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May 20, 2024

7 Ways to Celebrate Teachers Beyond Teacher Appreciation Week

Just as we shouldn’t wait for Mother’s Day to call our moms, we shouldn’t wait the whole school year to celebrate our teachers. And while Teacher Appreciation Week in May rightly shines a spotlight on the educators shaping the future generation, one week of pizza parties and Starbucks gift cards isn’t enough to support the teachers working tirelessly throughout the year as increasing demands are placed on their time.

Teacher appreciation should take place year-round and go beyond small gifts or gestures. Especially as admins and ed leaders, teacher appreciation is about offering support and making sure the unwavering commitment of our teachers to their student’s success does not go unnoticed.

So, how can we show our gratitude beyond Teacher Appreciation Week? Here are seven ideas to keep the appreciation flowing year-round:

1. Support Professional Development

Teachers are lifelong learners, constantly seeking ways to enhance their skills and knowledge to better serve their students. Advocating for opportunities for teachers to attend workshops, conferences, and online courses is a tangible way to demonstrate your commitment to their growth and success.

2. Volunteer in the Classroom

Offering your time to assist teachers with tasks or projects in the classroom is a meaningful way to show appreciation for their hard work and dedication. Your presence not only provides practical support but also fosters a sense of community and collaboration within the school. Whether it’s helping with classroom setup and organization, preparing materials for lessons and activities, or providing one-on-one support to students, volunteers alleviate some of the workload for teachers, allowing them to focus more on instruction and student engagement.

Volunteering also provides a unique perspective on the challenges and successes of teaching, allowing you to gain a deeper appreciation for the efforts of your educators and the complexities of the teaching profession.

3. Celebrate Milestones

Accomplishments, whether big or small, deserve to be celebrated and recognized. Whether it’s completing a professional development program, earning a teaching award, or achieving a personal or professional milestone, taking the time to acknowledge and celebrate these accomplishments reinforces a culture of excellence and continuous improvement. Consider publicly recognizing teachers’ achievements through announcements, newsletters, or social media platforms, and express gratitude for their hard work and dedication.

4. Involve Parents and Students

Encouraging parents and students to share their appreciation for teachers is a powerful way to strengthen the bond between home and school and foster a culture of gratitude within the educational community. Consider providing opportunities for parents and students to express their admiration and gratitude through testimonials, artwork, or schoolwide projects dedicated to their teachers. These expressions of gratitude not only uplift and inspire educators but also reinforce the importance of their work in shaping the lives of their students.

5. Provide Classroom Resources

Offering to donate supplies, books, or technology to support teachers in their classrooms is a tangible way to show appreciation for their hard work and dedication. Many teachers go above and beyond to provide essential resources for their students, often dipping into their own pockets to meet the needs of their diverse learners. By contributing classroom resources, you not only alleviate some of the financial burden on teachers but also ensure that all students have access to the tools they need to succeed.

6. Create a Peer Recognition Program

Peer recognition programs create a culture of appreciation and support where teachers feel valued and acknowledged for their efforts. By providing a platform for teachers to nominate and recognize their colleagues for exceptional contributions, innovative ideas, or acts of kindness, this program celebrates individual achievements while also fostering a sense of camaraderie and collaboration among staff members.

Implementing a peer recognition program doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as creating a nomination process where teachers submit nominations for their peers, and winners are announced periodically at staff meetings or through school-wide communications. Consider incorporating various categories for recognition, such as teaching excellence, innovation, collaboration, leadership, and acts of kindness, to ensure that all contributions are valued and celebrated.

7. Listen to Your Teachers

Teachers are on the front lines of education, possessing invaluable insights and perspectives that can inform decisions and elevate teaching and learning practices. Actively engaging with teachers’ feedback, concerns, and ideas not only honors their expertise but also cultivates a culture of mutual respect and continuous improvement. Surveys, focus groups, or suggestion boxes provide platforms for teachers to share their experiences, offer suggestions, and raise concerns.

Fostering open channels of communication is also essential in nurturing a culture of transparency and trust. Holding regular staff meetings, forums, or individual check-ins with school leadership allows teachers to voice their opinions and engage in constructive dialogue. By actively soliciting and acting upon this feedback, schools can address issues proactively and adapt policies and practices to better support teachers’ needs.


While kind gestures during Teacher Appreciation Week can be meaningful, by providing genuine support, we demonstrate our appreciation for teachers in the most meaningful way possible. Let’s create a school culture where teachers’ voices are heard, their concerns are addressed, and their contributions are valued—not just in May, but every day of the year.

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