- The Student-Teaching Model Is Outdated: Here's How We Can Do Better - September 15, 2021
- Visualize: How Seeing What's Coming Changed My Teaching - August 16, 2021
- 10 Lessons About Teaching from My Youngest Son - June 24, 2021
- Ending the Epithet “Try-Hard” Once and for All in Classrooms - June 18, 2021
- From STEM, Let's Pivot to the BRANCHES of the Humanities - May 25, 2021
- Would Education Collapse If Teachers Stopped Working for Free? - May 20, 2021
- 10 Ways to Teach Like Ted Lasso: Part II - April 21, 2021
- 8 Tips So Your Substitute Plans Don't Suck - April 14, 2021
- 10 Ways to Teach Like Ted Lasso: Part I - March 12, 2021
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teachers: Habit 3 - First Things First - February 26, 2021
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to our fellow educators! While they'll hopefully be showered with gifts and praise this week by their school board, community, administrators, students, and parents - we have a project to pitch. We'd like to make this week not so much about teachers, but about the currency of teachers:
We'd like to make this week about Random Acts of Kindness (RAKs).
There are several reasons we should pursue RAKs this week. For one, teachers can enjoy being the spotlight in their classroom, but often eschew it outside of the classroom. Instead, we teachers focus on our students. We like to teach them that lessons are more than just what's in a textbook or what we can discuss in 43 minutes. Teachers like to make lessons last a lifetime. We also like the lessons to come as spontaneous as making an unplanned connection to a content area or a relationship to someone new. Finally, if for no other reason, kindness teaches students that the best way to overcoming the problems of their world - or the world at large - involves stamping out hate with a smile.
Below are 36 ways for different stakeholders to sprinkle RAKs this week:
School board members:
- Invite staff to a school board meeting to praise them for their accomplishments
- Visit the different schools and provide coffee and light breakfast pastries (if your budget permits)
- Ask teachers for their honest feedback on a policy
- Share with them why they mean so much to your community
- Invite some of your teachers to your home
- Have students say something nice about their favorite teacher, and share some of your findings at your next meeting
- Ask if you can teach a lesson for a teacher who can really use a period to themselves
- Permit them to go home as soon as the students leave - all week!
- Let them dress down Monday. And Tuesday. And Wednesday. And Thursday. And, what the heck - Friday, too!
- Give shout outs on your morning announcements to your teachers, staff, and students
- Implement a "Principal for a Day" program, and give a teacher and a student the keys to the castle (within reason, of course)
- See if your building budget or Parent-Teacher Association has any leftover money for a massage therapist for the day!
- Send your favorite teacher a thank you note and send it to them
- Sit down and write that thank you note with your child, and encourage them to do the same
- Find out what coffee, tea, or other beverage your child's teacher enjoys, and buy them one (and please note that hard cider was barred from the classroom in the mid-19th century)
- Send in a family photo
- See if your teacher can use supplies for the classroom
- Go to a used book shop or book sale and buy content-specific books for that teacher
- Just make your teacher a card and they'll smile forever
- Share a leftover school photo for our bulletin board
- Ask what you can clean in the room to make it look spit-spot
- Buy your teacher a chocolate milk or an apple
- Sit down and show your parents some of the great and insightful things you've learned this year
- Work with a student who's younger or of a lower ability than you, and help bring them up to your level (and have fun doing it)!
- Buy snacks for students for a day they will have a good amount of seat work
- Share a story about your favorite teacher and how it was inspirational to the career-decision-making process
- Explore some outside-the-box lesson plans and technology ideas
- Open up your room to lunch for the whole week, and invite students down to talk
- Buy a pastry for somebody who just deserves a dang pastry
- No homework -- all week!
Every stakeholder in education:
- Break out the thank you cards and just start writing them for an hour, and see where it lands you
- Ask a student what makes them smile the most
- Read a book with other people and talk about it
- Reach out to someone who doesn't agree with you, and share a true conversation where you listen, discuss, and drop judgment
- Thank somebody who has a tireless job that is filled with complaints, like the custodian, the IT troubleshooter, or whomever is in charge of discipline
- Pinch and remind yourself that this is the future, and you get to make it
Well, what are you waiting for?! Get out there, share a random act of kindness, and post it below. We want to see 100s of comments here all week!