It’s still teacher appreciation week! Here are dozens of ways to celebrate

Some of the things teachers want can be achieved by district leaders. But they also have requests that require political activism.
By: | May 3, 2022
Teacher Appreciation Week runs through Friday.Teacher Appreciation Week runs through Friday.

Want to celebrate your educators during Teacher Appreciation Week? You still have time. So here’s an idea: Ask them what they want. That’s what the NEA did:

If you didn’t watch the video, teachers are looking for help from their own district leaders and elected officials. Here are a few things they say they need: mental health days, “a living wage,” bigger investments in schools, social-emotional learning tools, the forgiveness of student loan debt, and a shift toward a culture of learning that moves away from a culture of performance.

“Teachers have had the hardest year of their lives in doing this work to support our youth and having a day to take care of ourselves would make me feel respected,” said one teacher.

“What would make me feel most appreciated is if lawmakers could stop using education as a tool to gain political ground,” said an English teacher from Ohio. “Rather than arguing about critical race theory and other non-existent issues in the classroom, lawmakers should focus on how to improve the lives of each student, and improve funding so that everyone has fair, adequate and challenging resources to help broaden their horizons and make their learning easier and deeper.”

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Plenty of districts are sharing their ideas. Denver Public Schools let students voice their appreciation in a collection of images. Broward County Public Schools encouraged administrators to show their gratitude with tokens of appreciation. The Colorado Department of Education assembled a list of restaurants, retail stores and other businesses offering discounts to teachers.

Many colleges of education, such as Gwynedd Mercy University, are telling teacher success stories. The Ohio Educators Association has tips for administrators on how to help community members express appreciation for their educators by recording a Soapboxx video story. The California State PTA offers a sample proclamation.

More from DATeachers are receiving big raises in many districts. Can you keep up? 

The National PTA has produced a pair of helpful lists, including “14 Ways to Virtually Celebrate Teachers During COVID-19.” Ideas include making a video about why you appreciate your teachers and using classroom virtual meeting backgrounds. You can also send virtual flowers or create a playlist with upbeat, inspiring songs. The National PTA also offers a Teacher Appreciation Toolkit that students can use to create social media graphics, flyers, certificates and poems. PTO Today also offers an extensive list that includes organizing themed teacher appreciation events and last-minute ideas.

Here are a few articles with more ideas focused on self-care and local discounts: