Early May is one of our favorite times of the year. The weather warms, flowers bloom, and teachers are celebrated for an entire week! While we think teachers (and leaders) should be recognized everyday for their tremendous work, Teacher Appreciation Week, this year from May 4 – May 8, is a nice formal opportunity to say thank you.
Though we are teaching, learning, and working virtually, here are 7 ideas for celebrating teachers:
- Send a personal note. More than ever, teachers are inundated with emails and texts. A personal note – sent via the old fashioned, but dependable USPS – can go far for anyone, including your teachers.
- Give a gift. Sometimes, someone taking care of the dinner that night is all you need to make it peacefully to tomorrow. Gift cards, meals from local restaurants, and gift certificates to local businesses are always appreciated. Even a small plant left on the teacher’s doorstep to “decorate their home office” is a meaningful way to say thanks.
- Give time. For leaders, consider cancelling a regular staff meeting and encouraging teachers to use the “found time” to do something for themselves.
- Get families to engage. Ask families to record a short video clip, write notes of appreciation or text pictures of homemade thank you cards.
- Party in a box. Put together a small package of party supplies–balloons, sunglasses, streamers, candy, and a small gift or two–and mail it to each teacher with a label on the outside directing them not to open until a certain date and time. During a staff meeting, have everyone open their boxes simultaneously and start the party!
- Opportunities for input. For some, the greatest recognition is the opportunity to be heard and enhance their impact. Think of ways to bring teachers into decisions–about curriculum, schedules, virtual learning and more.
- Shout-outs. While you may not be physically together, shouting out teachers in meetings, emails, and on social media/websites is a simple, but effective method for letting folks know you value and appreciate them, and a great way to highlight the values you most want your team to exemplify.