It’s #TeacherAppreciationWeek and most schools already had ideas and plans for how to celebrate. Jeans days, catered lunches, and small tokens of appreciations placed on teachers’ desks are some of the ways school leaders and parent/teacher associations have collaborated to show teachers some love.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused school buildings to close. Just as school leaders had to quickly transition to at home learning for students, they will have to adjust and find ways to show appreciation to teachers while they are working from home. Here is a list of ideas for school leaders, parents, or the community to show appreciation for teachers this week, even in the midst of a pandemic.

1. Send an electronic gift card – These can be sent to teachers from the comfort of your home. Make sure you have an idea of what the teacher likes before you pick a gift card.

2. Write a letter – Parents and students can write a letter of appreciation and email it to the teacher. Be sure to throw in a few lines thanking teachers for shifting and adapting to this new learning environment.

3. Make a video – Teachers will tell you that they are missing seeing their students.  Students could make a video sharing their appreciation. They could sing or dance or hold up signs thanking the teacher.

4. Gift a yard sign – First, let me start by saying that no one should be delivering any signs if there is a stay at home order in place. School administrators could drop off a sign on the teacher’s porch. This will allow the teacher to decide whether he or she would like to put it in the yard. If the teacher lives in an apartment, the teacher could place it in a window.

5. Do shout-outs on social media – Most schools are active on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This is a great opportunity to tag teachers and shout them out. Even if the teacher is not on social media, the teacher can still be recognized.

6. Cancel meetings – If there are any meetings that could be an email and not a Zoom meeting, principals, send that email instead.

7. Shorten the workday – If teachers are told to be available online until 4 p.m. during remote learning, make it 3 p.m. or 2 p.m. next week.

8. Give an extra PTO – Teachers should still be able to take PTO during this time. Giving teachers an extra day during this time would help. Requiring them to schedule it before this school year ends would be even better. Some teachers need a little nudge to do self-care.

Teachers are working hard to ensure students are learning as much as they can during this pandemic. We cannot forget about them next week. We might not be able to do what we did before, but we can most certainly still show appreciation.

An earlier version of this post originally ran on the Indy K12 Education Blog here.


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