May 6-10: National Teacher Appreciation Week
Just Icing on the Cake
By Hally Franz
Teachers deserve our appreciation. There are many ways my daughter’s school commemorates National Teacher Appreciation Week, held this year May 6-10. Parents serve themed, private, and, most importantly, long lunches to teachers and staff, while monitoring classrooms during these respites. Students bring in flowers to build a vibrant and bountiful spring bouquet. Kids supply treat bags with candy bars and microwave popcorn to satisfy afternoon blood sugar dips. You can brainstorm your own ways to show teachers appreciation this year.
It’s wonderful to close the school year with a celebration of teachers and their hard work, but perhaps we should view this week of pampering as icing on the cake, a final thank you that follows a year of appreciation and support for those educating our children each day. Here are some ways parents can show we value teachers throughout the school year.
Partner with Your Child’s Teacher
Fifty years ago, parents just naturally supported teachers. Children understood that parents held the same expectations for classroom behavior and academic performance as the teacher; there was solidarity between the two. When parents provide that support, it means a lot to a teacher, and it benefits kids. Not only do children clearly know what’s acceptable, they learn to respect authority figures.
Take the Initiative on Communication
We may have unrealistic expectations regarding communications from teachers. Fortunately, technology in many school districts makes it convenient to check grades, attendance and lunch accounts as often as we like. However, it may be more difficult to get that personal conversation or note from a teacher, especially at the secondary level. With the job of teachers becoming more difficult each year due to larger class sizes and/or increased state mandates, we should take time to address concerns or check-in on things ourselves. That lets the teacher know we’re attentive and, at the same time, we recognize the demands teachers face.
Words of Thanks Throughout the Year
When school programs or events occur during the year, teachers appreciate not only our attendance, but also our thanks for the extra time they’ve spent to spotlight our children. A bit of praise or a heartfelt compliment means a lot to these hard-working professionals.
Most teachers are genuinely devoted to their students and the goal of educating. If we find that to be so, let’s give them our appreciation all year long, knowing that this special week in May will be yet another rewarding moment in a year of a job well done!
Hally Franz writes about her observations on family, faith, parenting and people. A former high school guidance counselor turned stay-at-home mom, Hally is a 4-H leader, and she serves as her church secretary and a Bible class teacher. She enjoys traveling with family and monthly book club meetings with pals.