There’s so much to do and think about during the back to school rush – like getting your kid set up for success and your family set up for sanity! But don’t forget about your child’s teacher! They have their own looong to-do list as they prepare to welcome students for an awesome year of learning – everything from stocking the classroom to lesson planning to cleaning to teacher meetings. Being a teacher is one of the most selfless, important, and challenging jobs out there (Just imagine your child, then managing 25+ of them on a daily basis. Yikes!), so the more support they get from parents and community members, the better equipped they’ll be to get kiddos engaged and excited to learn. As you do your own prep work for the school year, think about all the awesome educators and how you might be able to lend a hand. We’ve got some ideas that’ll make your kid’s teacher feel seen and appreciated!
Here are 3 ways to give back to teachers this school year.
#1 Donate Supplies
Many teachers pay for their classroom essentials out of their own pocketbook, so they always appreciate donations to help stock and spruce up their classroom. If you’d like to contribute supplies, ask a teacher if they have an online wishlist you can buy from or consider gifting items from around your house that are no longer needed. Though before you send your kid to school with a box of second-hand goodies, always check with their teacher first to make sure your donation will be useful and helpful! Here are some common teacher needs:
- New or Gently Used Books – Grade-appropriate books from your home or the bookstore, used kids magazines, or even a one-year subscription to a publication like ChopChop Family or Highlights.
- Art Supplies – Paint, paintbrushes, markers, crayons, colored pencils, popsicle sticks, scissors, construction paper, and glue sticks.
- Health Essentials – Tissues, wipes, hand sanitizer, surface wipes, hand soap, and cleaning supplies.
- Teaching Tools – Dry erase markers, white board cleaners, binders, sheet protectors, clipboards, flashcards, sticky notes, file folders, paperclips, tape, magnets, and bins/containers/tubs.
- Fun and Games – New or gently used card and board games, puzzles, stickers, play dough, bouncy balls, and other “treasure chest” prizes and rewards.
Sometimes your time is the best way to give back to a busy, overloaded teacher. Got a few hours? Let them know you are willing to help with anything they need to get ready for the jam-packed year ahead – like cleaning, making copies, setting up desks, organizing supplies, running errands, or assisting in the classroom once school is in session.
#3 Treat Them!
Teachers are people, too! During the school year they practically live in the classroom, so they super appreciate thoughtful gifts that make them feel celebrated. Just like anyone, teachers love gift cards for coffee, dinner, or a local spa. And if spendier gifts aren’t in your budget, sending simple thank you notes throughout the year goes a LONG way.
How do you like to show support and appreciation for the teachers in your life? Share your ideas with us in the comments!