National Teachers’ Appreciation Week is right around the corner and to celebrate I wanted to share two super simple ways to honor other teachers at your school. I’ve used both methods in the past and they won’t take more than an hour of your time (if that!). And I’ve done it so regularly that when teachers see me walking around campus with post-its on my clipboard, they smile and get excited, knowing some much-needed encouragement is coming their way.
Method One: Post-It Compliments
My students and I have a tradition that we do every Friday. It’s called “Friday Compliments” and they love it. I actually got the idea from my Mentor Teacher during the student teaching days. Basically every student gets a post-it and they write two compliments to other students in the class. I read them out loud at the end of class. They’re anonymous and don’t worry, I read them ahead of time to make sure they’re kind and appropriate. Kids don’t usually abuse the system because if they’re rude, we won’t have Friday Compliments anymore and even the “cool” kids love ’em too much to lose ’em.
Anyways, during Teachers’ Appreciation Week, I give each student TWO post-its and they write thank you notes or compliments to two different teachers. I tell them they can sign the post-it or remain anonymous. Of course, I proofread these too and throw away the “bad” ones but honestly, my high schoolers get really into it and often write pretty heartfelt notes. At the end of the day, I have my TA sort all the post-its by teacher name and deliver them to the teachers. It’s best if the kids deliver them. You can also sort them into teacher boxes if your campus is spread out.
Such a simple yet meaningful way to spread some love on campus. Many teachers at my school have a section of their walls near their desk filled with these words of encouragement from over the years. Great stuff.
Method Two: Teacher Cards
This method is also really easy for me since I only have 30ish teachers at my school. I get a colored piece of card stock and have my TA write each teacher’s name in the middle of a different card. Then I have 10 minutes at the end of each of my classes for my students to write notes to teachers on the front and back of the cards. I encourage them to write on as many as possible. Then I make an announcement to the student body through Powerschool to come sign the cards during lunch that week. By the end of the week, the cards are full of lovely notes. Again, my TA, students, or I deliver them to the teachers.
It doesn’t take much effort to encourage someone. So let’s take some time to lift others up as Teachers’ Appreciation approaches. 🙂