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15 Unique Ideas to Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week Virtually!

6 min read
Last Updated on
15 Unique Ideas to Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week Virtually!

Every year, the National Teacher Appreciation Week is celebrated in the first week of May. In 1985, the National PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) proposed to have the first week of May as Teacher Appreciation Week.

The entire week is designated to appreciate and thank all the educators across the country. The event is primarily held on the first Tuesday of Teacher Appreciation Week. Thus, the first Tuesday of the first whole week of May is celebrated as National Teacher Day.

This is a special moment to honor all the teachers for their immense contribution. It is a time to recognize them for helping all their students and guiding them to a brighter future.

Especially looking at the past year, we have all the more reasons to thank a teacher. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and being homebound, teachers continued to work via virtual classrooms so that learning doesn’t stop. They have tirelessly worked hard to make each one of their students reach their full potential with all the resources and skills they had.

Why do Teachers Feel Less Appreciated?

We all know the value of education and its part in shaping a better future for society and the economy.

Teachers have the future of the country in front of them every day. But why do most of the teachers feel undervalued?

The OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) surveyed over 260,000 teachers. They found that only 26% feel that society values their work. We expect teachers to be skillful not only in teaching but also in child management, classroom development, and even psychology.

Overwhelming responsibilities, demanding parents, and low pay are some of the difficulties that teachers face. In the US, upto a quarter of teachers leave the profession annually because of inadequate compensation.

The pandemic is also likely to add to the problem. Just like any other profession, teachers also have feelings of burnout and stress. One of the biggest challenges faced by teachers during the pandemic was student engagement. A survey found that 75% of the teachers feel that students were less engaged in a remote learning environment.

With all of these obstacles facing teachers, we must do our utmost to express our gratitude and thank them for the incredible work they do.

How to Celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week Remotely?

There are probably hundreds of ways to thank a teacher. But the pandemic got us all thinking and innovating new ideas to celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week and show our gratitude.

As a principal or a school/college administrator, here are some excellent fun ways to celebrate and thank all the teachers.

1. Send a Gift Basket or a Goody Bag

Get a personal goody bag delivered to your teachers with a special thank you note. It can include snacks, candies, or cookies. It can also include some useful resources for teachings like notebooks, stationery, and books. You can also send a care package comprising herbal tea, sanitizers, scented candles, and many more.

A simple bouquet with some handwritten notes can also go a long way!

Teacher-gift-box
(Source - Pinterest)

2. Virtual Staff Get-together

Organize a virtual get-together or a themed virtual party for all the teachers. Let the teachers vote for the theme of the party. Include fun games like Trivia or Bingo for entertainment. If you need some more ideas, here are some fun virtual team activities.

You can even host a virtual teachers’ award show or a happy hour!

Teacher-Virtual-party
(Source - Unsplash)

3. Virtual Gift Cards

Thank your teachers with an E-gift card for various websites or stores. You can also gift free coupons or subscriptions for special services like a car wash, pet care, Netflix, etc.

Teacher-gift-card
(Source - Pinterest)

4. Organize a Virtual Choir

Plan for a virtual choir with the students. Make each of the choir members record their parts as videos. Club the videos together to make a special virtual choir video for all the teachers. You can get help from a video editor and sound engineer for this.

Virtual-school-choir
(Source - Pinterest)

5. Create a Thank you video

Words have a profound impact on our hearts. Just like the virtual choir video, you can also make a Thank You video and surprise your teacher with special messages from the students and their families.

National-teacher-day-zoom-class
Read how this class thanked their teachers in a zoom class.

6. Virtual Wellness Programs

2020 was a challenging year. It showed us how our mental wellbeing is equally important as our physical health. Hire an instructor to host virtual wellness programs such as a meditation or yoga session.

Teacher-wellness
(Source - Pexels)

7. Social Media Appreciation

Create a social media appreciation post for all the teachers individually or as a group with their pictures and few words of gratitude. Post it on your institution’s official social media page by tagging them with the hashtag #ThankATeacher.

Teacher-appreciation-week

8. Customized themed Merchandise

Curate some unique designs or short punchlines for personalized merchandise for teachers such as t-shirts, notebooks, and coffee mugs.

Teacher-appreciation-day
(Source - Pinterest)

9. A Well Earned Break

Offer to substitute for an hour’s Zoom class or hire a temp to substitute for a day or so. Zoom fatigues are real and this will definitely give them a breather from their daily school routines.

10. Lawn/Gate Signs

Ask your students to create fun yard signs on cardboard and place them in front of their teacher’s gate or lawn. You can make this a class group project for their respective teachers. The signs can simply read as “The best teacher in the world” or “ A rockstar teacher lives here”.

You can also purchase these yard signs online from here!

Teacher-yard-signs-1
(Source - Pinterest)

11. Handwritten Notes

Bring back the lost art of letter writing and snail-mails. Ask your students to write a meaningful thank-you letter to their teachers. Collect these letters and post them to the teachers’ addresses. A letter in your hands with all the scribbles and colors of your young students is always better than digital emails any day!

Teacher-thank-you-letter
(Source - Pinterest)

12. Provide Professional Development

Provide your school staff with an opportunity to upgrade their skills. Sign them up for a teacher online training course or one-on-one coaching sessions of their choice.

Teacher-development
(Source - Pexels)

13. Create a Thank you Playlist on Spotify or Youtube

Celebrate the Teacher Appreciation week by curating special songs for all the teachers to help them ease with the day. You can also ask the students to dedicate songs to their teachers and make a playlist.

14. Have a Meal Delivered

Have breakfast or lunch delivered to the teachers. Good food is a way to everyone’s heart!

Teacher-thank-you-day
(Source - Pinterest)

15. Car parade

This one is not virtual but social-distance friendly. Organize a car parade with the students around the teachers’ residences. Make your students create some fun signboards. Cheer, honk and holler down the teacher's streets to thank them!

students-car-parade
Read how Teacher Appreciation Day was celebrated by St. Michael’s Episcopal School.

Final Note

The sudden outbreak of the pandemic made schools and colleges shut down in a fortnight. It gave schools and colleges no time to prepare or reinvent the curriculum. Teachers had to adapt to e-learning and learn new technologies to keep the classes and exams going.

Just like any other job, teachers struggled to maintain their work-life balance and simultaneously keep their students engaged.

Whether it is Zoom classes or normal classrooms, let us understand the value of teachers and thank each educator for their immense dedication to creating a better future for the students.

Do you have any other ideas to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week remotely? Share with us in the comments below.

Thadoi Thangjam is a content marketer and digital marketing executive at Vantage Circle. When she’s not geeking out over content strategies, she is probably hunting for the next perfect track to add to her playlist. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com