During these last several weeks of staying home, our lives have changed drastically. Some of us may have a lot more time on our hands to learn a new skill, get a new hobby or just focus more on rest and relaxation. Or, if you’re a parent, you likely have less time (not to mention, more stress) thanks to a new homeschooling schedule. You’ve always known that teachers have a challenging profession, but now you’re probably realizing just how difficult their daily schedule can be. Now that we’ve experienced their lives firsthand and taken a weeks-long walk in their shoes, it’s time to embrace Thank a Teacher Day and show those selfless educators just how much they’re appreciated.
While we’re discussing ways to give thanks to our valued teachers, let’s not forget about showing appreciation for other essential workers that are keeping business going and providing crucial products and services to our communities, like first responders, healthcare workers, grocery store employees and many others working hard during this time.
Thank a teacher
First let’s take a look at some ways to #thankateacher right now while we, the parents, are substitute-teaching and anxiously awaiting the return to the classroom.
Send a heartfelt note
Not much can compare to a personal, heartfelt thank you message. Whether it’s a handwritten note, an email, social post or even a custom drawing from their student, express your gratitude in a personal way by letting them know the difference they make, how they’ve changed your life or by thanking them for the ways they have inspired your student.
Give a small gift
Sure, an apple is a traditional teacher gift, but times have changed and there are many other small tokens of appreciation to help show your gratitude for their dedication. Since it’s a little more difficult nowadays to send a gift to school with the kiddos, try the digital route. Give a gift card for a local coffee shop or lunch spot via email or text, or have a special treat or meal delivered to the teacher’s home. You could even have your student create a one-of-a-kind keepsake or craft like a painted mug or pencil holder, snap a photo of it and send to your favorite educator until you’re able to see them in person once again. Just remember that thoughtfulness really does go a long way.
Host a virtual celebration
Rally together with other parents and host a group video chat in honor of your favorite teacher(s). Decorate your house or backdrop with a fun theme, and be creative in the ways to express your gratitude. After all this time in isolation, both your family and your teacher are sure to enjoy a break in the routine while making someone else’s day special.
Help them plan ahead
Teachers are undoubtedly planning their return to the classroom and the work that goes along with it. Give them an extra hand by volunteering your time now for an IOU later when they’re starting to gear up for classes, whether it’s picking up some extra school supplies or helping get the classroom ready for returning students.
Give thanks to all the other essential workers
Perhaps you’d like to spread the appreciation to our essential workers in healthcare, grocery stores and others braving the public during this pandemic. Some of these same ideas can apply to them as well – from gift cards to a meal, even signs in your front yard showing your support can make a difference in someone’s day and help them keep fighting through this challenge.
Now is a wonderful time to spread positivity into someone else’s life, no matter their profession. Give back to your community by donating time or fundraising efforts, cheer up your neighbors, give your hairstylist a call or email to chat for old time’s sake or just do something nice for someone to let them know you care. While we’re all physically distanced, we can still make emotional connections that will last beyond uncertain times.
We’ll be waiting to see you in the salon once we’re back open!
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