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February 21, 2018

Teacher Appreciation Ideas for Your Colleagues

Here at Learners Edge, we appreciate the work teachers and education professionals do every day to support kids. We are amazed by the creative and innovative lessons they share. We admire their compassion as they work with students to overcome challenges, and we respect the countless hours they spend grading and planning once the school day has ended. While Teacher Appreciation Week comes only once a year, we want to share with you some simple teacher appreciation ideas to show your gratitude to fellow teachers throughout the year.

Make It Personal

Send a Real Thank You Letter

The next time a colleague does something meaningful or a new teacher joins your team, consider sending them a letter in the mail as a special touch. When I started my job here at Learners Edge, my mentor sent a card with a personalized note in it to me at home. It was such a kind and simple gesture, and it made me feel welcomed and appreciated. Couldn’t we all use a lift in our lives?

Say It With Music

If you’re more of a musician than a poet, show your appreciation with a collection of favorite songs instead. Who didn’t love giving and receiving mixtapes back in the day? You can burn the songs onto a CD or use an app like Spotify to share a selected list. Pick a theme–‘Friday Dance Party’ or ‘Easy Like Sunday Morning’–depending on what mood you’re hoping to invoke. You’re sure to bring a smile to the recipient.

Share a Sweet Treat

If you need something quick, consider a small personalized gift. Check out these cute ways to pair a treat with a clever saying! One new favorite: A decorative label with the phrase “you’re the BALM” attached to an EOS lip balm. If you make a few items in advance, you’ll always be ready to share!

Take It Public

Give a “Big” Thanks!

While personal notes and gifts are meaningful, sometimes it is fun to “go big.” Next time you want to show your appreciation for a fellow teacher, place a big thank you card on their door, a colorful drawing on their whiteboard, or a bouquet on their desk before they arrive in the morning. This act doubles the fun–the joy when they discover it and the added joy of sharing their surprise with their students throughout the day.

Nominate Superlatives

Add a personal touch to faculty or department meetings by including time to share the great work your colleagues are doing. One way to do this is to ask everyone before the meeting to nominate a teacher of the week (or month) and then encourage write-in superlatives. Who wouldn’t love to be mentioned as the Teacher Most Likely to Win Top Chef? It’s a quick way to add some laughter to an upcoming meeting while showing your respect for others’ talents.

Share The Love

Here are some final ways to encourage everyone to share their appreciation. These are all relatively quick to set up, but can create joy in unexpected ways throughout the year.

  • Give students time in your class to write thank you notes to their favorite teachers in the building, and then deliver these notes to teacher mailboxes after school. This not only uplifts teachers, it gives students a chance to share their gratitude too.
  • Start a gratitude board in a place where teachers gather in your school. Begin with a blank board and some brightly colored pieces of paper, and encourage everyone to share their appreciation with a posted note. These might be thank-you notes to other teachers or simple reminders of the good things in life, like an upcoming three-day weekend.
  • We all like treats in school, but make it more fun by getting everyone involved! Organize a sundae bar for workshop or conference days and ask colleagues to bring a topping to share. Needing healthier choices? Try a “Fruit Club.” Once a week or even once a month, ask everyone to bring fresh fruits and juices to share during a designated time.
  • Hydrate! As we head into warm weather, skip the workroom donuts and treat your co-workers to a fridge stocked with a sparkling waters, iced coffee drinks, or natural fruit juices.
  • Build a “Superheroes Wanted” board. Create a bulletin board in the office or faculty workroom where people can share needs or offer talents: Need a duty covered? Have a knack for setting up new tech gear in the classroom? Hoping someone can help you haul away some unneeded classroom materials? Use the bulletin board as a place to both ask for and offer help.

What are some of your favorite ideas for teacher appreciation? Be sure to share yours in the comments below!

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Learners Edge is passionately committed to providing you with continuing education coursework, materials, and tools that will help you succeed in your classroom and in your career.

Offering more than 100 print-based or online courses for teachers, you can earn the graduate credit you need for salary advancement and meet your professional development needs. Contact us today to get started!

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