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15 Ways for Principals to Show Teachers Their Appreciation


teacher appreciationNational Teacher Day isn’t until May, but in our experience, trying to cram all of our appreciation into a single day can feel slightly disingenuous to teachers. Rather than wait for May to roll around, we’re sharing 15 simple ways principals can recognize teachers throughout the year. We owe the principals over at Education World a big thank you for sharing their ideas. Should you find that the tips we’ve listed below aren’t enough, you’ll find 50 more by visiting the original article here.

15 Ways for Principals to Show Teachers Their Appreciation

  • Host a "Thank You Breakfast" during Teacher Appreciation Week, or during another time of the year when teachers least expect and most need it.

  • Recognize special contributions by putting "Cookie Coupons" in teachers' mailboxes. Arrange with the cafeteria for teachers to redeem those coupons for a special treat.

  • Whenever you are able, send a personally written—preferably, handwritten—note of thanks or appreciation to teachers "caught" caring or pulling off terrific classroom projects. Send at least a dozen of those notes each week. Keep a copy for the teacher's file; later in the school year you will be able to draw on those positive moments as you compose teachers' evaluations.

  • At each faculty meeting, hold a lottery drawing for a "free" two-hour break during which time you will cover a teacher's class. The break can be redeemed at any time, but it needs to be arranged at least a week in advance.

  • Each month, hold a party to recognize staff members who will celebrate birthdays that month.

  • Provide a duty-free week during scheduled state-test times. Arrange to have PTA parents or others cover those duties.

  • Purchase fresh flowers for teachers' desks during parent-teacher conference week.

  • In your public address announcements remind students to show appreciation for their teachers in all kinds of ways.

  • At the end of each grading period—when teachers have spent hours agonizing over student performance—send special notes of appreciation.

  • If you have lost part of your school vacation to snow days, provide some special treats on those makeup days to recognize the extra stress that goes with losing valuable R&R time or planning days.

  • If it starts snowing a couple hours before school lets out, go outside and scrape or brush off teachers' cars so they can get on the road soon after the bell rings.

  • Provide dinner between school and an evening PTA meeting.

  • Purchase a special book for the school library to recognize a teacher or honor a special occasion (for example, a retirement, a 20th teaching anniversary, or the completion of a master's degree). You might even give the teacher the choice of what book to purchase. Include inside the book a special bookplate to commemorate the teacher, the landmark occasion, and the date.

  • To recognize the start of spring, add fresh flowers to the teacher's room and provide each teacher with a flowering plant to brighten his or her desk. Serve up a snack of spring rolls—homemade, or ordered hot from a local Chinese restaurant—to accompany lunch.

  • At each faculty meeting, hold a random drawing for a "lunch of the month." On a specific day, those teachers will get to order-in from the restaurant-of-choice's menu.
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