Five Ways to Make Teacher Appreciation More Meaningful
January 1, 2017
In a time when educators are constantly plagued with layoffs, accountability woes, and increasing school crises, celebrating teachers is now more important than ever.
Most schools fall into one of these categories when celebrating teacher appreciation: Actively led by PTA, led by administration, or non-existent.
Whatever category your school falls into, teacher appreciation can use a boost. Sweeping the nation, there is a trend of teachers retiring at the first chance possible. If they are not retiring, they are simply leaving the profession.
No matter what the buzz words in education for the year are or what side of the fence you’re on, everyone can agree on one thing: we must do a better job at appreciating our teachers. Could we call for a collaborative effort to make Teacher Appreciation more meaningful?
So, before you purchase that quick, generic drug-store gift for a special teacher once a year or dismiss teacher appreciation altogether, please remember that he or she deserves so much more. In fact, there are five ways to make teacher appreciation more meaningful:
Teachers are people too.
Do you remember being a child and thinking that your teacher lived at school? That he or she never used the bathroom or went to actual fun places, like the movies? You wouldn’t believe it, but there are adults who place teachers in the same kind of box. They don’t expect teachers to have lives or to have wants and desires. Their child’s teacher is expected to be grading papers and creating masterful lesson plans 24 hours a day, instead of meeting with friends at a concert or relaxing at the beach.
Teachers are creative.
There’s one thing I’ll always hold to be true – teachers are the most creative and ingenious creatures on this planet. If you ever need to find the solution to a challenge or a new way to complete a task, ask a teacher. For years, teachers have created activities and projects, and now they are coming up with new ways to share with other teachers. They have designed a path online to motivate and encourage other educators. Isn’t it time we took a page from their book and used innovative and fresh ways to motivate them?
Teachers are overworked.
“Must be nice to have summers off!” This is probably the quickest way to catch an eye-roll from a teacher. Sure, teachers are not physically teaching children during the summer months, but I can promise you that they’re working. Workshops, curriculum mapping, tutoring programs – this what a teacher’s summer looks like. Plus, stagnant pay requires many teachers to work a part-time summer job to keep up with the economy.
Teachers are retiring.
In my district, awards are given to retiring teachers that leave after 30 or more years of service. Not because it’s a standard thing to do, but rather because hardly anyone remains in education that long anymore. A trend of teachers retiring at the first chance possible is sweeping the nation; you’ll be pressed to find a large group of teachers with 40 years of service. If they’re not retiring, they’re just simply leaving. Teachers resigning due to various circumstances is increasing, while the college graduates majoring in education decreases. They are leaving; are we doing our part to help keep them?
Teachers are online.
Websites, posted lessons, blogs, shopping, personal social media accounts – teachers are a huge part of the online world. They are the first ones to know about a piece of digital equipment and how to use it. So why is Teacher’s Appreciation Day at most schools centered around a paper questionnaire?
Remember, it’s not a teacher’s nature to ask for what they want. You won’t find one screaming “Appreciate me!” to parents. So it’s our responsibility to understand and embrace them with nothing less than what they deserve. Join us as we try to make a difference in restoring the faith of so many teachers. Pamper My Teacher is a FREE, easy, structured and direct channel that can be used by anyone to express appreciation to educators through words and gifts. Celebrate a teacher today!