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Teachers Could Get Free Cruises This Spring From Norwegian Cruise Lines & You Can Nominate Your Favorite Educator

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When I imagine which of my friends most needs a vacation, a few names come to mind. They have very different backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common: their occupation. While there are a lot of tough jobs out there, teachers take the cake in my eyes... which is why it's so amazing that Norwegian Cruise Line is offering free cruises for teachers who are "spreading the joy of learning" this spring. So, if you have a special teacher in your own or your child's life, here's how you can nominate him or her to get the getaway they so desperately need — and deserve.

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week in May, Norwegian Cruise Line is launching a campaign to show inspirational teachers that they are appreciated for the hard work that they do by giving them free cruises, as CBS Austin reported. Now through April 12, 2019, parents, students, friends, and even teachers themselves in the U.S. or Canada can nominate their favorite teacher to win a free cruise on the Norwegian Joy. Once nominated, teachers can receive votes from people by through social media and the Norwegian website, according to Thrillist.

On April 12, 15 lucky teachers will be chosen as finalists and win a cruise for two on a seven-day trip, including airfare and accommodations, as Travel and Leisure reported. From there, the finalists will go on to an award ceremony where they have the chance to win $15,000 for their school. That way, both the individual teacher and the school that they serve receive a boost that benefits everyone involved.

Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line, explained in a statement how travel and education are connected, as well as the importance of both:

Travel is a powerful means of education. It brings people closer to each other and to diverse cultures around the world. Through our Norwegian Cruise Line Giving Joy campaign, we celebrate the power of education and travel, and reward teachers who have taken responsibility for our future, our children, and who lean into that responsibility with all they've got.

All that responsibility is precisely what makes teachers so deserving of a free cruise. While I shouldn't have to tell you how stressful of a job managing a classroom full of children can be, I will anyway. A 2018 study conducted by the University of Missouri and published in the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions found that 93 percent of elementary school teachers are experiencing high level stress. What's more, only 7 percent rated themselves as having both low levels of stress and high levels of coping with their jobs, according to NEA Today.

All of that stress can have a negative impact on their work, making a free cruise all the more called for. There is a lot riding on a teacher's performance in the classroom. A 2010 study on the nature vs. nurture of reading abilities, published in the journal Science, found that while genetic factors can account for as much as 82 percent of the variability in children's reading skills, their teachers play a key role in helping them reach that potential.

The study's lead author Jeanette Taylor explained in a statement to Scientific American just how important teachers' role in education is:

When children receive more effective instruction, they will tend to develop at their optimal trajectory. When instruction is less effective, then children's learning potential is not optimized and genetic differences are left unrealized.

If a teacher in your life came to mind as you were reading this, consider nominating or voting for them at the Norwegian Cruise Line website. Because such important, difficult work shouldn't go unrewarded.