Teachers are close to my heart. My adopted grandmother was a kindergarten teacher for 34 years, my mom has been in education for 25 years teaching everything from business classes at TAMU to gifted students K-6, and my sister has taught art at the elementary school and high school level as well as teaching freshman English in two community colleges. Several friends of mine have become teachers as well.
It is incontestable that teachers have been greatly effected by all of the lockdowns and ever changing rules and practices with the all virtual learning/back to school/half in person/half virtual… Teachers might be looked down upon due in part to that quote “Those who can’t do teach”, but when you realize that without a teacher you wouldn’t be able to read this blog post, a perspective shift should take place.
Teachers are in their field for one of two reasons:
1) They have a God given calling to teach the youth in their charge
2) They have a God given skill for teaching, for reaching children and making sense of concepts that are like a foreign language (and what might actually be a foreign language…)
Let me make it clear, teachers are not in their field for the pay, for the overwhelming appreciation, or for the endless professional development.
*DID YOU KNOW? Teachers have more required hours of continuing education than doctors.
Kind of mind-blowing, isn’t it?
Teachers need your prayers now more than ever (possibly in history). After talking with the teachers in my life I have compiled the following list of ways that we can help the teachers in our lives and communities.
Ways to Help Teachers with the 2021-2022 Back-To-School Season
- Send cards/e-card with encouragement and positivity
- Write them a letter of encouragement, or thanks
- Write “welcome back” and “we missed you” messages on the school sidewalk with chalk (on the sidewalk is ok, on the building is vandalism)
- Provide hand sanitizer, bandaids, and box of tissues (yes, these are often on your child’s school supply list, but they generally stay in your child’s home room class, special areas teachers (P.E., art, music, speech, gifted, dyslexia, etc. also need these things and they often have to spend their own money to furnish them for pupils)
- Leave a roll of quarters with the secretary to share for the drink machine
- Amazon or TeachersPayTeachers.com certificates for classroom and lesson supplies
- Create and drop off posters (we appreciate you, thank you? You’re doing a great job, etc)
- Gift cards for restaurants nearby ($2-5)
- Drop off a basket of fruit for the teacher’s lounge
- Drop off prepackaged treats (chips, rice krispie treats, peanut butter crackers, trail mix, etc)
Create a care package
I love making care packages/gift baskets. If I could figure out how to make a living doing that I would, but I tend to make them personal. Anyway, another simple way to show teachers your appreciation is to curate a practical gift basket. I made this one for a new teacher.
I found this cute basket at Target for $5 and stuffed it with all kinds of goodies:
- Colorful Post-it notes
- Hand sanitizer (liquid and wipes)
- Chap stick
- Personal/pocket-sized tissues
- Bottle of water
- Travel sized lent roller
- Snacks: Goldfish crackers, a package of mixed nuts, and a sampling of “fun sized” chocolates
Other great items to include in a care package for a teacher:
- Dry erase markers/cleaner
- Gift cards to Amazon or TeachersPayTeachers.com
- Gift cards to Sonic or other places they can get a tea or coke
- An IOU for volunteering or anything the class might need later in the year
- Pencils, markers, crayons (these become scarce by the second semester)
- Thank You cards
The great thing about making a care package for teachers is that they don’t have to be made and delivered at the start of school…they might have more impact at a random time in the year – an unexpected show of appreciation and support.
Thank you to all our teachers out there! You are shaping the future.