It’s not too early to start planning what you’re going to do for Teacher’s Appreciation Week, which is May 7-11 this year (2012). I’m sure PTO and PTA officers know how hard teachers work, how little they are compensated and what good they do for our children. We should thank them and show appreciation all the time, but the National PTA has designated one specific week of the year for everyone to observe as a unified way to honor our teachers.
What Should You Do?
They always appreciate food, whether it is snacks to grab and go between classes or a full lunch so they don’t have to pack one. Often local businesses will donate food for this good cause.
Or you can ask parents to contribute homemade dishes.
To ease some of their tension you could bring in a massage therapist to do chair massages. You might be able to get these services donated, too, especially if you approach a local chiropractor who has massage therapists on staff.
What about adding a tangible form of appreciation that teachers can pull out when they have a tough day and be reminded of why they do what they do?
Anastasia Gavalas, an experienced educator who blogs at www.anastasiagavalas.com, suggests notes from their students. PTA volunteers can ask each class to write a note about their teacher and how that person has impacted them. The very young children can dictate their thoughts to a volunteer and draw a picture to go with it. Then compile each teacher’s notes into a book and give it to them.
Give a Gift
Julia Simens, an author who has worked with teachers on five continents, suggests letting teachers go “shopping” for a gift. Instead of getting everyone the same item, offer your teachers a choice of gifts. Some ideas include a small flower arrangement for their desk, a scented candle, a name card holder or a reusable water container that keeps the water cold.
“PTAs should send out pictures of the gift options at least a week prior to Teacher Appreciation Week, which serves to build up anticipation,” says Simens.
You can also use the “secret pal” method of gift giving. Whitney Hoffman, owner of Hoffman Digital Media, has been involved with her school’s PTA for several years and has seen this done successfully. A family signs up for a teacher or staff member (let’s not forget them) and does something different everyday of the week to make them feel special.
High school teacher Brian Dennert, for example, would love to receive a shopping spree for school supplies!
There’s still plenty of time until Teacher Appreciation Week, so why not survey your teachers and ask them how they would like to be honored in May.