Teachers have a hard job. In many states, they’re woefully underpaid and spend evenings driving for Uber as well as grading papers simply to make ends meet. Even in areas where they’re well-compensated, they battle every bug in this year’s flu outbreak to educate your little ones.
How can you show teachers that you care? Start by exercising empathy and putting yourself in their shoes. Most teachers rank getting a break as their number one wish, so seek out ways to ease their daily burden with these seven ideas.
1. Volunteer to Help
Many teachers need more help in the classroom, but dwindling budgets make aides a thing of the past far too often. Volunteer to help out in the classroom during part of the day if you’re a stay-at-home mom or work an alternate schedule. If you lack the time to pitch in regularly, do step up to the plate on a field trip or science fair day.
Many schools need help with before and after-school programs and teachers often shoulder this burden. If you have the time, help out with activities that give needy students the support they need most.
2. Craft a Classroom Supply Kit
Many schools send out wish lists at the beginning of the year consisting of items they need most in classrooms. But over the semester, students use up pencils and tissues. Teachers often resort to replenishing the stash out of their pocketbooks. Help them out with a surprise care package.
3. Play the Lottery (It Could Be a Win-Win)
Did you know the lottery gives nearly $10 billion annually to fund public education in America? They fund literacy initiatives and other programs designed to boost learning outcomes. Check with your state’s lottery website to see how they benefit schools directly.
4. Organize a School-Wide Luncheon
Many teachers eat lunch at their desks while conferencing with students. Plus, budget restraints mean dining on unhealthy, processed meals. if you own a restaurant or catering business or simply can pool together a budget with your friends, why not treat the staff of your child’s school to a proper luncheon?
Whether you provide the food or order it in, remain respectful of dietary restrictions some people follow. Some teachers cannot eat foods containing gluten while others abstain from meat for religious or conscientious reasons.
5. Take a Chore Off Their Plate
Everyone has the same number of minutes in their days, but teachers tend to spend more of them working than other professionals. In addition to their classroom duties, they devote time after-hours to crafting lesson plans and grading papers.
You may not possess the certification to grade papers per department guidelines, but you can take another unpleasant chore off the plate of a teacher you admire. If you’re friends with a teacher, offer to help with the housework or prep meals on weekends. She’ll appreciate the companionship as well as the extra pair of hands. Or whip up an additional portion of dinner for a single teacher friend so he doesn’t have to turn to takeout again.
6. Call Your Congressperson
In some states, teachers barely earn enough to cover basic living expenses. This means many teachers work two or more jobs simply to put food on the family table. Additionally, states with loose charter school laws give professionals few protections. Many charter schools extend no health care coverage to staff and offer little in terms of retirement planning.
Call your congressperson and insist they pass legislation to benefit teachers and other underpaid professionals. Advocate for policies such as single-payer health care coverage that would provide care to teachers with preexisting conditions whose schools do not currently offer insurance. Insist upon raising the minimum wage to a living level —this drives up income for all, as employers who refuse to pay competitively will lose staff to other opportunities.
7. Pamper Them With Gift Certificates
Few teachers have the extra time to take proper care of their health, let alone indulge in a massage or pedicure. When they can squeeze it in, they often lack the money. Present your favorite teacher with a gift certificate for a free acupuncture session or salon treatment. Everyone needs pampering now and then —especially those who care for our children.
Take Care of the Special Teacher in Your Life
Teachers have a difficult job and they need all the support they can get. By following the above tips, you can show the teacher you admire that you care about them.
Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she frequently writes for sites like US Travel News, Thought Catalog, Style Me Pretty, Tripping.com and more! Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!
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