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What an interesting time we are living in! We are all being affected by COVID-19.
However I would say that one of the largest groups of people affected by this virus are educators!
As an administrator at a school, I have watched our teachers take their classrooms home and begin a whole new adventure of online learning, tirelessly seeking out best practices to teach, inspire, and connect through a screen. Many of these men and women are juggling work while also having their own families home. I know others who are staying up late grading endless amounts of submitted work, while others who knew nothing about technology previously, are now watching tutorial after tutorial on how to use Google Slides, Zoom, and Screencast-o-matic. I also know that many teachers are grieving the loss of the end of the year – closure with students and final pockets of time together in the classroom. This is a very different end to the 2019-20 school year!
In spite of this, teachers are rising up. I have seen creativity like no other time before in my years as an educator. I have seen perseverance, humility, sincerity, and hope. Teachers are chartering a new path and doing what they do best – serve their students, no matter what it takes.
On top of ALL OF THIS, parents everywhere are seeing teachers in a whole new light as we daily experience a small glimpse of the teacher life as we journey into the world of homeschooling. Shonda Rhimes said on Twitter recently, “Been homeschooling a 6-year-old and 8-year-old for one hour and 11 minutes. Teachers deserve to make a billion dollars a year. Or a week.”
Teacher Appreciation Week is May 4-8 and if there is a year to appreciate teachers – this is the one. While we aren’t able to hand deliver cute gifts each day, I have a few ideas on how you can share the love with our hero educators >> social-distancing-style.
I love this simple FREE Printable Teacher Appreciation Letter from Thirty Handmade Days to guide your child in writing a thoughtful and meaningful note of thanks. Mail the letter to the teacher’s home if you know their address, the school if you don’t know their address, or scan and email the letter to the teacher.
One of the interesting dynamics of online learning is that parents are getting a front row seat in the teacher’s classroom. As a teacher, this can be very nerve-wrecking to think about! The best thing you can do as a parent is to have compassion. Your child’s teacher is doing the best they can to provide your child with good content and their boss needs to hear about it! Write a quick email to your school’s principal and express your gratitude for all that they are doing to help your child keep learning. Include a few specific things that your child’s teacher has done on camera that have made the experience positive.
Social Media Shout-Out
Does your child’s school have a social media page? One great way to show appreciation is to shout it from their online platforms! Post a note on their page thanking them for a job well done during distance learning. Tag a teacher and praise them specifically. Post a photo of your child working on their school work, tag the school, and caption it with something positive. I know online learning isn’t the easiest or most pleasant experience for everyone, but building your child’s educator up will make a difference.
Take a Photo or Video
Film your child saying thank you to your child’s teacher. Make a poster to share in the video. Throw streamers or confetti at the screen. Make a big deal and then send it to them! See if you can get other families to do the same and then email the videos to the teacher during Teacher Appreciation Week.
Bomb a Class Zoom Meeting
Does your child’s teacher host Zoom meetings? Organize with the other parents in the class to do a Zoom bombing! Plan a particular moment in the call for everyone to hold up a sign on their screens that says THANK YOU or WE LOVE YOU to their teacher. Or each student could take turns sharing what they love and appreciate most about their teacher or a fun memory from the year. Kids Activities Blog has some FREE editable Google Slides to use – click HERE!
Do you know your child’s teacher’s home address? Send them a bouquet of flowers from Farmgirl Flowers, or send them a specialty food item like a cookie (if you live in Fort Lauderdale area, you must send your child’s teacher these cookies from Batch!). You could order them a beautiful, inexpensive monogrammed bag from HERE. Send them a Shipt order of your favorite self-care items from Target. Or have dinner delivered to your teacher’s house from their favorite restaurant (if you don’t have their address, you could order the food for pick-up and then let the teacher know to go get it!). Another great option is to just send them a gift card for Doordash, Ubereats, or no-fail Chick-fil-a.
Drive-By Appreciation Parade
If you have the teacher’s address, organize a thank you drive-by parade of cars with the class. Decorate the cars with thank you signs and honk and holler your way down your teacher’s street.
Order THESE Teacher Appreciation yard signs (hurry so that they will arrive in time!) and set them up on your teacher’s front yard!
Gift Card for Online Shopping
Here is the bottom line – gift cards are gold to teachers. Amazon is a great place to start. Maybe you know your child’s teacher’s favorite things and you can send them an Amazon gift card for the exact amount of an item you know they would like. Amazon also has many other gift card options that you can send digitally.
While you’re at it, go ahead and treat yourself to something nice as well. After all, you are a teacher now, too. 😉
What are you doing for your child’s teacher to show your appreciation?