Each May during Teacher Appreciation Week, educators across the nation are thanked by students and parents for all the things they do to provide support and guidance within their schools and individual classrooms. And this year, as families find themselves facing the new challenge of distance learning, perhaps you, like so many others, are discovering a new appreciation for teachers and educators!

Personal distancing guidelines in many places mean we may not be able to show our gratitude in person — and with every school adapting a little differently, you may need to make adjustments to suit your particular situation — but if you’re seeking a few creative ways to thank the educators in your life, here are a few ideas intended make sure the message is received.

10 Unique Ways to Celebrate Your Teacher While Social Distancing

1. Send a subscription to a food delivery app. If you have the means, sharing a few quick meals can help ease the burden while many of us are maintaining personal distance. A gift of food can go a long way to showing your appreciation to an educator who may be working irregular hours.

2. Decorate your windows with posters of appreciation. Do you live near your school? Connect with and encourage your school community to create posters for each teacher, then hang them in your front windows for others to see as they pass by. And be sure to take a photo to share!

3. Chalk art your sidewalks. Another option for a grateful community art project: encourage your school families to chalk art the school sidewalks if you’re able to do so while safely maintaining distance guidelines. Consider making a schedule for each grade to go on a different day to limit crowding, and remind them to keep local health guidelines in mind so everyone stays safe. Alternatively, if your child’s school is nearby, encourage local families to create chalk art showing teacher appreciation on the sidewalks in front of their homes.

4. Create a video message.  Ask each family in your child’s class to record a short video message for their teacher, then edit them together in a ‘virtual celebration’. There are lots of online tools available to amateur videographers that can help create a compilation to share, not only with your child’s teacher, but with everyone who participated!

5. Write a letter. Have your child write a letter of appreciation to their teacher. It’s a great learning opportunity that doubles as a thank you! You can send the final result through the mail or take a photo and share it digitally with your child’s teacher.

6. Make a yard sign for your yard. If you have multiple children with multiple teachers, a large “We love our teachers” sign, or one that says, “We love our school” is a way to show appreciation for the work of your local educators. If you only have one teacher to celebrate, you can make your yard sign more personal.

7. Coordinate a live video thank you. If you are in a situation where your children’s teachers conduct live courses via video, coordinating efforts with their classmates could result in a great surprise. Reach out and ask each of your child’s classmates to write “Thank You Mr./Ms…” on a piece of paper. Then, designate a certain time during an upcoming session for all of you to hold up the thank you messages at once!

8. Make a photo thank you collage. If a live video message doesn’t work, for your situation, here’s a social media inspired option that might: Assign each student in your child’s class a word. Ask them to write the word in big letters on a piece of paper and hold it for a photo. Then, you can use the photos to create a grid message to your teacher and post it online for them to see. An email works too. Here is an example of one a few seniors did: Class of 2020 photo grid.

9. Get them a gift card. They may not be the most personal option, but gift cards are terribly useful, and may just be the perfect opportunity for your teacher to enjoy a much needed treat.

10. Organize a parade. A teacher parade! Create a map of participating families from your school and ask your teachers to follow the map around town. Families can make signs celebrating their teachers then go into their yards at the designated time and greet their teacher parade from the curb. It’s a fun way to get outside, stay safe, and also let your teachers know you care.

However you decide to show your appreciation, this month is the perfect time to show your gratitude for the teachers who have and continue to do so much for the students in our lives.




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