Teacher Appreciation, Saying Thanks Virtually
Updated: May 26
The pandemic has evolved the way the education system operates. With in-person classes no longer the only norm, students and teachers must shift to a virtual world. While there may have been a steep learning curve for all, the teachers have taken a laboring oar. They have had to revamp their entire curriculum and teaching style to suit a virtual mode of education. They have also had to take on the challenge of technical troubleshooting when parents or students are having trouble connecting. That’s why teacher appreciation is even more important this year. But being virtual has left some trying to figure out how to say “thanks” without contact. Here are some things you or your PTA or PTO can do to appreciate our teachers this year.
Create a Social Media #Hashtag
Practically everyone is on social media these days, and what better way to appreciate your teachers than by using these popular platforms? Students can post pictures or notes detailing what they’re most thankful for about their teacher as forms of appreciative tokens through their PTA or PTO’s Facebook and Instagram accounts while using a #ThankATeacher hashtag to start a trend.
Is there anyone who doesn’t love receiving e-cards? Your teacher will love receiving an e-card from her students as it will make them feel loved and appreciated for everything they do. Punchbowl and 123Greetings both have a large variety of e-cards for zero charges!
Send a Thank You Email
This one is for the parents! While it’s important that students let teachers know that they are grateful for the work they are putting in, it is just as important for parents to express their appreciation as well. Parents can show their thanks by typing a simple email to their children’s teachers. It’s sure to brighten their day as they go through their mailbox.
Make a Thank You Video
Videos are both creative and fun to make. Students can team up to make small videos stating why they are grateful to their teachers. Parents can then help their children compile the different clips into one video and play it for their teachers over a live Zoom call. Some great no-cost video-making resources are VivaVideo and Blender. You can also check out some examples in tip 10 on this blog.
Appreciation Car Parade
A fun yet socially distanced way to show appreciation for your teachers is by having a car parade. Students and parents could band together to devise a route that includes the main spots of the city or town where they live. Students can make posters and have loudspeakers to express their gratitude. The entire parade can be recorded and later uploaded for all to see.
Read a Teacher Appreciation Book
Combining your gratitude for your teacher with learning is the best mix! And what better way to do so than reading a book that celebrates teachers? For younger grades, asking the teacher to read a class book that celebrates teachers is a great way to build awareness and show teachers our appreciation. Some popular titles include ‘A Letter to My Teacher’ by Deborah Hopkinson and ‘How Rocket Learned to Read’ by Tad Hills.
Get Them a Gift Card!
There is nothing quite like some good old retail therapy. Gift cards have been a common teacher appreciation tool for years, and now you can continue this tradition through an electronic gift card. Have the PTA, PTO, or class parent coordinate donations and get one or two gift cards to online retailers.
Another great way to express appreciation for your teachers is by gifting them some spirit wear! Say thank you and show your school spirit by suggesting everyone in the class donate a dollar to buy the teacher some school spirit wear. You can use Venmo or PayPal to collect the money, and the class parent can place the order on behalf of the class.
PTA’s are an excellent addition to any school community, mainly because they bring together all three: parents, teachers, and students. They also offer benefits to teachers who are members. Having the class donate to cover the teacher’s membership shows the teachers how much they are appreciated!
So, there you have it; while you may not see them in person, you can still show your teachers just how valuable they are!