Teacher appreciation has taken on a whole new meaning this year. Through the trials and tribulations of the pandemic, teachers have stepped up and worked tirelessly to make sure their students are safe and can continue learning.
But teachers’ efforts extended beyond the ‘virtual classroom’. We’ve read stories about teachers delivering food parcels, making masks, carrying out gruelling fundraisers in aid of charities, and much more.
Teachers really are amazing, and their hard work and dedication deserves to be acknowledged this year more than ever. But with end-of-year celebrations off the cards, how can schools show their staff just how much they’re appreciated? Here are seven ideas to get you started:
- A heartfelt ‘thank you’ is one of the most meaningful ways to show appreciation. Because you can’t do this face-to-face, consider scheduling a video call with each member of staff.
- Send staff hand-written letters or cards to their homes. Don’t be generic, though – address each teacher individually and thank their personal efforts through these hard times. There are plenty of online sites that let you design and customise your own cards, which can be sent directly to teachers.
- Throw a virtual party! While nothing beats a real knees-up, a group Zoom with all staff at the end of the year could help to raise some spirits. Why not make it festive fancy dress-themed, and plan a quiz? You could even send small hampers with drinks and/or snacks for teachers to enjoy during the party.
- Get students and parents involved – ask them to record their own clips talking about how a certain teacher has helped them through the pandemic. You can then edit all the clips together to form one, uplifting video for each teacher (tissues at the ready).
- With parents’ permission, ask students to take pictures of them holding boards with a personal message for their teacher. These could then be put together to form a collage or photo album, making the perfect keepsake.
- Send them a gift card for their favourite store or restaurant. With the push to support local, find out which smaller businesses in your area offer gift cards and buy gift cards from there. You could send them out with your hand-written letter or card.
- As an alternative to a gift card, cover the costs of a subscription or streaming service for teachers for a certain number of months. Seeing how much these types of services have boomed during the pandemic, this could be a great way to say ‘thanks’.
Recognising and rewarding the incredible work of your teachers’ shows that you value them and that you’re an employer who cares. This attitude can help you to recruit top talent and make sure they stay working for you. But most important, it’s the right thing to do – teachers are brilliant, and they deserve to be told so!
If you need help recruiting great teachers, look no further than Eteach. And if you have any ideas of your own for thanking staff during Covid times, we’d love to hear them!