And I’ve never really gotten the point to Teacher Appreciation week. Besides the fact that we should appreciate our teachers every week because they’re taking care of our children, educating them and keeping them safe and are wildly underpaid and underappreciated, we also give appreciation to teachers at the end of the year with end-of-the-year gifts.
So, I look down at all the Hallmark-y greeting cards and individual gifts from parents kids. Like I said, lets appreciate teachers every single day.
Still, I want to pay homage to one of the schools where I taught. Their PTO, recognizing that sending gifts was a bit overkill, what with school ending in just a few weeks, recognized the teachers as a whole. One year, the night before Teacher Appreciation Day, they snuck into the Teacher’s Lounge and transformed it into a restaurant. Not kidding. There were tea lights and greens and tablecloths. China plates and tea cups. And little potted plants, enough for each teacher to take one home as a party favor, served as centerpieces. The parents set up a potluck of fabulous dishes: scrumptious salads, devine apps, finger sandwiches, signature (non-alcoholic) drinks, teas and to-die-for desserts. (We had leftovers for a week.) They had created a full garden tea party to honor the teachers.
The feeling of gratitude put us at ease as we felt like we were actually permitted to leave our blackboards and gradebooks behind for that hour. And the years after the tradition continued, each year with a different theme: theater, music, international. The music year they even brought in members of the high school orchestra to play for us!
Our preschool has never recognized Teacher Appreciation Day/Week, so this year we opted to give it a try. We ordered 2-days worth of bagels and fixings, fruit trays and coffee creamers. We decorated with a big “We [HEART] Our Teachers” banner that each child “signed” with a thumbprint and name scribble. The teachers are touched. Everyone was included–no teacher’s aide or custodial member is left out.
And we kept it simple.
Teachers know you love them. And you don’t need an excuse to thank them. Making them all feel good is easier and lighter on everyone.
Want to do something else unique for a teacher? How about write a letter of recommendation? Or pot plants outside the school in their honor? Or, simply, an extra smile and thank you at pick-up today. That’s all it really takes.
What are your ideas? How does your PTO let its teachers know you appreciate them?
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