There are moments when I realise I’ve taken something important completely for granted. They usually come when someone says something unintentionally wise, some simple statement that triggers a whole new understanding. Maybe this happens to you too. It’s like turning on a light switch, all of a sudden you see things differently. I don’t have these moments of clarity regularly, I wish I did. Life would be sweeter, and I’d have a greater appreciation of the miracles that happen every day.
But I had one of these moments just last week, talking to a friend. Her son was starting 4th grade and she was talking about all his new teachers. She said something like, “I want to do something nice for them, just for putting up with my kid!” That made me think of all we owe to teachers in this world. They don’t just “put up” with our kids. For the most part they civilise them. And what an incredible responsibility that is! These are good people doing great work, and we all know they’re not getting rich at it. It got me thinking of the things we can do to show our appreciation and support. Here are some ideas we came up with. Maybe you have more!
Permanent reminders of your appreciation can help to cheer and encourage the teachers that are important to you. For example, the Class Act Minnie figurine shows Minnie at the chalkboard teaching mathematics. This stylish and colourful take on teaching shows the upbeat spirit necessary for teachers to take on even the most math-phobic student. This three-dimensional reminder of the wonders of education makes a wonderful addition to any teacher’s home or classroom. Meanwhile, the Disney Traditions Homeward Bound figurine of the Seven Dwarfs stands as a humorous reminder of working together to get things done. The advantages of collectibles like this is they stand as a symbol of how much you care, long after traditional gifts have been eaten or forgotten.
The best teachers go out of their way to keep their students happy and motivated. That means they often end up going the extra distance to provide equipment and supplies for their classrooms. You could help with that by providing a gift card they can use to buy supplies for the school year. Another option is to buy the classroom items you know they need. That could be an aquarium for a teacher who wants students to learn more about science, nature, and responsibility or an updated world map for a history classroom. Basic supplies like markers, dry erase boards, paper, and other student supplies are always helpful.
Teachers are always in need of more help. If your schedule allows, one of the best gifts can be to make yourself available. Volunteer to help out in the classroom to make things go more smoothly, particularly during special events. Chaperones are usually needed for school trips. Talk to teachers to find out how you can help. If you aren’t available during the day, there can still be ways for you to help.
One of the most important ways to help teachers is to provide support outside of the classroom. That can mean working with your children after school to make sure their homework has been completed and they understand the material teachers are covering. Don’t leave it up to the teachers to let you know if there is a problem or your children are lagging behind. Keep up with their studies and any projects they need to complete. Even if you don’t have kids in school there can be places to help local students after school by helping to work with them. They might not have parents who are able to assist them with their studies or might need a little extra help outside of the classroom.
Even if you can’t volunteer in the classroom, there are other ways to help. Your local schools might need your support on issues related to school funding or other community issues. You can raise awareness within your school and the surrounding community, help to organise, or at least add your support through your votes.
There are usually many ways you can give to help teachers with their programs. Perhaps they need baked goods donated for a fundraising drive or cash to allow them to build new facilities at the school. Small giveaway items for the classroom can be perfect for teachers hoping to add extra motivation to their students’ days. That could include a supply of individually wrapped candies, colourful erasers, or pencils with fun designs. Donating them to teachers can save teachers from having to buy these items with their own money. Meanwhile, you can be helping to establish a more positive atmosphere within your children’s classrooms.