With students learning from home now, we’re realizing just how much our teachers do — and the patience it requires to do it. So, this year more than ever, our gestures to thank Arizona’s teachers, who are rallying for us during this crisis time, mean a lot. Especially during Teacher Appreciation Week May 4-8, and Teacher Appreciation Day May 5.
There are many ways to recognize teachers virtually, at a safe social distance. Depending on the age of your child, you may need to do the honors. Older kids should make the effort themselves. Here are some suggestions.
Harness social media to recognize teachers
Spread some social media love!
Expect More Arizona urges families to share messages of thanks and recognition using the hashtags #AZTeachersRock. The nonprofit even provides posters sized appropriately for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Write a glowing review for your school online. Post your review on rating sites like Yelp, greatschools.org and others. Be sure to shout out favorite teachers by name.
Post a wish and compliment on your school’s Facebook page or other social media, highlighting the quality of teaching and/or your kids’ favorite teacher(s).
Tag a teacher and thank them on Facebook.
The National Parent Teacher Association urges families to tell your teacher how much you:
Love (❤️) how they encourage you in special ways
Like (?) what’s happening in their virtual classroom
Celebrate (?) their achievements with students
Care about (?) their commitment to students and families
Share your thoughts in more traditional ways
Send an email to a special teacher, or consider reaching out to a different teacher or a former teacher every day this week. Here are some thought starters:
- A letter about how the teacher has been inspirational or motivational or about a fond memory from this school year
- Some meaningful artwork: A hand-drawn picture, photo or video
- A special poem or story created for or shared with the teacher
Or, use a slick online card. The national Parent Teacher Association offers a digital thank you card. American Greetings’ online card catalog has a Teacher Appreciation Day card to customize and send digitally.
Send something special
A host of gifts can be purchased virtually and delivered digitally or through services.
Give merchandise gift cards that can be used now or after more businesses re-open. Look to support local retailers that match your teachers’ interests: book stores, office supply stores and craft stores. Many businesses allow online purchase and will send the cards for you. Others can be ordered over the phone for pickup or mailing.
Get teachers a well-deserved night out. Again, make this a win-win by looking for local restaurants and entertainment venues where you can get a gift certificate — just check that there’s no expiration date if it can’t be used right now.
Send goodies. Gift basket delivery businesses are still in operation. Again, err on the side of using local sources. Even Postmates on-demand delivery service is able to drop off inexpensive treats from local food stores and bakeries. For this option, you’d just need your teacher’s street address for delivery.
Need more ideas? The Arizona Republic put together a list of discounts and deals during Teacher Appreciation Week.
Make a donation in a teacher’s name
Does your teacher support particular causes? They might appreciate a contribution made for them to a charity.