In case you were not aware, the week of May 4-8 was officially designated as Teacher Appreciation Week. The first week of May is always set aside as a week for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they made to our lives and the lasting contributions they continue to make in the lives of our children. Teachers change the lives of millions of children every day, and the work they do each day moves us beyond words.
With the abrupt end to the physical school year, our teachers had to step up and do even more to continue education with virtual classrooms and learning-at-home lessons.
I have been amazed at the ease which our teaching staff converted to distance learning and am truly appreciative of their ability to adapt so quickly. Our teachers at St. Patrick School model the Gospels in all they do. The relationships they build with our students affect them throughout their lives.
Unfortunately, it is more of a challenge for schools across the country to celebrate this week with most states having canceled in-person classes. I do have some suggestions of how you can celebrate and show your child’s teacher how much you appreciate them and all that they do for your child(ren).
Send a thank you note: Send them a card the old-fashioned way via the U.S. Postal Service. It can be a store-purchased card or a handmade card by you and your child. Or, do not hesitate to send them an online homemade thank you card via email or leave a thank you note in Google Classroom.
A “thank you parade”: Consider doing a parade with cars, which is a popular COVID-19 idea. The kids can create posters, wave out the window and say “thank you” to their teacher.
A video saying thank you: Make a video saying, “thank you.” Email it to the teacher but also share it on your personal Facebook page or ask your school to share it on theirs.
Send a gift card: I am a big supporter of local businesses, so I encourage the sending of a gift card from a business in the greater Portland area. I suggest restaurants or places that offer a service such as nails, hair, massage therapy, etc.
Make something as a class: Have each child draw a picture or write a short paper explaining what they like about their teacher. One parent can put it all together as a book so the teacher has a keepsake they can look back on with fond remembrance of the school year.
Perhaps you have a better idea of how to thank your child’s teacher. With many people being forced to educate their own children at home, hopefully they have come to appreciate the hard work our teachers put in each day. They often spend their own money and use their own personal time.
Even though our students are not physically in the classroom, our teachers are still doing all that they can for your child and their well-being. Please take a moment of your time to recognize diligent and hard working teachers, especially during these uncertain and unusual times. A little appreciation will definitely go a long way.
— Randy L. Hodge is principal of St. Patrick Catholic School.