This week is Teacher Appreciation week at our school. I love my parents this year and my students! In fact, this is one of the years, where I actually don't want the year to end!!
I am in the unique position (beginning) this year, of being both a teacher and a parent. It has been eye opening to participate in this week as a parent, and thus, I've gotten some great ideas. I think most, if not all, the readers of this blog, already know exactly what to do (assuming you have kids in school), but if not......maybe you can file this away for next year! I know a lot of you end up being room moms.
1) It's the little touches. You don't have to spend much, or any money, but the little touches of thoughtfulness in presentation do wonders. Think things through. For instance, at our school, many classrooms select a day during the week in which every student in the class brings a flower for the teacher. One way to do this well is to have a vase or vases ready to go in the classroom prominently. Better yet, have the person in charge of flowers collect all the flowers in advance, put them in vases outside the room, and bring them in with a flourish. Extra credit, have the 'in-charge' parent water the flowers and take care of them throughout the week!
(Speaking of flowers, if you have a male teacher, you might want to consider something else. He may not need four vases of flowers stacked on his desk. Very sweet, but just saying.)
2) Tell the teacher why you appreciate them. Most (?) teachers spend a lot of time thinking about how to make lessons fun, interesting, and/or exciting. And/or how to connect with various kids. Similar to moms, it is just kind of expected, and while there may be an internal appreciation, it is nice to hear a specific one out loud. One of my friends wrote a special letter to his son's preschool teacher, and I think that is so great. I have saved every letter like that I have ever gotten. Sadly, most of them are from my principal, like at a review time. Words mean so much to us. If all I got was, 'I so appreciate you being my daughter's teacher. She likes to come to school because of you. The way you talk and connect with her helps her feel safe and comfortable.' Or, 'I am so proud that _____ learned her letters! Thank you for working with her. I can't believe all she can write now!" Or, "I know _____ can be a little challenging. Thank you for taking the time to talk with him." How about, "thank you for sharing with _____ how to use their words and solve conflicts. I've noticed a difference!"
If, as room parent, or teacher appreciation coordinator, all you did was stress to parents to write a note with as much detail regarding anything they've done that you appreciate, (have the kids make a note too, but as a K-teacher, something a little more meaty is nice, esp. since we have so much parent contact). Then, you organized all the notes in a cute gift bag with a bow, and said, 'here you go!' I would be thrilled!!!!!!
3) Have a luncheon! The highlight of my week was a delish luncheon we had on Tuesday for a whole staff. This was not a one classroom event, but a school-wide effort. If your school doesn't do it, suggest it! This year it was Hawaiian style and decorated to the max with yummy yum yum food. There was even brunch snacks (muffins, bagels). I personally am all about food! Everyone loves it. Various parents bring in a dish. Decorating divas set up and clean up. I actually look forward to our holiday luncheon and this one all year long. (Sadly) : ) See other blog for my food issues.
4) If you want to spend some money - Gift cards are king! : ) Bookstores, starbucks, whatever your particular teacher loves.