Think back. Waaaay back to your school days. There was at least one teacher who inspired you, who made you believe you could do anything. That teacher changed your life. Whether or not you knew it then, you know it now.
Teachers are still in the business of changing lives and making a real difference in our world. So maybe it’s our turn to make a difference in theirs. Here are 5 teacher appreciation ideas to help you do just that:
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Write a letter of appreciation.
Here are some tips to think about as you write that letter.
- Be specific—how has this teacher made a difference for your child?
- Is there one thing about this teacher that stands out?
- Was there a specific incident—or something the teacher said—that particularly inspired your child?
Start a classroom supply bank. Recruit parents and/or community members to buy extras of each item on the school supply list, providing a classroom supply bank for the teacher to discreetly pull from for kids who don’t have or can’t afford the proper supplies. Other ideas include general classroom supplies like construction paper, glitter glue, printer paper, music CDs for elementary classrooms, etc. This supply bank will save money for the teacher, save kids from the embarrassment of not having basic supplies and enrich classroom learning activities.
Get your hands dirty. Honor teachers with a gift they’ll really dig: Plant a tree or a bed of flowers on school property to honor a special teacher (or teachers) at your school. (You’ll need to get permission first.) Install a sign that recognizes the teacher(s) with an inscription like “Dedicated to those who plant the seeds that help our children grow…”
Give a little time…make a big difference. Contact your child’s teacher and ask how you can help by volunteering in the classroom. Maybe a particular student is in need of extra one-on-one tutoring. Maybe you could assist with a reading group. Do you have specific skills or experiences that you might be able to share in the classroom? Offer to be a “guest” teacher for a short lesson.
Tell on a teacher. Know a teacher who’s doing an outstanding job and/or going the extra mile for students? Write a letter or “report card” telling the principal what a great job this teacher is doing. Give specifics on how hard he or she is working, and describe the results of that work. Send a copy of your letter to the teacher—and it never hurts to send these kudos to the district superintendent and school board as well.