There are a lot of hard jobs out there, but I think being a teacher is at the top of the list. I can honestly say that nothing about the profession appeals to me and I will always tip my hat to those who not only do the job, but love it. It can be an incredibly thankless appreciation which is why having a list of things to do for a teacher on National Teacher Appreciation Day can be so helpful.
Teachers are constantly working. If they aren't in the classroom, molding the minds of the future, then they are at home grading papers, preparing for classroom activities, and working after-school events. They work incredibly hard for not much money (seriously, no one is a teacher for the moolah) and deserve to be recognized for all they do.
National Teacher Appreciation Day is May 3 this year, and is a day you definitely need to mark in your planner. Jamie Roy, a third grade teacher in Locust Grove, Georgia, spoke highly to Romper of parents who are willing to make a teacher feel appreciated. "Anything sentimental is always great," Roy says. "But everyone loves to give us bath stuff and honestly, that's not my favorite thing to get. Teachers just want to feel human. Anything that gives us a nice treat in the middle of the day or makes us feel worth it is nice."
If you need some ideas other than bath salts or coffee mugs (another thing teachers have plenty of, I've heard), try any of these 13 things to make your kid's teacher feel appreciated and human again.
1. Take Them Coffee
Can you imagine teaching a classroom of children and not being adequately caffeinated? Pick up their favorite extra-large coffee and deliver it to them as you drop off your kiddo.
2. Have Flowers Delivered
Who doesn't love pretty flowers? It can spruce up a teacher's desk and give her something other than brightly colored billboards to look at.
3. Gift Them Personalized Supplies
Really nice pens, monogrammed clipboards, and any fun, "fancy" office supplies are perfect. Teachers often get the bare minimum for their own supplies and everyone knows how nice it is to have a new, lovely pen in your hand.
4. Offer To Volunteer In The Classroom
Come in to read to the kiddos, offer to change out the bulletin board, or take care of the prep work for an end-of-the-year party. All of those things are super time-consuming, especially for a teacher that's also doing the actual work of teaching every day.
5. Give Them A Card
And make sure to write something meaningful inside. Teaching is an often thankless job and in a world where more and more parents blame educators for their children's grades and behavior, it's nice to hear from a parent that really thinks their kids' teacher is doing a great job.
6. Find Out Their Favorite Snacks & Lunch
My sister's a teacher and is constantly in need of a snack throughout the day, especially since her lunch break is usually taken over with grading or planning. Find out their favorite snacks and quick lunches, and prep them a week's worth. Granola bars, fruit, pretzels, whatever they love, make it happen.
7. Have All The Students Say Something Nice About Their Teacher
Teachers love hearing from you, but they want to know they're making a difference with their students, too. A time-consuming, but super sweet idea, is to have other parents film their little ones talking about their teacher. Give them a direction to help them, like ask the kids to talk about their favorite memory or why they think their teacher is great. It's not hard to edit all of the little clips together into a sweet video their teacher will love!
8. Bring In Breakfast
Knowing quite a few teachers, I can definitely tell you that a teacher's day starts early and they are busy from the start. Pick up some kind of breakfast for them and make their whole day. Fresh fruit, yogurt parfaits, doughnuts, bagels, or their favorite biscuit are all winners.
9. Give Them A Gift Card For Them To Enjoy On Their Own
As in, one for a restaurant or for the movie theater. Let them enjoy themselves guilt-free and give them a break by purchasing a gift card that they can't use for classroom supplies.
10. Purchase Things Off Their Classroom Wishlist
Many teachers have to use their own money to keep supplies in the classroom, so ask them for a wishlist and buy a few things. Things like glue sticks and colored pencils may not sound like much, but they can make a huge difference to the classroom.
11. Buy Them Their Favorite Drinks
You know how there's one drink that can turn every 10 minute break into something special? Whether it's a Diet Coke, a Snapple lemonade, or an iced coffee, everyone has that drink that they truly enjoy and puts a little spark back in the day. Teachers need that more than anyone, so find out what their favorite pick-me-up drink is and buy them a week's supply to keep in their room.
12. Put Together Some Kind Of Classroom Craft
Like a laminated book full of pictures the kids have drawn for their teacher or let them all decorate a picture frame and take a class photo. Sentimental gifts are always sweet and remind teachers why they do what they do and why it's so important. If you can find a way to show off the progress of the students, like work they did in the first year compared to the end of the year, it can also give your teacher a boost of confidence
13. Keep Your Kid Home From School
OK, that one's kind of a joke. But in the same vein, talk to your kid about how important their teacher is in their life. Make sure they know how to be respectful of the classroom, the other students, and their teacher. So many parents assume their child is perfect in the classroom, and maybe they are, but talk to them about why it's necessary to be good in school and respectful of their teacher.