By Sarah Wright
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Appreciate Your Teachers
Many people consider teachers to be the unsung heroes of our society. They work hard to ensure that our children are learning and developing properly. While it's never a bad time to show your appreciation for teachers, Teacher Appreciation Week is a great excuse to express your gratitude.
However, finding a way to show your appreciation can be tricky. Your first impulse might be to buy a gift, but this isn't necessarily an easy task. Some schools have official policies against giving gifts to teachers and individual teachers may themselves have a policy of not accepting gifts. Furthermore, since your relationship with your teacher is mostly professional, you probably don't know enough to buy him or her something that would be truly useful and appreciated. But there are plenty of kind gestures you can make that will mean a lot more than a ten dollar coffee mug.
If you feel like a teacher has changed your life for the better, why not let him or her know? Many educators enter the profession because they want to help young people experience the joy of learning. A great way to show your appreciation is to describe the ways in which a teacher's influence on you has had a positive impact. If you think it'd be awkward to pay compliments face-to-face, write a nice note. Tell your teacher about the positive impact he or she has had on your life, and thank him or her sincerely for the work he or she does.
Get the Class Involved
If your classmates don't know that it's teacher appreciation week, let them know. Try to get everyone involved in one mass display of gratitude. Make a banner to hang in the classroom, and have everyone contribute to it. Get everyone to sign a thank-you card, or better yet, have everyone make a card. Do something that isn't going to disrupt class, though. You don't want to end up annoying your teacher.
Offer to Help
If you want to try to do something a little above and beyond, approach your teacher before or after class and ask if he or she needs any help with anything. Maybe he or she has a stack of books that need to go back to the library, or is having some computer problems that you'll be able to solve quickly. Even if there isn't anything specific that you can do and your offer is refused, the gesture will count. Your teacher will appreciate that you're willing to lend a helping hand.
If you're good at drawing, why not make a funny cartoon for your teacher? If you have creative talents in other areas, this is a great time to show them off. Write a poem or a song that will allow you to verbalize why you appreciate your teacher. Any little creative gesture will be appreciated. Again, just make sure that whatever you do doesn't interrupt class.
Make an Extra Effort
Ideally, students would be on their best behavior at all times. In reality, we all know that's not the way it works. If you find yourself getting into trouble every now and then, be it talking out of turn in class or not doing your homework, consider how your behavior might make your teachers feel. Dealing with unruly students might be the most frustrating part of a teacher's day. Why not use Teacher Appreciation Week as a springboard to amend your behavior? If you put effort into being a better student this week, it might get the ball rolling on a whole new approach that will benefit both you and your teachers.
Teachers in some districts may need your support now more than ever. Due to budget problems, some cities are considering mass layoffs of public school teachers.