How To Show Teachers Appreciation During Teacher Appreciation Week

Since the pandemic, there has been an increase in both admiration and hatred towards teachers and their profession. Educators were once seen as essential workers working hard to ensure students get the best education possible with the minimal tools they had. Suddenly, they’re being bashed for being lazy and careless, and it’s now a job that “anyone could do.” Teachers are quitting and retiring early at alarming rates creating a teacher shortage because of the criticism and disrespect they are receiving and being extraordinarily underpaid.

Don’t believe what you are reading? Go to Google right now and type in “Teacher Shortage.”

You can find so many articles about the topic here.

Teacher Appreciation Week was May 8-May 12. Teachers are the backbone of our education system, and in a country, the public needs to do something more than show them appreciation for one week out of the whole month. Teachers don’t want notes with puns, mints, or candy attached, and they don’t enjoy a complimentary breakfast provided by the same company that cooks students’ lunches. And they don’t want or need another cup with an inspirational teacher quote written on it. Teachers do not enjoy a week of appreciation if it means that community members will continue to treat us inhumanely for the rest of the school year.

If everyone wants to truly show teachers appreciation, let us wear our clothes instead of asking us to pay money to wear jeans and gaslighting us into thinking it is some reward. Give us the supplies we need instead of allowing multimillion-dollar corporations to profit off of teachers and their kindness. Let teachers create their lessons, which will enable them to show their personality in class., 

Teachers have repeatedly learned during professional development presentations to respect how children learn differently and understand that everyone comes from all backgrounds, so why don’t we see teachers in the same light?

Instead of constant criticism, praise them and talk about the successes they have worked so damn hard for each child in their room to have.

Go to board meetings and fight for the educators in your community. Support them when they speak about policies for the school, classrooms, and curriculum. Pay teachers livable salaries so they don’t have to work a second or third job. Stop telling us we have it easy because we have summers off. Thank them for their work. Believe teachers when they say it is so much easier to know they have your support than waste money we don’t have on items that eventually find their way to the trash.

Since 2020 over 300,000 teachers have quit their job. Teachers still working are thinking and planning to resign or retire earlier than expected. The teacher shortage won’t hurt teachers who will find new jobs, but it will hurt children and the future of this country. Children are at the most significant risk of being in packed classrooms, where they will likely fly under the radar and receive a below-average education. They will lose out on learning with teachers who deeply care and, depending on specific states, learn from people who don’t even have credentials to teach and want to make “easy” money. 

It is worth noting that any career that has an appreciation week is usually a profession dominated by women. It also doesn’t pay their workers a livable wage and is constantly criticized and politicized for others’ gain.

Teachers are not your built-in babysitters. If we treat teachers and pay them like their career matters, they won’t need one week a year to know appreciation. They’ll see all year round when it reflects in their salary and the respect shown to them as professionals who took part in many years of learning and training they paid out of pocket for.

Teachers are the backbone of the education system. As a country, the public needs to support them to provide the best education possible for children. Children deserve to thrive in their youth and get a good education in positive environments. And this is something that can only happen if there’s change. If you don’t want to do it for the teachers, do it for the kids.

Featured image via Max Fischer on Pexels


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