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Teacher Appreciation – Is it Authentic?

We are soon coming up on Teacher Appreciation Week. The week where teachers should feel valued and loved. While the week will be filled with gifts, festivities, and adornment; I can’t help but feel sad for teachers who are only recognized during this one week. Are our teachers not valued and appreciated the rest of the school year? I understand the financial need to wrap it up all in one week, but I also believe that there are actions we can take throughout the school year to show appreciation to our fellow educators. 

As an instructional leader, I’ve always tried to show my staff and coachees love and value ongoing throughout the year and partnership. This feeds the relationship and shows them that you care. 

“A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.”

Therefore, I have compiled this list of various ways you can show appreciation to your staff (ALL THE TIME). First, it’s important to know your teachers. Know what they like. Know how they want to be appreciated. Consider sending out a survey to find out their work love language or identify special dates & likes in their lives.

When is their birthday?

What is their favorite snack?

What is their favorite drink?

When is their anniversary?

Etc…

Etc…

After you know these details, you can be more intentional with your appreciation. Does the teacher like to be praised (publicly or privately)? Does the teacher need words of affirmation? Does the teacher need someone to listen (give them your time!)? When you know what they need, then you can be authentic in your appreciation. Teachers won’t view your efforts as worthless. If you try to give a teacher candy to make them feel better, when all they really wanted was for you to listen, then you’re not going to get anywhere with that teacher! 

So get to know your colleagues and begin to show appreciation today and every day!

Actions & Words: Some people say ACTIONS speak louder than WORDS. I believe they go together better. 

  • Cover a classroom and have the students create a note of gratitude for the teacher
  • Mail a personal letter to a teacher or leave it in their school mailbox
  • Leave them a snack with a sweet note on their desk
  • Use the teacher as a positive example for the staff
  • Drop by the teacher’s classroom and give them a compliment

 

Giving Time: We could ALL use more time!

  • Cover recess or lunch duty – give them a quiet break!
  • Cancel an unneeded meeting – make it an email!
  • Give them a sub or class coverage to finish grading or planning
  • Give them a leave early pass to run an errand or make an appointment 

 

Food: Happy Stomach – Happy Life! And if we don’t have to pack a lunch… One less thing to worry about!!

  • Host a luncheon
  • Have lunch delivered
  • Stock the campus fridge with snacks and drinks

 

Emotional Support: Physical pat on the back – tell them they did good!

  • Listen to them, Cry with them, Pray for them/with them
  • Dialogue – Conversations build bonds!
  • Validate Concerns, Offer Solutions

 

I challenge you to complete one act of appreciation each day until the end of the school year. Show your staff you care. Show them you hear them. Show them you see them. Not only during Teacher Appreciation Week but all year long!

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