One of the most important things a parent can do is make sure that their child is taken care of by the best people whenever they’re away from home. Of course, that means you’ve done your research to find which school in your area was the best for your kid and if they had great teachers.
Teachers have a huge impact on the kids they see every day and they deserve to be thanked for all the hard work they do. Here are some easy and unconventional ways you can give back to teachers this school year.
1. Make a Classroom Kit: Teachers face many roadblocks on their journey to educate children, and one of the biggest ones is a lack of school funding. This means they end up buying their own classroom supplies most of the time because the school itself doesn’t have the money for it. You may have already donated supplies like tissue boxes and hand sanitizer, but you can put together a classroom kit with other things that no one ever thinks to give. Printer paper, pens, lots of tape, glue, and big erasers are always good for teachers to have on hand. The printer paper is especially thoughtful since printing is so limited due to budget cuts.
2. Sweeten Their Mornings: Is your child’s teacher known for always having a hot drink in their hand in the morning? You can sweeten the deal by putting their favorite coffee or tea blends in a gift bag, along with a little something extra. No teacher should lose out on a good cup of coffee because they’re so busy teaching that their drink cools. Give them a mug heater that will keep their drink at the perfect temperature. They can plug it in and get right back to hot coffee in between lessons. Want to be even more unconventional? Get one for every teacher on your child’s hallway, so they can all enjoy their morning drinks when they get the chance.
3. Volunteer for Field Trips: Teachers do so much for their students, but they can’t do everything on their own. Giving back to your teacher may come in the form of volunteering for field trips. Many parents often can’t volunteer because they’re working full-time jobs. If you’re a stay at home parent or have PTO to use, consider helping out on a field trip to make the experience easier on your kid’s teacher.
4. Play the Lottery: You may have never thought about this before, but playing the lottery actually gives back to all teachers in your state. Just be careful that you buy from an educational lottery and not a regular one. Educational lotteries were created to help fund grade schools in each state, so you can trust that the money you put towards a lottery ticket will go back into funding your child’s school. You can find out more by reading about how they give back, which every educational lottery should post online. See how much they’ve donated and what that money has been used for in the school system. Then you can have fun purchasing a lottery ticket for yourself or even to hand out to friends as gifts. Even if you don’t win anything, your money still goes towards a good cause.
5. Send Thank You Notes: Most of the sacrifices teachers make are never seen. They might stay up late making lesson plans or go for years without a pay raise, all because they love what they do. You can make their day all year long by sending a thank you note whenever you see them go the extra mile. Send one after a parent teacher conference or an event they put together for the kids. Even if there isn’t a big event that happens, send them a thank you note anyway. It’ll make their day to know that their hard work is recognized and valued.
6. Start a Fundraiser: You may not have much money to give to the school on your own, but a group of parents can make a big difference. Partner with a big brand to start a fundraiser for your child’s school. That helps all the teachers out and makes the entire school a better place for kids to learn. Brands will often partner with fundraisers because they get a small profit off of it. As you sell their products, they make money and then donate a portion of that money to the school assigned to benefit from the fundraiser. Make a phone call or send an email to find out how you can make this happen to give back to every teacher who makes your child’s school such a great learning environment.
7. Advocate For Them: Maybe the best way you could give back to teachers is by getting involved in the politics that keep them from earning what they deserve. Advocate for them since they’re working overtime and often can’t do it for themselves. Contact your local legislature and talk with representatives about what’s being done for teachers in upcoming potential bills. Connect with people online who are part of groups that fight for teachers’ rights and attend their rallies. When enough people raise their voices, change happens. Traditional gifts are nice at the moment, but lasting change is the real thank you that teachers deserve.
8. Throw a Surprise Party: Teachers sometimes host birthday parties for the kids in their classroom if the parents want to have one at school, so why not have one for your child’s teacher instead? Get the parents of your child’s class together and have everyone pitch in. Ask the school’s principal if it’s okay to have a party on school grounds and then get creative. Bring food, drinks, and gifts and have them set up outside the school or in the cafeteria. Your child’s teacher will be shocked to see everyone celebrating them, and the kids will love an excuse to eat pizza and other fun food.
Put Yourself in the Teacher’s Shoes: If you can’t think of a way to give back to the teacher in your child’s life, put yourself in their shoes. What would you want most? More classroom supplies, extra help from parents or the knowledge that parents support you outside the classroom?
Whatever you decide to do will be thoughtful, so make the effort to put something and thank your child’s teacher this school year.