3 Ways to #BeeGrateful and Show Your Appreciation for Teachers
November is National Gratitude Month, and being grateful goes beyond just saying “thank you” but also encourages us to focus on all the positives in our lives - something that might be a bit challenging as this pandemic continues to drag on.
November has always served as a checkpoint for me perhaps also because it is my birthday month, and the older I get the more I find myself reflecting on the year I’ve had and dreaming about the opportunities that lie ahead.
This year, it is our schools that weigh most heavily on my mind. It is our teachers, school leaders, volunteers and coaches that I think about most frequently as we enter this season of thanks. I know everyone is exhausted, physically and mentally drained. And I’m hearing stories of burn out, the kind that makes you want to leave the profession you love and never return. It’s heartbreaking.
So this week, we wanted to take a moment to recognize the educators in our lives. Teacher appreciation doesn’t need to be limited to one week of recognition in the spring. This month, we are encouraging our friends and families to join us in thanking the many educators who continue to seek joy in their profession and support our children each day.
Dismal School News Continues to Dominate the Headlines
We had high hopes for a positive start to the 2021-2022 school year after a year of remote learning and pandemic challenges. We were all smiles as a majority of our school buildings opened for in-person learning in August, but this quickly subsided as new stories began to dominate the headlines:
Absenteeism is at an all-time high as many students skip school. Some lack the motivation to attend after more than a year of remote learning. Others are afraid of becoming sick or are required to stay home due to exposure and quarantines.
School leaders are reporting that student behavior is some of the worst they’ve ever seen. Kids are struggling to engage in learning. Trends of vandalism and theft are happening at schools across the nation. Local businesses near this large public high school in Colorado are banning students from entry.
Teachers are tired and overwhelmed. Many are thinking about quitting or taking extended absences. Staffing shortages among teachers, substitutes and bus drivers have led to cancelled classes at some of our biggest school districts in Colorado.
When we entered the 2021 Back to School season, I expect many of us couldn’t imagine how challenging the school year would be. So how can we help?
3 Ways to Show Your Appreciation for Teachers
In the spirit of our National Gratitude Month, we’ve compiled a few suggestions and resources to show appreciation for the educators in our lives.
1. Write a Note - share a message of gratitude with your child’s favorite teacher, school leader or coach. Have your child write a note or draw a picture. A heartfelt thank you goes a long way and even the simplest messages can make someone’s day.
2. Send Gifts - have a list of favorites for your teachers? Treat them to something special (homemade is great too!) to help brighten up their day.
3. Talk to Your Kids - is there an increase in behavior issues at your school? Is school property being vandalized or stolen? Are school parking lots full of trash that kids have left behind? Start the conversation at home and encourage your kids to help create a positive school climate for everyone.
Feeling generous? Donors Choose is an organization that compiles a list of supplies and projects that teachers have requested for their students. Your donation can support projects in your local schools or across the country.
Join the Discussion
Let’s create a positive buzz in our school communities this month! Post a message of appreciation on Facebook or Twitter and tag #schoolbzz and we will reshare on our pages as well.
Our sincerest appreciation goes out to all the educators in our lives as we find ways to push through another pandemic school year. #BeeGrateful
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About the Author
Jennifer Larson is the founder and CEO of Hive Digital Minds, mother to four children, and passionate about finding innovative ways to engage parents in their child’s learning journey. Her company’s flagship product SchoolBzz is the culmination of Jennifer’s 17 years in education – working with thousands of parents and educators on their school marketing and engagement strategies. Before founding Hive Digital Minds, Jennifer led the efforts of two successful charter public school initiatives in Douglas County, Colorado. These schools have been recognized nationally for their educational programs and currently serve over 1,800 students in grades PK-12. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and also received her MBA from the University of Denver, Daniels College of Business. She enjoys speaking on the topics of school marketing, family engagement, entrepreneurship, and the future of work and frequently guest lectures at the University of Denver and several high schools in her local community. Jennifer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.