How to show appreciation for teachers
Teachers work hard to provide the best support they can to students. Without the education skills, young people would not be able to step into exciting jobs or find rewarding careers. Students might never learn that they have a unique talent or interest in a subject field. They may not develop skills that would contribute to an intellectually and emotionally richer life. Many teachers working in the FE sector are role models. They show an example of patience, resilience and kindness. They strive to bring out the best in young people. They make a positive difference to the lives of future generations.
We need to remember to show appreciation for the hard work they put in day in and day out. In the below article, I have cherry-picked a few ideas to help you express your appreciation and gratitude to your teachers.
#Volunteer – Being a teacher involves handling a wide range of responsibilities. You may not realise that a teacher is not only involved in classroom teaching, but they also need to spend a fair amount of time preparing for the lessons, completing administrative tasks, responding to e-mails and marking. Many teachers have a very busy schedule at work, as well as trying to meet family responsibilities and juggle a busy home life. No matter whether it is some help with the printing or fixing a small IT issue, your help will be appreciated.
Has a teacher asked for volunteers recently? Do try to volunteer next time when they ask for help. It might really make a big difference to them.
#Support at events – There are a range of events that teachers need to coordinate and often we may not realise how much effort this can be. College Open Days are a good example of events. Open Days are important because they provide an insight of the campus facilities and as well as information about courses. Teachers may need support with greeting people, speaking with prospective applicants or with practical help like arranging tables and chairs. Do make sure that you sign up to provide support at events and ask your friends to do so as well.
#Show support to your mentors- Mentoring can be a powerful form of support. You may have received formal mentoring in the past and benefitted from the many benefits of the mentoring relationship. Individual mentoring can help you to learn from others’ experience, to articulate some of your concerns, and to find a more positive response to challenging situations. Take a few minutes to think about the mentors in your professional life.
Have you received any formal mentoring in recent years? Have you contacted your mentors recently and let them know how much you have progressed as a result of the mentoring? Have you told your mentor how much you appreciate their support?
Sarah works in a well-known FE College in the South of the UK. She has successfully progressed in her career in the last few years and she is very grateful for all the support she has received from non-teaching staff, senior leaders and other teaching professionals. Sarah has recently told me that there have been many informal mentors in her life. These have been colleagues who provided her with help however would not formally call themselves mentors. They have spent many hours with her sharing their experience, offering support, and providing encouragement in stressful times. Sarah decided to say thank you to these individuals and to express her gratitude for the guidance she received. She has realised that she may not have progressed to her current senior leadership role without their valuable advice.
Have you benefitted from any informal mentoring in recent years? Have you been in touch with these individuals recently? It might be a brilliant idea to approach them on National Teachers Day and say thank you for their help.
#Tell them how much you appreciate their work – We all like to be appreciated. Teachers work hard to bring the best out of people and very often do not receive enough appreciation for their work. Many times, we take good things for granted and need reminders to say thank you for these. Have you told a teacher recently how much you value their work? On National Teachers Day, 26th May 2022, do say thank you to teachers for the effort they put in and for the difference they make.
#Write a thank you card – You could also express your appreciation by writing a thank you card with your classmates. You could create a personalised card and get everybody to sign it. You could give your teacher a card on special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas or the end of the term. In addition to verbally expressing your gratitude, it can be a great idea to give a card to your teachers on National Teachers Day. This will bring a smile to their face!
#Give a small gift - You could be really creative and think about small creative gifts. You could bake a small cake, or grow a plant, write a poem or create a little bag of goodies.
#Remember your individual tutors – You may have really benefitted from working with an individual academic tutor in the past. Individual support is often life-changing as you develop a positive and supportive relationship. National Teachers’ Day is a wonderful occasion to express your appreciation for the work they have done, and do remember to say thank you for the individual support you have received.
Teachers work tirelessly. They need to show unending creativity and patience. They often believe in students more than anybody else. They need to inspire, motivate and encourage others whilst they are under lots of pressure. Do remember to express your appreciation for the hard work they do and the positive difference they make in the lives of young people.