This week is Teacher Appreciation Week and today is the official Teacher Appreciation Day.
Not to be confused with Cinco de Mayo which is also today. ;)
I stumbled across a USA Today article with the headline: Teacher Appreciation Week: They wanted respect. It only took a coronavirus pandemic and worldwide economic collapse.
I don't have any kids (except my cat Mia) so I haven't gotten to see firsthand everything teachers have done over the last couple of months.
But I believe that teachers are unappreciated and should be celebrated every day.
I say the same thing about moms when Mother's Day comes around. Let's celebrate moms everyday!
Back to the USA Today article, it went on to say:
"Public schools serving approximately 55 million children in America shut down overnight, leaving parents to oversee the academic progress of their children at home. And through the coronavirus pandemic, millions of families realized that teachers are not just convenient, but essential.
Millions of educators have risen above what they were trained to do, throwing themselves not only into online teaching with virtually no preparation, but also into other impromptu roles: video editor, device distributor, tech support, meal site worker, car parade driver, sidewalk-chalk writer, window waver."
Appreciation for teachers goes beyond just giving them an apple (although it's cute when a little kid does it). haha.
There are lots of creative and thoughtful ways to appreciate teachers, so I thought it would help if I put together a resource with all of these ideas. These are ideas you can execute during the current pandemic quarantine. Some of these ideas require that you know where the teacher lives. If you don't have your teacher's address, you can choose one of the other ways.
1) Create A Tribute Video - There’s a platform called Tribute that can help you create a video montage of people telling someone, in this case your teacher, why they are awesome. Students, admins and parents can all create short video clips saying thank you to your teacher, using the Tribute platform. Tribute will put everything into a nice video montage. When your teacher watches the video, you can be sure there will be tears!
2) Hold Up Signs (Virtually) - All of the students can make signs on poster board with appreciation messages like "World's Best Teacher." Pick a day when the teacher is teaching class virtually at all of the students can hold up the signs at the same time.
3) Send A Gratitude Card Over Email - A personalized e-card that’s signed by students and parents is one of the easiest ways to get an entire class involved. You can go to the National PTA Teacher Appreciation Week website and look at their toolkit for sample e-cards.
4) Have A Virtual Surprise Party - Parents can arrange a virtual surprise party for the teacher on the video platform where the school is conducting its remote learning. This can also be an opportunity for each child to share what they love most about the teacher. You can have an administrator or parent facilitate the party.
5) Organize A Social Media Tribute - Create a campaign to have students and parents thank their school’s teachers with signs and video messages that are shared on Facebook and Instagram. You can use the hashtags - #HeroesAtHome. #ThankATeacher
Other Ideas If You Know Where The Teacher Lives
These next ideas will only work if you have your teacher's address. First check with the school officials for help. Tell them what you would like to do. Some teachers may not want to disclose their address. If, however, you’re given the go-ahead or the administration agrees to help you with your idea, here are some more ways to appreciate your teacher.
6) Mail Them A Handwritten Thank You Note - This is pretty rare these days, but write a handwritten note of appreciation to your teacher and mail it. Most of our mailboxes are filled with junk, so your teacher will be thrilled to get mail from you. And a handwritten note shows that you took the time and effort to care enough to write a note rather than send an email.
7) Bake Them Cookies And Leave Them At The Door - There's nothing like fresh baked homemade cookies. Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite, if you ever want to send me some. :) You can bake up a batch of your teacher's favorite cookies and leave them on their doorstep with a handwritten note of appreciation.
8) Have A Parade - If you look online, you’ll see a variety of teacher parades through neighborhoods. I’m not sure who organizes these–parents or teachers–but in all cases, the kids are on the porches waving as their teachers drive through the streets in decorated cars. For teacher appreciation, you could organize a similar event, with the students and parents driving by a teacher's home. Wave and hold up signs as you drive by.
9) Put "Awesome" Yard Signs In Their Yard - Create a distribute yard signs that say "An Awesome Teacher Lives Here" or "Shining Star Teacher."
10) Create A Memory Book - Similar to a recorded video montage, a collection of written responses from students to questions such as, “What do you love most about Mrs. Smith?” can be a memory that lasts forever. Have one parent compile the responses, and put another in charge of gathering student and group photos. Arrange them into a photo book and have it mailed to the teacher.
Hope this gives you some ideas on how to appreciate your teachers. These don't have to be used only during teacher appreciation week. Teachers should be appreciated year round and I'm a big fan of surprising them with gratitude when they least expect it.