Challenging. Different. New. Exhausting. Evolving.
These are some of the words that come to mind as I think back on the past 12 months in education. Honestly, they could describe any year, but everything was taken to another level with the pandemic. For everyone.
Teaching in-person, hybrid, virtual, or a combination of them all has been quite the experience. Teachers are having to teach kids in their classrooms and at their homes simultaneously. Some teachers have even taught their classes at school from their homes (#quarantine). They are redoing lessons, getting creative with how to implement lessons and activities safely, spending extra time cleaning…the list goes on.
Of course those of us involved in education have had a lot to celebrate and be proud of as well. We have connected with our students and families more. As we have adapted and been even more innovative. We’ve re-evaluated what is the most important in our classrooms and curriculums. And we’ve been able to witness the resilience and perseverance of our students, as they have set a good example for us as adults.
How can I show my appreciation for teachers?
If you’re anything like me and are usually last minute with gifts or items on your to-do list, hopefully this quick list of teacher appreciation ideas helps. Of course there are many ways to show your gratitude, and sometimes the simplest, from-the-heart items are the best gifts a teacher can receive.
Some of my most treasured and memorable gifts from students have cost little to nothing, but were so heartfelt, they had a lasting impact.
Simple (and free!) ways you and your child can show appreciation:
- An electronic or print message from your child (video, message, artwork, etc.).
- Complete an “Act of Kindness” in honor of their teacher(s).
- Have your student demonstrate a skill they have worked hard to learn or improve on, thanking their teacher for their guidance.
Gift cards are always appreciated and utilized:
- Teacher’s Pay Teachers (TPT) is immensely popular, especially among elementary teachers. As is Scholastic (classroom libraries always need more books!).
- Amazon, Target or Walmart gift cards are invariably a hit. (Many teachers have classroom wish lists, you can always ask them for.)
- Coffee gifts cards. Need I say more? And there are lots of great local coffee shops to choose from!
Don’t forget to treat yourself!
These past 12+ months have been stressful for everyone, parents included. Practice some self-care. Your version of self-care. Treat yourself to something special. Give yourself a break when you need it, and most importantly, don’t feel guilty about it!