Here are a few ideas from parents and teachers on what you can do to help!
Our clubs put heart attacks on teacher doors up today after school! Students supporting teachers is a big moral boost! Heart attack a teacher or two!
Please remember the support staff. The Paras, Sped Paras, Custodial, Lunch people. They put in so much unseen work for so little appreciation.
I had a group of students who painted 3 Mason jars and filled them with quotes and thank you notes on slips of papers. I now grab one on days when I want to cry in my room to remind me of my reasons I teach. Notes of appreciation go a LONG way
Ask your child’s teacher if they have an Amazon Wishlist and then fill the list! Also schools need helpers right now. Sign up to be a room parent, PTA, ask if you can help wipe tables or clean up garbage in the playground.
I have a special needs kiddo that has the best support team ever. When I’m able, I like to text his teacher and ask her and her aides what they want from FiiZ/Sodalicious/Starbucks, then bring it when I pick him up.
Last night I thought about what I could do to support and uplift my daughter’s teacher. I email her regularly, send notes of gratitude and even her favorite breakfast treats when I can. But I wanted to do more.
I emailed the school principal and expressed my gratitude for her and the positive influence she has brought to our daughter. I thanked him for the role he plays in making the school a safe place for teachers to teach and to show gentleness and kindness. I told him that in the 22 years of being a parent in the school system I can say that she is definitely a diamond in the rough.
If we could all talk to our kids about the good they see at their school and reach out to our principal’s or administration about our teachers, para’s, cafeteria staff, etc. it could make a difference for so many.
Teachers just need to feel appreciated, especially now. It really doesn’t matter what you do. Just the fact you take time to do something speaks volumes! Some of my favorites were; Handwritten cards, personal emails, Gift cards for drinks, ice cream, movies etc, massages in the faculty break room, decorated doors, food trucks, Donuts, hot chocolate bar, or Bella’s chips and Salsa for the whole staff, Barnes and noble or other book stores gift cards, Water bottles and drink packets. Even if you can’t volunteer in the classroom there are countless things you can volunteer to do outside the classroom, after hours, or even at home including but not limited to: correcting papers, making bulletin boards, book orders, making certificates, copying, cutting laminating, Teachers are always looking for specialists to help with various projects. Think of what you’re good at and offer to share your talent. You don’t have to teach a lesson. A helping hand during center time or computer time does wonders. My classes have benefitted from everything from musicians, dancers, policeman, magicians, coding, etc. I had a graphic artist and a pipe fitter both donate some old materials that my students adored. And last, can I just tell you how much little kids LOVE to have their dads in the classroom? It doesn’t matter if they read a book, play on the playground or plan an activity. Set a goal to come at least once every year!
Our community just filled our entire faculty room this week with healthy snacks and drinks. We went remote this week and had conferences and this kind gesture was so appreciated! Our entire faculty was in awe!
I focused on Jr. High teachers this year. I gave self care gifts and lunch gift cards. They amaze me!
I have went to the grocery store and stocked up on a few cases of pop (teachers love the Diet Coke and Dr. Pepper ;D) and snacks. I made sure to get some without sugar, dairy and gluten just in case someone had diet restrictions. I made a thank you big poster and put them in the faculty room.
I’ve asked teachers for the Venmo accounts and just sent them money. Whether they use it for a Soda Sanity Fund, their classroom or just a night to not make dinner, it’s nice to just have something that says you care.
I’ve sent thank you cards randomly to their teachers. I loved getting those as a teacher!
I made sure my sub account was still active so I could be an emergency sub for my kids teachers. I do have a full-time job, so I can’t do it more often or I would.
I’ve volunteered in my kid classes-helping with reading, teaching different lesson plans that I have created, etc. Teachers love volunteers!
I’ve wrote/called my reps about bills that will be hard on education/teachers.
What I would like to do more of is be more involved at the School Board and Community Council. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day!
Things I loved as a teacher: gift cards for pampering things like a spa, Bath & Body Works, or places I could get supplies for my classroom. We all know how much teachers spend of their own money, so anything to Amazon, Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble, was always so helpful! Cash isn’t bad either!
Honestly, if parents are truly worried about things like the reading levels of Utah children or what content is in the schools, I can think of several ways to remedy that.
1. Read with your child every day.
2. Enroll your kids in public schools and work to make them better, instead of sabotaging them (charter schools are public schools and there are lots of reason why some parents go that route).
3. Ask the teacher how you can help with any given unit.
4. Donate to their classroom library and fill it with books you love.
5. join the PTA and/or SCC (many have virtual meetings you can join and many meet during the lunch hour to accommodate teachers and working parents).
6. Sign up to sub—even just once a week alleviates a huge amount of stress from admin, office staff, and teachers.
7. Listen to or attend your local school board study session and board meeting. Stay for the whole time, instead of leaving after your castigation of board members.
8. Get to know your local board member and ask good questions about public school governance.
9. Pay attention to legislative actions regarding public education and advocate for bills that encourage support for public education.
10. Recruit other parents to do any or all of the above.
If you do any of these, you won’t have time to complain because you will be part of the solution and not fueling the flames of fear.