Teacher Appreciation Week is May 2-6. This national holiday is an annual time to honor all the educators in our children’s lives. With the added challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown onto the education system, teachers have worked harder than ever to ensure our children are continually supported. Teacher Appreciation Week is the perfect time to acknowledge what teachers mean to our kids and our community.
If you’re looking for ways to thank the teachers in your life, PBS KIDS has rounded up a few resources for parents and caregivers.
- Thank you cards: Use these fill in the blank notes so your child can share a personal thank you with their teachers.
- Celebrate at home: Check out this list of favorite PBS KIDS teachers, as voted by viewers like you, to learn more about what makes teachers so special.
- Write a song: Create a hero song with your child about their favorite teacher.
Other ideas include creating a hand-made gift, like a drawing or bookmark, a gift card to their favorite coffee shop or store, or a group gift from the class, like a photo book with pictures of the students throughout the year.
For more Teacher Appreciation Week inspiration, watch this PBS LearningMedia video all about the holiday.
Tell a teacher’s story
Teaching and storytelling are a perfect marriage, and the storytelling project StoryCorps invites you to interview a teacher you know as part of its #ThankAnEducator campaign. Self-directed recording tools allow anyone to record a meaningful conversation with a friend, mentor, or loved one – in person or remotely. After your interview, you’ll have the option to add your recording to StoryCorps’ archive at the Library of Congress for future generations to listen to and learn from.
StoryCorps Connect makes it easy to record a conversation remotely. You can also record in person with the free StoryCorps App.
The gift of books
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, ThriftBooks, the world’s largest online independent used book seller, has officially launched ThriftBooks 4 Teachers, a new program to help educators provide students with equitable access to books. Through this program, educators can expand their classroom libraries and help children fall in love with the joy of reading.
ThriftBooks 4 Teachers is offering:
- One free book valued at $7 with for every four books purchased for teachers, faculty and staff.
- Program members will automatically be granted Literati status via the ThriftBooks ReadingRewards program to build up additional free book credits.
- To further support teachers as they work to create a community of readers, and improve accessibility to literature, anyone who purchases a teacher or school themed gift card on ThriftBooks.com from May 3–5 will be eligible to win 100 – 500 books to be donated to the winner’s chosen verified educator or school. This donation will help supplement the collection of an existing school or in-classroom library or serve as a library starter for schools that lack library resources.
To celebrate and give back appreciation to the teaching community, Brainly has officially launched its annual “Educator of The Year Award”. The platform is prompting students to submit an essay or video naming their favorite teacher and why they should be considered for Educator of the Year in categories such as STEM, English + History, Arts + Languages, and Mental and Physical Health.
Samantha Barnes, founder of Raddish Kids — the culinary box that teaches kids to cook — knows a thing or two about the types of gifts teachers like to receive. “In my opinion, the greatest gift you can give someone is from the heart. Bonus points when it’s homemade,” Barnes says. “Extra bonus points when it’s from the kitchen.”
Some of her favorite Raddish recipes to make with her kids as gifts include flavored salts, sweet & salty snack mix, muffins (blueberry,zucchini and banana nut), coconut macaroons and homemade cookie mix. Here are some of Barnes’ tips for involving your kids in edible gift-giving:
- Brainstorm Together. Make a list of people for whom you’d like to make a gift. Then, plan to make extra, because you’ll always remember someone else. Decide what you’d like to make together. If kids have a say in what is being made, they’ll likely be more excited about making it.
- Make Your Plan. Homemade gifts are often less expensive, but can be more time-consuming. Make sure to plan accordingly, remembering kids typically work at a slower pace. Give yourself ample time to make the process fun for everyone.
- Shop for Supplies. Ikea, restaurant-supply stores and craft stores all have a great selection of jars, bags, ribbons and labels. You can also up-cycle used jam and sauce jars from your own kitchen, and construction paper and brown paper grocery bags make great homemade labels.
- Give Kids Creative Freedom. It doesn’t need to be Pinterest perfect to be heartfelt and homemade! A 5 year old’s phonetically spelled gift tag for a piano teacher might be more charming than your perfectly penned label.
- Know your Child’s Limits. Making 35 jars of spiced nuts gets repetitive. It’s okay if your kids tire after the fourth jar, or if they only help you with one part of the whole process, such as filling jars or tying bows. If you like, you can also space out the process.
Sweet summer rewards
This summer, Penguin Random House will collaborate with OddFellows, the Brooklyn-based ice cream company known for more than 600 unique flavors, to kick off an ongoing partnership throughout 2022 with a sweepstakes celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week inspired by Mad Libs, “The World’s Greatest Word Game” that has been entertaining (and secretly educating) young readers for more than 60 years.
Through May 8, Mad Libs and OddFellows invite students and parents to nominate the teachers in their lives who deserve a sweet treat the most. Five regional winners will receive a year’s supply of MAD LIBS books and OddFellows ice cream, to be notified during Teacher Appreciation Month in May.
Nominate your favorite teacher here.
Capsule Collection and Sundae Bar Takeover
Throughout the summer, Penguin Random House and Oddfellows Ice Cream will continue to collaborate with the release of the Brainfreeze Book Club Capsule Collection, featuring four limited-time flavors inspired by classic literary genres.
Oddfellows locations nationwide will also feature a Mad Libs Sundae Bar Takeover, inviting visitors to “fill in” their own toppings and learn about language along the way. More information will be available soon at OddFellowsnyc.com.