Teacher Appreciation Week: Inspiration and Ideas for Supporting Educators
Teaching is a time-consuming and sometimes very challenging profession. It is truly a work of heart. Yet, who doesn’t remember a teacher who inspired them or had a meaningful impact on the course of their life? Teachers deserve an immense amount of praise, support, and recognition for their hard work and dedication.
Teacher Appreciation Week provides the perfect opportunity to express gratitude to educators. This celebration takes place during the first full week of May each year. It is a time to recognize teachers for the contributions they make in the classroom and to society, allowing students, families, and administrators to show their appreciation for the hard work teachers do.
Michelle Wingard, Starwood Academy of Frisco’s marketing coordinator, eagerly shares the incredible work of parent volunteers who come together every year to plan a spectacular week to celebrate the Starwood team, hoping to provide ideas and inspiration for others looking for ways to recognize and honor teachers.
Wingard mentions that the parent committee is hard at work even before Teacher Appreciation Week begins. They start by deciding on a theme. The theme they chose for this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week is Celebrating Leaders and Readers.
Previous Teacher Appreciation Week themes at the AMS member school Starwood Academy of Frisco include Our Team is the Best in the World, Superheroes of Starwood, and Roll Out the Red Carpet.
In honor of this year’s theme, the parent committee first asked families in the school community to help create a book of appreciation for each educator, including personalized notes and decorated pages from students and parents thanking teachers. The committee also set up a book drive where families could donate new or gently used books for Starwood faculty to enjoy.
During Teacher Appreciation Week, the parent committee provides different treats and gifts each day for faculty to enjoy. This year, the themes for each day have been inspired by some of the committee’s favorite books.
Monday: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Teachers will enjoy hot cinnamon rolls, fresh fruit trays, and bottled iced coffee “that would satisfy even the hungriest caterpillar.”
Tuesday: Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
Teachers will enjoy an assortment of breakfast tacos from Fuzzy’s Taco Shop and energy drinks to keep them going for the whole day!
Wednesday: Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
The Starwood team will have some magic added to their morning with mochi donuts, boba iced coffee, and Vietnamese tea.
Thursday: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Survival bags packed with healthy snacks, tasty treats, a flashlight, and Hint Water will help educators gear up to finish the week strong!
Friday: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
The Starwood teachers will receive a library bag with a personalized bookmark and an Amazon gift card and will enjoy local baked goods and iced coffee for breakfast.
Wingard suggests that schools interested in offering similar Teacher Appreciation Week activities start by building a strong network of parent volunteers. She notes that parent volunteers have always played an integral role in planning Starwood’s Teacher Appreciation Week and that naturally, over time, parents become more involved with the school and “naturally want to help celebrate the teachers and team who make it such a wonderful place for their students.”
Starwood Academy of Frisco looks forward to celebrating all of their Leaders and Readers during Teacher Appreciation Week and hopes they have inspired others to do the same.
Whether schools choose to borrow ideas from Starwood Academy of Frisco, from the American Montessori Society’s guide, or get creative and develop their own unique ways to show their appreciation, there are so many meaningful opportunities to give a little extra support to educators, recognizing the lasting contributions they make in the lives of students, families, and their community!
About the Author
Heather White, EdS, is a Montessori coach and consultant, content creator, and educator for adult learners, as well as a moderator and manager for the Montessori at Home (0 – 3 years) Facebook group. Formerly, she was a Montessori teacher, in-home caregiver, Lower Elementary coordinator, and associate head of school. She also has experience as a school psychologist intern. She is AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood, Elementary I) and is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP). Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The opinions expressed in Montessori Life are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of AMS.