World Teacher’s Day: 10 Ways to Celebrate Exceptional Educators

world-teachers-day-2016-fbThanks to the workings of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, October 5th is an international day of recognition, and teachers are the center of attention. For more than 20 years, World Teacher’s Day has helped communities to honor and thank teachers for their service.

Celebrated by nations around the world, every country has its own unique way of recognizing its teachers, from parades and special luncheons to support rallies.

However, the methods of recognition are less important than the motivation. No matter how they are recognized or where they may be found, teachers deserve to be celebrated and appreciated.

Best Ways to Celebrate Teachers

World Teacher’s Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate and support our local educators. However, the community as a whole can do even more to encourage teachers on a daily basis. Consider the following suggestions.

1. Host a faculty breakfast. Like many people rushing to work in the mornings, teachers often race out the door slightly unprepared to greet the day. They’re likely anxious to get their classroom set up, make it to a staff meeting on time, or enter grades before the day starts. Give them back a few extra minutes by setting up a continental style breakfast that allows them to grab fuel for the day.

2. Give them caffeine. The day can get long. Dealing with 100+ students every day, as many middle and high school teachers do, requires the assistance of coffee. Set up a single-brew coffee maker in the teacher’s lounge, allowing teachers to select and brew their favorite brand of coffee on demand. Perfect for the few minute’s break between classes, it can be just the perk a teacher needs to make it through the rest of the day.

3. Gift cards are always appreciated. Solicit gift card donations and put together a basket of goodies for the teacher. Even a $5 gift card to a local coffee shop can be a special treat and will brighten up the teacher’s day.

4. Make an appreciation wall. Set up a display in a hallway or teacher’s lounge area where students can write notes of appreciation to their teacher. It’s simple and low cost, but can have an immense impact on teachers who feel unappreciated for their efforts.

5. Cover their class. Arrange to have substitute teachers (or parent volunteers) cover a class and give the teacher a break. Volunteers can read a story, monitor the class while they watch a movie or complete a special project with the students. The teacher gets a much-needed break to relax and the volunteer gets a first-hand glimpse of how tough a teacher’s job can be!

6. Send their boss a note. Parents are quick to complain when they don’t agree with something the teacher has said or done in the classroom, but often forget to share moments when they think the teacher is doing a great job. Write a letter (or email) to the teacher expressing your appreciation for their service, and send a copy to the principal or administrator. They’ll both appreciate your thoughtful words.

7. Give them the night off. Long after the students have left and the office is dark, teachers are grading papers, decorating classrooms, and working on lesson plans. Give them an evening out on the town by arranging for dinner, a movie, and dessert. Make it a class project by having some students bring in candy for the movie, others can bring in gift cards for dinner or dessert and some students can bring movie passes. If your class is large enough, you may be able to put together several evening out packages, giving the teacher multiple times to go out.

8. Create more time. Want to give your child’s teacher some extra time? Offer to grade papers or volunteer to clean their classroom once a week. It gives the teacher some much needed ‘free time’ they can use in whatever way they see fit.

9. Take bus duty. Every teacher is assigned extra duties outside their classroom that help the school run efficiently. This is generally done on a rotating schedule, with each teacher taking a turn at lunch duty, bus monitoring or hall monitoring. Offer to cover your teacher’s extra duties for a week, giving them extra time they can work in their classroom or enjoy a cup of coffee before school starts.

10. Think outside the box. When giving gifts, avoid cliché items like apples and pencils. Restock consumables like highlighters, disinfecting wipes, scotch tape or other office supplies that may be running low. Attach a note telling the teacher how much you appreciate their efforts.

There are numerous ways to show appreciation for the teachers at your local school. Today is the perfect day to get started.