Teacher Appreciation Week, which also incorporates National Teacher Day, is a week-long celebration that honors and celebrates teachers for the contributions they make to education. It offers students, families, and administrators an opportunity to show their appreciation and gratitude for the things they do for their students.
Teacher Appreciation Week is celebrated the first full week of May each year. And in case you’re wondering, Teacher Appreciation Day is celebrated on the Tuesday of Teacher Appreciation Week.
In 2021, Teacher Appreciation Week will fall May 3rd – May 7th, with Teacher Appreciation Day on May 4th.
This year’s Teacher Appreciation Week is probably more well-deserved than ever before. With families now at the center of their child’s learning at home, the respect for what teachers do every day is at an all-time high. Parents and families across the globe have humorously expressed their new respect for teachers on social media:
As the pandemic began, most teachers showed up to school with no idea that it would be their last day physically in-class together with their students. And their response to that was extraordinary. Ken Buck’s social media post said it best:
Teachers flipped learning overnight with no playbook to go off of, and they are feeling just as much stress as everyone else. Teachers deserve our appreciation now more than ever before. But with most of the country learning virtually at home due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this year proves a little more difficult to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week.
With the pandemic, it’s not as easy to deliver tokens of appreciation to teachers. In fact, if your mind just went to mailing them something, remember that most teachers probably aren’t comfortable giving out their home address.
This year, Teacher Appreciation Week will look a little different due to the Coronavirus quarantines and school closures. Below are some ideas to show your appreciation.
This one might take some planning and coordination, and it’s also kind of our favorite, so we’ve put it first to give you some time to plan. Since the beginning of the school closures, schools have coordinated efforts among their teachers to make photo collage messages for their students like this one posted by Briarmeadow Charter School:
This would be a clever idea to duplicate. It could even be as simple as teaming up with four other families and their children to create a short message like “Thank-You-To-Our-Teachers.” But, the more the merrier!
If teachers aren’t in their classrooms, a physical card likely won’t work. However, it’s still possible to send them a digital card or e-card while in quarantine! There are a variety of websites that you can use to send a digital card or video to your child’s teacher.
One option is to use Canva. Their easy-to-use site allows you to design your own thank you cards or choose from a variety of templates. You can check out Canva’s Thank You Card Hub to explore all of their options.
Another option you can explore is Hallmark’s Teacher Appreciation Day cards. If you’re looking for a premade option that you can just purchase and send, they have a number of e-card options to choose from.
With everyone at home in quarantine, creating home-videos has really taken off. This opens a creative, personal way to show your appreciation to teachers. You can even turn it into the next home learning project for your child: have them write a script, record the video, edit it with a free video editing app or program, and publish it online for their teacher to see.
If you don’t have the means, or if you’re are a little camera-shy, creating a voice recording to say thank you is just as meaningful. Letting teachers hear their student’s voice is a very personal way to thank them for all of their hard work.
Even though you can’t physically mail it or send it with your child to take to their teacher, you can certainty scan or upload a picture of it! Have your child draw, write, color, or paint a thank you and send it to their inbox! If your teacher is on Livingtree Engage, use the inbox feature and send it as a direct message.
Gift cards are certainty still an option, especially since most are available to send via email. Here are a few great options to consider:
Teachers can always use Amazon gift cards, whether it be for school supplies, home goods, groceries, or a movie night on Amazon Video.
Speaking of movie nights, a $10 gift card to Netflix or Hulu could mean a month of movie nights at home or binge-watching an addicting show.
Purchase them a gift card to the local grocery store in your community. Taking care of the essentials is always appreciated, especially during difficult times.
Purchasing them a gift card for a food or grocery delivery service is the perfect quarantine gift. A gift card to a grocery delivery service like Instacart enables your teacher to receive groceries while staying safe and healthy at home. Gift cards for food delivery services like Uber Eats, Doordash, Favor, and Postmates also make great meal gifts, and support your local delivery workers and restaurants.
Gift cards to local places help support your community during these difficult times, and make a great gift that teachers will appreciate.
Many teachers fundraise online for classroom supplies and projects. Sometimes funding requests for their projects and ideas are also posted and made available online as grants through their education foundations. Either way, if your child’s teacher has a fundraising project on an online school fundraising site like Livingtree Give, consider supporting it. A small donation, or even just sharing it out on social media can be a big help.
Since we can’t show up this year and personally express our appreciation, or physically present teachers with a token of gratitude, it’s important to truly communicate how much their work means. It’s important to provide teachers with recognition of how amazing they are, how much they are appreciated, and tell them the stories and examples of how they’ve made a difference.
Teachers not only want to hear this from current students, but also their families, administrators, and even former students.
As challenging as you may find it to educate your child, just remember, teachers CHOOSE to do it day in and day out. Not for the money, and definitely not for the hours, but for the special opportunity to make a difference and move a child towards a successful future.
We hope this inspires you with a great idea for thanking a teacher during Teacher Appreciation Week. And to all teachers around the world, all of us here at Livingtree give you our biggest THANK YOU!
Are you a school or district leader looking to better connect families with their child’s teacher and school? Schools can benefit from a unified platform that enhances teacher-family communication, especially during remote learning. Download our free guide for engaging families through technology, or visit the Livingtree Engage platform page.
The current global health crisis has thrown a wrench in a lot of activities related to K-12 education. School fundraising is an essential activity that happens in the background of the school ecosystem, so it’s not typically top of mind for most individuals. However, throughout a regular school year, teachers fundraise for extra supplies and student experiences, PTAs fundraise for student events and activities, school sports teams and their boosters fundraise to develop and advance their programs, school programs and clubs fundraise to support their groups and attend competitions/events, and education foundations are always fundraising to provide grants and better educational experiences across their schools. Unfortunately, that wrench has brought most traditional school fundraisers to a halt.
Even though there’s been a movement towards online school fundraising over the last few years, there are still many school fundraisers taking place in a traditional sense. Much of the fundraising that typically happens over the course of a school year is in the form of selling goods and products, hosting restaurant or food nights in the local community, or even hosting events, auctions, or galas. All of these require face to face interactions and community gatherings, which for the time being cannot be done. So how do you replace face to face school fundraisers? With online fundraising.
Although schools are closed and social distancing rules are in place to limit face to face interaction, effective school fundraising is still possible. Online school fundraising platforms offer a simpler and more efficient approach to fundraising, and a number of programs and organizations are transitioning. There’s been a growing recognition that families and community members would rather give directly than buy an overpriced item. And schools would rather take online donations with lower fees than have to sacrifice upwards of 50-70% of the funds they raise. So, for schools and programs in need of funding, it makes sense to switch to more efficient online school fundraising platforms like Livingtree Give.
Many school programs, teams, organizations, and education foundations have already successfully adopted and embraced online fundraising, making it the primary and/or only fundraising activity that they do. Here’s a look at some school organizations that are successfully fundraising online.
A great example of an organization that has successfully taken school fundraising online is the Kent Gardens PTA. Over the last 3 years, their organization has raised over $156,000 on Livingtree Give, with the bulk of those funds coming from their annual KGPRIDE “One & Done” online fundraisers.
The KGPRIDE fundraiser is their one, main fundraiser of the year with a very simple concept: you make one contribution and you’re done for the rest of the year. It’s a convenient way to support the school and meet their fundraising goal early in the year, reducing the PTA’s other fundraising efforts and face to face fundraising activities like selling candy, cookie dough, and wrapping paper. In the last two years, the PTA has exceeded their goal of $50,000 by more than $4,500 each year, paving the way to fund projects and support student educational enrichment.
Another example of a school organization that has successfully adopted online fundraising is the Basha High School AFJROTC. Every year the program conducts an annual fundraiser, which is a crucial event to raise funds for program equipment, critical supplies, and educational field trips. Last year, the program tried the Livingtree Give online fundraising platform for the first time and set a goal of raising $15,000. Within a month’s time, the program surpassed its goal and finished with just under $18,000 in funds raised.
Feeding off of last year’s success, the program approached their 2019-2020 online fundraising campaign with a new goal of $18,000. The program again surpassed the goal and raised over $20,000 for their program. For more information about how they’ve been so successful, read their story here.
School classrooms and programs aren’t the only ones finding success with online fundraisers. District education foundations are also finding opportunities online that go beyond their traditional fundraisers and galas.
Take the Coppell Education Foundation for example – just following the fall of 2019, a news article was published highlighting the teacher grants funded by the Foundation, including the 10 grants that were funded online on Livingtree Give. The funding of those grants followed the new rollout of the Livingtree Give online fundraising format, which allowed the public to see and contribute to all of the grants submitted by Coppell ISD educators.
Another Education Foundation finding success online is the Austin Ed Fund. In 2017 amid the talks of student meal account debts, the Austin Ed Fund launched their “Help Keep Student Meal Accounts Current” campaign, aimed at offsetting negative balances on student meal accounts and contributing to Austin ISD’s courtesy meal policies. After launching the campaign, it was picked up by a blogger, which then led to news attention, resulting in over $20,000 in donations in just a few weeks’ time. The Austin Ed Fund has since continued this campaign annually, raising money every year to help keep student meal accounts current. The education foundation has hosted a number of other successful fundraisers through Livingtree Give.
If your school organization missed its main fundraiser due to school closures, or needs to replace face to face fundraising for the upcoming school year, an online school fundraising platform like Livingtree Give can be the perfect solution. Even though schools are closed, there are a number of online school fundraisers already taking place. Some organizations are on top of fundraisers for next year, and others are fundraising for important needs right now. Below are some of the reasons school organizations are fundraising right now.
Those who typically host a regular or annual fundraiser in the Springtime may have missed their opportunity to raise funds because of school closures and the face-to-face nature of their fundraiser. For Spring sports like baseball, softball, golf, tennis, and track & field, many teams have lost their opportunities to raise the important funds that sustain and advance their programs. It’s especially disheartening for those who had plans for major program improvements, like raising funds to purchase new equipment, or to complete much-needed renovations for their facilities. Additionally, the face to face fundraising events like spring auctions and galas put on by school PTAs and district Education Foundations are also at a loss due to the current situation. Those who counted on funds coming in during the Spring have lost that opportunity.
Some of those who typically fundraise during the summer and around the fall back-to-school times are actually making the switch to online school fundraising to get a head start on next year’s fundraisers. Already there’s been an increase in the start of fall athletic fundraisers like high school football.
The most prominent and heartfelt fundraisers right now are those supporting students and their families during this difficult time. A number of school districts are continuing to provide meals to students, and as a result, fundraisers have been started to support those efforts.
Midway ISD is a great example. The district runs an annual “Hunger Free MISD” campaign supporting backpacks full of nutritious food home for insecure students over weekends and breaks. The district is currently raising funds for this program so that they can support weekend food packs for students in need during this difficult time.
Additionally, some school districts currently have fundraisers to purchase technology for families who don’t have what they need to access online learning resources. Other school districts have fundraisers to raise money in support of families who are in need and going through a difficult time.
Regardless of the reason, online fundraising platforms can be a tremendous help, especially for replacing typical face to face fundraising events. Where traditional fundraisers can be limiting in their audience, school fundraising platforms can allow schools to track and grow their supporter bases, and reach a larger community through the power of online sharing. Online school fundraising platforms like Livingtree Give are extremely effective, and help school organizations maximize the funds they raise through professional-looking and customizable fundraising pages, promotional tools, and low transaction fees. So when it comes to raising funds for your school, forget the worries of face to face school fundraisers and give a school fundraising platform a try.
It’s FREE and easy to get started on Livingtree Give. Just visit the free fundraising account page to learn more and sign up.