Most of us can rattle off the names of each of our teachers from grade school through high school. And there’s good reason – teachers make a lasting, positive impression on countless young minds every day.
For many communities, teachers are a student’s mentor, friend and cheerleader. They often provide their class with necessary supplies, extra snacks and friendly encouragement. Without a doubt, teachers are an important part of raising healthy and educated children.
Recent research shows the average teacher spends almost $500 a year on classroom supplies, from decorations to tissues and pencils. Almost 20 percent of teachers report having a second job outside of the classroom. And, for most teachers, the average starting salary is just $38,617. Given all the challenges that our nation’s teachers face every day when educating the next generation, we’ve rounded up a list of ways you can thank a teacher in your community during Teacher Appreciation Week:
- Consider funding a local classroom project on DonorsChoose.org. The organization connects teachers in high-need communities with donors who want to help. Projects can range from distributing basic art supplies to iPads for the classroom.
- Connect with your child’s school PTA group and offer to collect supplies or funds for their classroom, or even offer to clean or help decorate their classroom. Every teacher appreciates when parents or caretakers can pitch in a few hours.
- Offer to cater lunch for teachers at a local school on a Friday. They’ll appreciate the break, and it’s a great way to get involved as a local business.
- Send a handwritten note of appreciation to your child’s teacher. A simple note can help brighten a teacher’s day.
- Consider nominating your child’s teacher for a local, state or national award. Many educational organizations have award programs, including the National Teacher’s Hall of Fame and the National Teacher of the Year Award.
This year, take a minute to thank your local teachers for their hard work and dedication to building healthy, smart communities.