Another Teacher Appreciation Week is upon us and the STEMscopes team is excited to have so many teachers and former teachers in house at the corporate office to celebrate the event. Every year we celebrate, but it seems this time the magnifying glass on educators is more evident than ever before as the fight for increased pay and better facilities is seen in some states across the nation.
What are the best ways, then, to thank a teacher this year in the current climate? We asked some of our own former teachers in house to see what they thought. Here are the top ten ways they came up with:
10. Coffee, coffee, coffee
One of the simplest ways to thank a teacher during Teacher Appreciation Week is to give them the gift that keeps on giving — access to the caffeine they desperately need. Whether you get them a gift card, or bring them a cup of coffee yourself, it will be greatly appreciated among teachers of all grade levels.
9. Give them tailored gift cards
There is a gift card for almost everywhere and everything nowadays which makes this option even easier to do. You can choose to select from finer foods, dining shops, or restaurants that that are local, or for broader selections you can find gift cards that allow you to choose from a multitude of establishments, like the Darden Universal restaurant gift card, movie theater cards, and more.
8. Money or credit card vouchers
I know what you are thinking, isn't slipping a teacher a $20 bill a little uncouth? Not necessarily, many teachers are more than willing to take you up on this gift and put it to good use in their classrooms or towards finding a gift of their own choosing. Not really comfortable giving out cash? American Express and Visa have gift card options of $25 or more to be used as a credit card that is available online or in your local grocery store.
7. Get them a spa day
If you are feeling ultra-generous, teachers will not turn away a nice relaxing spa day. After over 100 days of school working with students and growing young minds, it can be a nice treat to look forward to a day dedicated to "me" time. If a spa day treatment is too expensive (and it can be) you can always make them a homemade gift basket filled with scented candles, body fragrances, and eye masks. Teachers will love it and it can be a unique and thoughtful alternative to a traditional spa treatment or day.
6. Tickets to a show or upcoming concert
While not always obtainable, tickets to upcoming events or are always appreciated among teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. If you live in a city where there is an upcoming festival or concert, getting extra tickets (if possible) for your child's teacher can be a unique gift they never forget.
5. Buy lunch
If anyone knows budgeting, it's teachers. That is why Teacher Appreciation Week is not something that makes teachers expect gifts, it's seen as time to celebrate both students and their teachers on why education is important and how a teacher got to where they are today. That is why if you do want to buy a gift, teachers say that keeping it simple and thoughtful is enough. Simply buying a teacher lunch or bringing them a snack or treat can brighten a teacher's day.
4. Fill a classroom request for supplies, etc.
Teachers are always looking for new classroom supplies and turn to platforms like Donors Choose to request new items every day. Platforms like this allow teachers to ask for things that range from as simple as more pens, pencils, and paper to things like new laptops, supply kits, and software. Whatever your budget, knowing that you chose to donate or bring in supplies is something that teachers will cherish and put to good use.
3. Get involved
What is one of the biggest things that teachers crave from parents? Involvement. Teachers spend countless hours preparing their classrooms and setting up parent/teacher meetings to track the progress of students. Additionally, some teachers go out of their way on weekday evenings and weekends to host science nights, tutoring sessions, and often time need help from the community. Committing to volunteering time or simply showing up to parent-teacher nights can be gift enough for many teachers.
2. Social media shout-outs
Many teachers stay away from friending their students on social media, and rightfully so. But, many teachers do have dedicated accounts specific to their teacher identity or representing their classroom to post news, progress, videos, and pictures of what is going on within their class. Why not give them a shout-out? Nothing is more thoughtful then sending a special message on Facebook or Twitter to the teacher or classroom of your choice.
1. Thoughtful followups
Finally, number one on the list promotes the main idea that teachers really want to see during Teacher Appreciation Week. The idea is that teachers truly do cherish the impact they have in a student's life and want to see how they progress as students move away from classroom to graduation. Teachers often time consider their students as their own children and look forward to seeing them cross the stage or make an accomplishment, and they feel appreciated more than ever when a student reaches out even years after. So, if you are thinking of the best thing you can do for a teacher this Teacher Appreciation Week, remember we were all students once. Find your favorite or most inspirational teacher on social media or stop by your old campus and let them know how they impacted you.
Looking for additional Teacher Appreciation Week contests? Look no further. Follow STEMscopes on Twitter and search for #STEMscopesLovesTeachers to win prizes such as prize boxes, dining shop gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, and more!