What Does Teacher Appreciation Look Like Now?

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As a former teacher and school administrator, I can tell you that we love Teacher Appreciation Week. It’s a time to get an extra picture, hug, high five, and even a small gift from our kids (and yes, we refer to them as “our kids”). But this year, Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4 – 8) is going to look a lot different.

Many of us LONGING for our children to be back with their teachers and friends, and all this time sheltering in place has taught us just how much we appreciate them. So how can we show them? Here are a few ideas.

Kill Two Birds With One Stone

Appreciate your child’s teacher and support local restaurants by giving gift certificates. More than likely, you can make the entire transaction hands free. You know you have the teacher’s email. Buy them a gift card or two and email it to them! They would love the opportunity to order out and spend time with their family rather than making meals.

You could also support small businesses that do bouquets (think Edible Arrangements–many of them are still open) or meal delivery kits. Don’t be shy–ask the teacher for their address. They may give it to you if they know a special surprise is on its way.

Use Technology for Good

Let your child read a story to their teacher. Record them reading one of their favorites. The teacher can see and hear your child’s reading progress and this sweet gesture rejuvenate their heart and soul.

You can also upload a special work of art from your child to send to their teacher. If you want to take it a step further, you could have it printed and sent to their home. Maybe even have it printed on a coffee mug, reusable bag, or water bottle.

Special Delivery

Again, if you are lucky enough to get the teacher’s address from them, take your child (while wearing masks and practicing social distancing) to their house and create a chalk message out front for them to see. 

You could also deliver a special flower, vegetable, or herb for the teacher to plant in their garden. Or send a special bouquet complete with toilet paper, hand sanitizer, wipes, and a face mask.

Now, more than ever, we need to let our teachers know we appreciate them! These are just a few ideas, but the important thing is putting in the effort to show these men and women how much they mean to us and to our children!

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Tracy owns Safe Spaces, a consulting and training firm that focuses on building resilient families, communities and organizations (www.sfspcs.com). She is also an Authorized Facilitator and Certified Instructor with Darkness to Light, www.d2l.org, a child sexual abuse prevention organization. Tracy grew up in northeast Ohio, and has lived in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Arizona, and Northern Virginia and has worked in the arts, in education and most recently as a Public Educator for a child abuse prevention non-profit. Her husband's job brought them to the Bay Area and there's no looking back! Tracy is mom to a 14-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son. Self-care includes getting to know her new community, having lunch with friends, pedicures, reading, cooking, crafting, and just being with her family.

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