May 5th to May 11th is Teacher Appreciation Week this year, with the highlight being National Teacher Appreciation Day on May 7th. As summer approaches, it is time to show the people who spend long hours each day teaching our children important subjects like how to read, math, or science, and also how to be good people and how to act when being part of a group, the appreciation they deserve. It is often an underappreciated job, but today is the perfect occasion to remedy that situation.
Teachers touch our children’s lives in a way nobody else can. We are sure you can remember at least one teacher or mentor in your academic career that inspired you to reach new heights, helped you develop a skill you still use every day, or been there for you in your time of need. Teachers are often unsung heroes that encourage children and young adults reach his or her full potential.
National Teacher Appreciation Day takes place on the first Tuesday of May. By then, your child has spent most of a school year in his or her teacher’s company and has learned a lot. Make the day meaningful not only for the teacher but also for your children by encouraging them to take an active part in doing something their teacher might like. Their teachers will undoubtedly appreciate the effort!
Teachers spend a considerable amount of time and money, since many of them personally pay for a large part of the supplies your children use in the classroom, to bring out the best from the little people they are in charge of. Ask your children what their favorite memory of their teacher is, this will help you determine how to best show them your appreciation. What would they do to make his or her life more comfortable? What do they think their teacher brought into their life? Is there something in particular they learned from their teacher that touched them? This is a great occasion to encourage your children to express gratitude for the help they have received and recognize the hard work their teacher does.
Here are some ideas of things you and your child can do to show the teachers in their life how much you both appreciate the teacher in both your lives!
Write a personal letter
Personal letters (or emails if in a pinch) are probably one of the best ways to show teachers how much you and your children appreciate everything they do. If you are on a budget, it can be a meaningful memento that doesn’t cost anything but time and emotion. If your child is too young to write, don’t hesitate to ask questions to write down their answers in their own words. Their teachers will be touched to know precisely how they have made a difference in your child’s life and that their hard efforts have not gone unnoticed.
If you had a meaningful relationship with one of your teachers or coaches, today is also a great day to let them know how much you appreciated and admired them. Even years later, they will love to see the impact they had on you and to know that they have not been forgotten!
Since thank you notes are one of those things that are always highly appreciated no matter what life stage you are in, learning how to master them at a young age is also useful life skill.
Make a gift by hand
A handmade gift can have a real impact without breaking the bank. From a handpicked bouquet, to handmade jewelry like bracelets or necklaces, there is no need for your child’s art to be a masterpiece as long as it comes from the heart. It is also the perfect way to encourage empathy. Ask your child what their teacher would like, and why, and follow their lead even if it might not be your first choice. Even if your child is not artistically inclined, there is no harm in pulling out an easel and some paint to let them express, through pictures, how much they like their teacher. You can offer some suggestions to get them going if necessary, like a painted mug or a drawing of them and their teacher.
Nominate your child’s teacher for an award
It always feels good to be recognized at the highest level, and some of this recognition comes with the undeniable advantage of a nice stipend. After all, living costs are expensive, and we all know that teachers don’t make as much as they should. Luckily, there are many awards you can nominate your child’s favorite teacher for!
Buy a gift card!
If there is something teachers need as much as we do, it’s coffee! A gift card to their favorite coffee shop, especially if it is one located next to the school, will always be welcome! Gift cards for general stores that they can use for themselves or to buy supplies for the classroom as needed are also sure to put a smile on their faces.