From gift cards and kids artwork to my personal favorites – the clever puns – there are thousands upon thousands of ideas for saying thank you on Teacher Appreciation Day.
While I know teachers really do feel loved when the receive all of these gifts and cards, there’s an even better way to show your appreciation this year.
I’ve got two simple ideas that can help you give your child’s teacher what he or she really needs for Teacher Appreciation Day.
What Teachers Really Want for Teacher Appreciation Day
Turn on the TV and you’ll hear a story about how teaching and education is not an easy field to be right now. It’s exhausting and thankless work that many lawmakers are making even more difficult. This contributes to many teachers are leaving their profession because they feel unsupported. Wouldn’t it be great if you could offer some encouragement to the teachers in your life?
The truth is that teachers need those of us who aren’t in the classroom to be an advocate and voice for them. They need us to make sure that policy-makers and people in positions of power know about the good and difficult work that educators are doing. So, here’s the very best way to thank your child’s teacher.
Write a Letter to the Principal and/or School Board
Whether you send it as an email or the old fashioned way, write a thoughtful note about why your child’s teacher is doing a great job. Give specific examples of how your child has grown or changed in the classroom. Share a story about a time your kid’s teacher went above and beyond to support your kid and how much that meant to you.
You can even interview your child and include quotes about why he or she loves being at school. It doesn’t have to be long, but the more details you can give, the more likely it will be noticed. Chances are your letter will probably go in the teacher’s permanent file or least be shared at evaluation time, so you’ll have the opportunity to make a significant impact on their career. Make a copy or CC your child’s teacher so they know that you’re bragging about them.
Become an Advocate for Teachers
This is a less concrete way to celebrate teachers, but it’s still important. Take some time to become knowledgable about educational policy and how it helps or hurts teachers. Pay attention to your school board race and other local elections and listen for candidates who support educators, or better yet, are former educators themselves.
Write a letter to your State Representatives or join an email list for pro-teacher advocacy groups. Be informed so that when it comes up at the playground or book group, you can share what you’ve learned about how the struggles of the profession. Even though your child’s teacher may not see you doing all of these things, by being an advocate, you’re giving teachers a voice so that more educators want to stay in the classroom and be champions for our kids.
Unique Teacher Appreciation Day Gift Ideas
Should you skip the Starbucks card? No way! Teachers totally deserve a Frappuccino too! But also consider including something they really need….your support of their profession and the hard work they do. Teacher Appreciation Day is about saying thank you and there’s no better way to do that than to shout a teacher’s praise from the rooftops, or at least your laptop 🙂
Teachers, leave a comment to let us know how you feel most supported in your profession? Parents, what are some ways you support educators at your school?