Why do we wait until the end of the year to tell our teachers how much we appreciate them? Each year, as the end of the school year approaches, schools pull out all the stops to celebrate the hard work of their staff. At many schools, Teacher Appreciation Week means special lunches, admins taking over classrooms to give staff a break, banners and personal notes, even delivery of fancy coffee.
All these expressions of appreciation are well-deserved, to be sure. But why limit your appreciation to only a week, and place that week toward the end of the school year? Why not make Teacher Appreciation Week last all year?
Teacher Appreciation Strategies
As the end of the school year rolls around, your staff may be feeling burned out. You can ease some of the intensity of that burned-out feeling by creating an atmosphere of appreciation all year long. Here are four ways to make teacher appreciation week last all year:
Build a Positive School Climate
A school climate that focuses on positive behaviors has a different feel. Students feel safe and supported. Teachers feel valued. A positive school climate helps with teacher retention from year to year. School leadership also impacts school climate. If you’re a principal or other administrator, make sure you’re promoting positive school climate by acknowledging your staff’s efforts and successes. Staff and students alike will take their cues from you when it comes to appreciating the educators and support staff in your school.
Support Positive Student Culture
Student culture is a crucial part of job satisfaction for your teachers. After all, they’re in the classroom day after day with students. It makes sense to focus on student culture as a source for teacher appreciation. Work with your school’s student organizations and encourage them to be intentional about expressing their appreciation for teachers.
Encourage Positive Teacher Referrals
Involving your entire school community in praising and encouraging your teachers can reap tremendous rewards. So often, we see the term “referral” in relation to student misconduct and discipline. Why not give that term a new meaning and ask for referrals for all the great things teachers do all year? This idea can be open to everyone affiliated with your school. Ask your parents, your students, and your staff to submit referrals for teachers and heap on the praise!
Implement a Teacher Rewards Program
If your school is using PBIS, you already know how recognition and incentives can affect student success. Why not let your staff in on the fun? A teacher rewards program that operates in tandem with your PBIS initiative enables your teachers to be recognized, just like they recognize students. The points they amass in such a program can be redeemed for incentives that they really want and can use. The combination of recognition and incentives are a part of daily life during the school year, not just for one short period in the spring.
Freebies for Teacher Appreciation
Of course, nothing is as much fun as getting something for free, and there are plenty of freebies out there just for teachers. A quick online search can turn up tons of freebies and discounts specifically for teachers. Some are only valid during Teacher Appreciation Week, while others last all year long. Give your teachers a list of these special deals at the beginning of the school year and keep an eye out for new ones all year long.
Teacher Appreciation That Lasts More Than One Week
For everything that your teachers do for their students, shouldn’t they be appreciated all year? Instead of celebrating them for one week toward the end of the year, change your perspective. Pairing social and emotional learning with PBIS can create a school culture in which all members feel valued. This can aid in prioritizing teacher appreciation throughout the school year.
PBIS Rewards can help you manage your school’s PBIS initiative digitally so that your staff and students can work together to improve school climate. Staff can recognize positive behaviors wherever they occur. Points accumulate in student accounts for use in the school store or for events and raffles. Teachers and admin can create and view reports pulled from the data generated by the software. Even staff can get in on the points-earning fun with our Workplace Rewards for Teachers feature. It’s a great way to acknowledge and appreciate your teachers all year long!
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