The end of the school year and Teacher Appreciation Week (May 1–5) are quickly approaching. Now is the perfect time to honor your teachers’ hard work! Plus, a little bit of recognition will show your staff how much you care for them and how much you value their service.
Here are eight ways to appreciate your teachers on a daily basis:
- Write a note: A handwritten message of thanks and appreciation can go a long way in helping teachers feel valued and important.
- Use specific praise: When telling teachers what you appreciate, make your praise as specific as possible. Rather than saying, “Thanks for all you do,” you could say, “I noticed that you often stay late and that your lessons are very well prepared. Thank you for putting in the extra time and working so hard to help your students.” Or, “I saw your class newsletter. Providing follow-up questions for parents to ask their children is a really good idea.”
- Value their time: Group meetings often become long and drawn out—a drain on teachers’ time. Try to condense these meetings by gathering discussion topics ahead of time and sharing the agenda with your group. This way, they know what to expect and they can think about their responses in advance. As much as possible, put “need to know” information into emails or written notes. If you meet regularly for devotions anyway, try to tack on one or two “housekeeping” items each day to help cut down on time spent in larger meetings.
- Find donors: Many teachers and volunteers use their own personal money to buy supplies for their lessons and/or materials for their classrooms. Find donors who are willing to help with those expenses so that they don’t come out of your teachers’ pockets.
- Care about each teacher as a person: Be friendly, share a cup of coffee, take time to listen, ask for prayer requests, and celebrate birthdays and special events.
- Visit the classrooms: Make a point to drop into each classroom regularly—not with an evaluator’s eye, but with the idea of helping out and becoming aware of what each teacher faces every day. After experiencing the classroom, ask: “What can I do to make your job easier?”
- Just ask: Give your teachers an opportunity to tell you what would make them feel more appreciated or how you can support them. Offer to accept anonymous suggestions in a box or suggestions sent to you via email.
- Invite people to pray: The most important thing to do for your teachers and volunteers is to pray for them and their students. Remember them in your personal prayers, but also find people in your congregation who are willing to pray for individual members of your staff on a regular basis.
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