8 Teacher “Gifts” That Keep on Giving

’Tis the season of giving! Sharing your appreciation for teachers and finding ways to show you care will help them feel valued. This is important for creating a positive and supportive school culture and will increase motivation and engagement. This winter season, support teachers by looking for ways to show gratitude and make their jobs easier. 

These tips are not meant to replace or solve important concerns like pay, time constraints, or managing parent/family concerns. But they can be simple ways to enhance your broader efforts of supporting teachers and building a positive school culture. 

Here are eight ideas to support teachers and show them that you care:

  1. Surprise teachers with a special treat. Have your PTA organize breakfast for your teachers one morning, ask for cookie donations from families, or host a hot chocolate bar for teachers.
  2. Write a thoughtful note. Sometimes a few words of encouragement can go a long way toward making a teacher feel valued and appreciated. Leave a sticky note or note card on a teacher’s desk thanking them for their hard work. 
  3. Take over lunch duty for a day. Sometimes the best gift can be some unexpected free time. Substitute in classrooms for an hour or take over recess or lunch duty for a day so teachers can enjoy a break.
  4. Create an appreciation wall. Dedicate an area in your school where students, parents, and staff can post notes of appreciation for teachers. 
  5. Share a gift. Consider creating an Amazon Wish List that includes gift items for your teachers. Spread the word to families and community members and ask for donations. Or, you could request small (i.e $5) monetary donations that you collect and pool together to purchase a special meal, fun activity, or collective gift for your teachers. 
  6. Give praise. Recognizing teachers, especially in front of peers and leadership, is a great way to show thanks. Make a point to give shout outs to teachers during staff meetings and take advantage of other ways to praise teachers in public settings. 
  7. Start each day with a gratitude broadcast. As part of your daily announcements, include one to three things you are grateful for. You can also recruit other staff members and students to share. This can be a powerful way to show recognition and open a new channel of positive communication.
  8. Give recognition on social media. If your school is active on social media, make a point to highlight what your teachers are working on with students. Post pictures of class projects, share posts thanking your staff, and/or share quotes from students about what they like about their teachers.

There are so many ways to show teachers that you recognize their hard work and are grateful for all they do. We hope these ideas help spread a little extra holiday cheer this winter season! For more information about how to support teachers with SEL, take a look at our Educator Social-Emotional Reflection & Training (EdSERT) tool or fill out the form below to contact our SEL experts today.

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