Celebrating our teachers should be a point of emphasis as often as the opportunity arises. World Teachers Day 2021 has the theme of “Teachers at the heart of education recovery”. We already are well aware that our teachers are the heart and soul of the classroom and are and will continue to drive educational recovery. Our teachers continue in the trenches every day to ensure that our students have all they need to catch up after and still during the crises we are facing. With this in mind, celebrating and recognizing our teachers is important. It is also important that our teachers are doing phenomenal things in the classrooms while also dealing with the pandemic themselves.
We as administrators, PTO groups, or parents and teachers, should look for fun ways to celebrate our teachers and incorporate teacher appreciation. This is true anytime, as teachers work hard for their students, and deserve recognition. In looking at the theme for this year, let’s look at specific ways to celebrate our teachers this year.
Turn a Weekly Staff Meeting into a Party
This idea can be put together as a surprise for the teachers. Solicit help from PTA, PTO or school or district corporate sponsors to put together a party and make it a total surprise for your teachers. In fact, the administrator can even tell a little “white lie” as to what the staff meeting will entail. Then once they all arrive, have the sponsoring group march in with food, party favors streamers and anything else they want to make the event special. Take time to address the teachers during this time and let them know how much they are appreciated by you as the administrator and all others whose lives they impact.
Individual Cards of Thanks and Appreciation
Again, soliciting help from PTA or PTO, make contact with parents of the students, and ask them to write personal cards to their teachers. Ask them if they can hand-make the cards and draw on them as well as write a short note to the teacher. Have a deadline to get the cards in, which should be at least the day before you want them handed out, and even try to get gift baskets for the cards to go in. The afternoon before the event is to occur, again using your organizations, place the gift baskets filled with cards from the students on the desk of the teacher so that they will see it first thing the next morning.
Turn World Teachers Day into a Weeklong Event
Try to recruit outside organizations, especially restaurants, to donate snacks and food items to be placed in the teacher workroom every day. Also, a note from the donating sponsor thanking the teachers for their hard work and dedication would be a great addition to this event. A banner celebrating teachers would be an added bonus in the teacher workroom as well. Finally, make sure there are plenty of snacks and other food items including drinks for teachers to come and go during the day and enjoy.
Parent Appreciation Opportunities
Once again, with help from your PTA/PTO group, send messages home to parents, asking them to take a few moments and write notes of appreciation to their student’s teachers. So often teachers hear good things from their students, but some rarely if ever hear from the parents. A personal note from the parent who is aware of the theme can go a long way towards making the teacher feel good about their efforts in what has been a difficult time.
Notification in the Local Newspaper
Write a personal note to the staff of your building thanking them for their hard work and dedication during this time. Be sure to list some of the more outstanding things teachers have done to help students to recover from an educational perspective. Be sure and list all of your teachers so that the entire community can see who they are. Then, in the article, ask the community to make a contact to any of the teachers they know personally and thank them for their service to the students under their care.
Write a Personal Note as the Administrator
As the school administrator take the time to write a personal note of appreciation to each of your teachers. While this could be time consuming, a personal note from you can validate the efforts of your teachers. Truthfully, this validation from you, might just give your teachers that added punch to keep going through difficult seasons of teaching. Be sure to find a way to mention something specific you have seen this teacher do to enhance learning while striving to recovery and move forward through the pandemic. Let your teachers know as their administrator you appreciate what they are doing.
Ask Family Members to Thank “Their Teacher”
Where possible, ask family members of the teacher to write a personal note to “their teacher” letting them know that they know how hard they are working for the students. Spouses, children of the teacher and even parents taking the time to pen their thanks and support can also validate the teacher’s efforts.
As we celebrate World Teachers Day, it is important now, even more than ever, that we validate our teachers; that we show teachers the appreciation that they deserve. Our teachers have been under tremendous pressure as we all have. But, we can help them along at least a little by taking the time to show our appreciation for a job well done. Remember, our teachers are human beings too; they deserve to be recognized.