For the thousands of educators who work with Arizona youth every day, teaching isn’t just a job, it’s a calling. And every May, communities across the county set aside time to commemorate Teacher Appreciation Month. It’s a time to celebrate the educators who are building our future, one student at a time.

Teachers work tirelessly to ensure that each child they teach gets the knowledge, inspiration, and skills they need to succeed. But for parents, it can be challenging to figure out how to celebrate their accomplishments and express gratitude for all of their hard work. Teachers always appreciate being recognized – and there’s no wrong way to do that. But here are a few specific ideas if you want to show your thankfulness this month and all year long.

  • Ask your child to write a thank you note. Teachers love to hear how they’ve made a difference in the lives of their students and a handwritten note is something that will be treasured.
  • Get to know them as a person. Most teachers don’t need another coffee mug. Instead, opt for something home-baked or a gift card that fits their personality and lifestyle.
  • Volunteer in the classroom. Managing upwards of 30 children – and even more for middle and high school students – can be a handful. Find out how you can help and make volunteering a regular priority.
  • Take a trip back to the future. It’s never too late to thank an educator who made a difference in your life. Think about past educators who are influential and let them know about the difference they made.
  • Teach your kids to be respectful and grateful every day. A simple “thank you” on the way out the door can make a big difference to a teacher who puts their heart and soul into what they do every day.
  • Express your gratitude. Take a few minutes to write down why you’re grateful for the hard work that teachers do every day. And while the paper and pen are out, don’t forget about other school staff, such as the librarian, crossing guard, school nurse, and more. Your kind words will go a long way!

Expect More Arizona is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan education advocacy organization working to ensure every child receives an excellent education every step of the way. For more information visit ExpectMoreArizona.org/teachers.

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