The most recent MetLife Survey of the American Teacher reported morale and job satisfaction among teachers at an all-time low. That’s why it’s more important than ever to honor and thank great teachers. The month of May presents several great opportunities to celebrate educators and the critical work they do every day. This year, Teacher Appreciation Week takes place May 5-9, and National Teacher Day is Tuesday, May 6.

Whether you’re a parent, student, administrator, Superintendent, or partner organization, start planning now to make the most of these occasions.

Here are some helpful tips for shining a spotlight on the great teachers in your community…

  • Superintendents and Principals: If your school or district uses an automated phone messaging system to reach families and staff at home, record a message announcing Teacher Appreciation Week, thanking teachers for their service, and inviting families to pay tribute to the teachers at their schools.
  • Parents: A simple “thank-you” note can make a great impact. Tell the teachers in your child’s life what a difference they make, and they will likely cherish your words for a lifetime. Encourage your children to create artwork or write letters of their own.
  • Host an appreciation breakfast or other school event to honor teachers and support staff.
  • Are you on Twitter? Tweet about the teachers you admire, using hashtag #thankateacher. Post stories about great teachers on Facebook and other social media, too.
  • Tell the world about the outstanding educators who have influenced you by nominating them for local awards and recognitions.
  • If your school hosts a Teacher Appreciation Week assembly, celebration, or other event, be sure to take high-quality photos to send to local newspapers and other media outlets. Take this opportunity to remind the community that your school or district values the tremendous commitment teachers make to their students every day.
Here are 9 more tips from PTO Today.
As you plan your appreciation activities for the month of May, remember that teachers deserve our thanks and respect throughout the year. As this US Department of Education blog entry argues, while teachers appreciate small tokens of thanks, “it is far more important for us to reflect meaningfully on the teaching profession and consider what we can do to support great teacher leadership.” The best way for us to show our appreciation is to hear teachers’ ideas and concerns, offer them a seat at the decision-making, and provide them with the classroom tools and resources they need to do their jobs well.