Is Teacher Appreciation A Waste of Your Time?
by Peter Harback ■ Updated: October 1, 2019
You know when you have a great teacher right?
They are the ones who are genuinely interested in you.
They're interested in seeing you succeed; and they're interested in helping you grow in your understanding of the subject they are teaching.
A great teacher cares.
You'll often hear a great teacher speak about their students and say things like "She's improved so much over the last semester" or "I need to work out how to put this in a way that he can understand".
A great teacher also has a heart for learning and is constantly working on improving the ways that they express an idea and subject to their students. This is because a great teacher knows that everyone learns differently.
I've personally experienced both types of teachers, a teacher who embodies all of the above and unfortunately the opposite as well.
I also believe Australia has some of the best teachers in the world, even though they struggle sometimes with governmental recognition.
So, is teacher appreciation a waste of your time?
I don't think so. I fact I think its super important, more now than ever that we show our appreciation to our teachers. Our teachers who are often called upon to go above and beyond the teaching profession every day.
Here's some helpful ideas that we can all do to show our appreciation to teachers.
1. Participate in parent & teacher nights.
When your child lets you know that they have a great teacher working with them then verbally thank them for all that they do for your child.
Please believe me, this verbal appreciation goes a long, long way. The amount of times I had a visible emotional reaction from a teacher when I've done this with demonstrates that they don't have this happen enough.
2. Send a nice note into the school thanking your child's teacher.
Be specific about what you are thankful for. It could be something as simple as “Thankyou for encouraging him with his Maths work, I know he struggles a bit but I know your guidance is helping him to understand.
1. Encourage your child to say thank you.
A thankyou is free, but can be worth so much to a teacher. Especially because not many children do it.
2. Do something special on their teacher's birthday
First, find out when their teachers' birthday is then put it in a calendar so its not forgotten, on their birthday encourage your child to get everyone in the class to sing happy birthday. Give them a small gift, it could be something funny for the classroom like a giant pencil or something more elegant for taking home like a spinning heart tealight candle.
3. Ask your child what they think they could do to show their appreciation.
You might get better buy-in from your child if they take part in the ideas process for showing appreciation. If you and your child are crafty then you might find some great quick teacher appreciation craft ideas here.
4. Have your child do something nice for their Teacher on Teacher Appreciation Day
Teacher Appreciation Day in Australia is on the 25th of October, have your child do something thoughtful for their teacher on this day. A card, or a word of encouragement, or even a heartfelt thankyou.
Be encouraged to engage with your child's teacher, ask them how the classroom is going, how your child is fitting in, how they as a teacher are going.
Our children spend so much time at school, I believe it's our responsibility as parents to work together with our teachers to make sure learning is a great experience for our children.