Yesterday was Teacher Appreciation Day and if you’re an administrator, hopefully you have already taken the time to thank your teachers for all of the hard work that they do for students. I’d also hope that you don’t save those thank-yous for Teacher’s Appreciation Day only. In the past three years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet outstanding teachers from around the country. Prior to that, I was fortunate to learn with many forward thinking colleagues. A good question to consider is how to support our best teachers with more than a thank-you or cheap trinket once a year. The ideas that I’ve listed below are borrowed from schools and educators across the country. Feel free to leave a comment with additional ideas. I’ve split my list into two categories. The first group of suggestions is for administrators, and the second category is for those of you who are teachers looking for better support systems.
- Provide your best teachers with RESOURCES because they can serve as models for other teachers. Resources include not only things, but also time!
- Find ways to help those teachers continue to grow. Send them to conferences and let them visit other schools.
- Be creative and reward them for their hard work.
- Try to develop networks that will help you continue to grow. Your network may include other teachers in the school, but should also include other exemplary educators from around the globe. Use social media to connect with others.
- If your administration isn’t providing you with resources, think creatively. Apply for grants, or go to your PTO if possible. Try to make partnerships with local businesses that are friends of education. Even a non-supportive administration is unlikely to turn down free money or tools.
- Toot your own horn! Generally, most educators are not good at this. However, if you want your community to support your work, you should show them all of the great things you are doing.
I hope that yesterday was a great day for all of you. More importantly, I hope that each of you have the support systems that allow you to be successful in your school each and every day.