.“A teacher that succeeds to ignite the eyes of his students is a good teacher, a teacher who listens to students is a good teacher, a teacher that ignites the imagination of students is a good teacher, and so are all the teachers I met with in each of my visits to schools,” said Bennett.This is the third year that the day has been observed with the aim of showing appreciation to educators from preschool through higher education and strengthening their standing in Israeli society.The day was organized by a number of partners, including the education ministry, the Trump Foundation, as well as student and parent organizations, schools, NGOs and local businesses.As part of the celebrations, students both past and present were given the opportunity to thank their favorite teachers by decorating their schools with balloons and giant banners, organizing breakfast with their teachers, and sending personalized thank you e-cards, text messages, flowers and gift baskets.Also in Jerusalem, Beer Sheba, and Tel Aviv, events entitled "Teachers on the bar" were organized whereby past students got together to have a drink with teachers and hear lectures on education. “We all need to say thanks to educators that teach our children every day - that is nothing less than a mission. I and all the students of Israel thank you - thank you to all the teachers, we appreciate you very much,” said Bennett.In a letter to education institutions penned ahead of the day, Michal Cohen, director-general of the Education Ministry thanked teachers for their contributions to society."Thanks to this important day, the national spotlight moves to the center of the educational world, to you, the teachers of Israel, who stand behind a large and reputable educational enterprise,” she wrote.“You, the educators, are the backbone of the system and an important element in strengthening social resilience and that of the State of Israel. Your contribution to society is widespread and very big, so I want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to you for all your endeavors," she said.