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National Teacher Appreciation Week, COVID-Style!

Do you know what our teachers and administrators are doing right now? Working ALL.THE.TIME. The beauty of technology is that during a health crisis, our educational system can still deliver quality curriculum right into our homes. The downside of technology is that during a health crisis, there is no real boundary around work hours for our teachers. They are on-call for parents pretty much non-stop and many of them are parents themselves, managing their own children’s needs. So if there was ever a time to encourage our educational heroes, it is now.

Cue: National Teacher Appreciation Week, COVID-Style! 

Boy and teacher reading

It would have been very easy this year, as a PTA, to let Teacher Appreciation Week silently slip by because we all have so much going on. But for our PTA Board at Eugene Field in Rock Island, IL, we just couldn’t do that. We know how much our teachers miss their classrooms and their “kids”, we know how many hours they are putting in to make e-learning a success, we know that teachers and staff are wearing the hats of educator/IT department/counselor/secretary/food distribution specialist and more. We know they are putting their blood, sweat and tears into finishing this school year with excellence and so we had to find a way to honor that.

The trick was making that a reality while also abiding by the safety precautions set before us. So gone (for this year) was the traditional luncheon, dessert bar, massages, delivery of gifts, etc. We’d have to think outside of the box and get creative to somehow still pull Teacher Appreciation Week off during COVID.

Which, is really a nod to our teachers, because don’t they do that every day with our kiddos? #yes

Boy doing math at school

I can’t wait to hear what your school volunteers came up with to honor the teachers and staff in your building! If your PTA has not created a platform for you to be able to pass on your encouragement and you are suddenly frantically searching for ideas, we’ve got some stuff here to get you started. Or, if you’re looking for something to supplement, look no further: 

  1. Order yard signs from a local company and sneak-attack place them in educator’s yards so all their neighbors know that a fabulous teacher lives there! Or maybe a big old one right in front of the school!
  2. Create an event on Facebook to honor the Teachers/Staff at your school! Encourage students and parents to post in the event during the week so that Staff can see the encouragement in IRL. This week, we themed each day! “Memories Monday”, “Technique Tuesday”, “Wacky Wednesday”, “Thankful Thursday” and “All the Feels Friday!”
  3. Wear #REDforED on Wednesday, May 6th, and post your selfie using that hashtag to raise awareness for school funding, professional pay and better learning conditions for all students!
  4. Encourage students to color pictures or write out cards and mail them to your school, to be safely distributed to teachers once they are back in the building. 
  5. Create and post a slideshow of pictures from throughout the year.
  6. Send them an I.O.U. for a favorite treat of some kind! Maybe the PTA can sponsor their first in-person staff lunch! Or maybe you can deliver a plate of cookies or brownies once you are able to do so. Possibly sending a small e-gift card for their favorite coffee shop is in order. 
  7. Attach extra notes of thankfulness with the e-work that is turned in during Teacher Appreciation Week. Instead of just marking something as “done” in the Google Classroom and moving on, include a note of gratefulness in the comments section! 
  8. Resolve NOW to respect Teachers in a new way and model that for your kids as an expected behavior. This pandemic has taught us all that real heroes are all around us–including our teachers. We may have taken them for granted before, but after all of this, I hope we are more mindful moving forward of how valuable they are.
  9. Still looking for other ideas? The Illinois PTA Association has even more ways to #ThankATeacher, including a downloadable Teacher Appreciation Week Toolkit!
  10. Are you an Educator? Here are some sweet freebies you can get this week during National Teacher Appreciation Week 2020! If you are a parent, make sure your beloved educators know about these offers!

We all know an amazing teacher, staff member or administrator who has made a difference in the life of our child. We remember fondly those teachers who made a huge impact on us growing up, so we know that the teacher/student relationship is huge. Let’s make sure that during this crazy year especially, teachers understand what a treasure they are. Join us and #ThankATeacher this week!

Parent and Kids with Teacher Appreciation Sign

 

Are you on Twitter? Here are some sample tweets you can send out in support of Education this week!

For parents managing e-learning, take some advice from QC Moms Blogger Jessica and learn to lower the bar.

Academic integrity is more important than ever during COVID e-learning! Learn more here.

Here are some stories of inspiring teachers during the Coronavirus school closures!

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