No, it's not 'teacher appreciation week,' but it is the season of love. ❤️
Teachers have a tremendous impact on their students' learning and lives. Although showing them love and appreciation for all the fantastic work they do should not be limited to a season or a day of celebration, it is still worth the spotlight in February when the topic is ever present.
Google "ways to show teachers appreciation" and 100s of search results will display, all of them listing things such as "gift cards," "school supplies," "letters of gratitude,"… etc. These have always been the go-to tokens of appreciation in regular times. But this year is an exceptional year and thus requires an exceptional way of celebrating your teachers! From navigating school disruption to preparing for distance and hybrid learning to dealing with emotional distress and more... All of it made for an exceptionally exhausting year.
In this completely abnormal year, how can you find meaningful ways to recognize all that your teachers do? And how do you celebrate them properly in this virtual context?
Here are a few starting points to help you plan meaningful ways to show love to all your teachers and recognize all they do:
While you may have access to information about your teachers on what they need, what they like, and maybe their favorite morning beverage, getting the right gift or way of recognition, is like selecting the right intervention for the students. It requires data points from multiple sources.
So before making any decision, start by getting the right information -- find a way to gather data from your teams about what would make them feel the most appreciated. This could be as simple as a survey asking teachers directly, or a brainstorming session with team leaders who know your teachers the best, or getting insights from your larger community to leverage their strengths and expertise.
(Note: beyond this Valentine’s day appreciation, consider how you will continue to plan opportunities to provide support, recognition, and positive experiences for your teachers throughout the year.)
There are four buckets of virtual appreciation strategies:
Providing learning opportunities, acts of service, and/or resources that are uniquely tailored to teachers' needs and interests.
Virtual opportunities to connect and enjoy each other's company.
- Inviting families/friends of teachers to join in a virtual learning or community-building virtual event
- Hosting a teachers happy hour or “Paint Night” with paid-for drinks
- Hosting an online art or cooking class
Acts of gratitude, appreciation, and praise that celebrate the unique strengths, contributions, and accomplishments of teachers.
- Hosting a virtual spotlight awards show; consider having teachers/ community members contribute nominations
- Sending a survey to school community with teacher names listed and a request for one word of praise--make a word cloud of results and send to each person
- Launching a social media campaign sharing public recognition for teachers
Giving the gift of time and efficiency in a context where teachers are overwhelmed with paperwork, long meetings, and administrative tasks
- Providing your teachers with the right technology that, when woven into their daily workflow, saves them time and effort and helps them achieve more while doing less. Request a demo.