I have written many posts on motivation and rewards in my tenure as an Education Week blogger. The basic principle behind any rewards program is recognizing a job well done, which is the mission behind Teacher Appreciation Week. May 7-11 educators, parents, students, and millions of other Americans are celebrating the contributions of teachers across the country.
All week, I have read fantastic stories about teachers making a difference and come across many opportunities to recognize exceptional teachers. While compensation is often the focus of conversations around rewarding educators, rewards can come in all shapes and sizes. Cards, appreciation days/weeks, small gifts, events, or even just a simple thank you can go a long way.
All of us had a teacher (or teachers) who made a difference in our lives. Here are a few ways to recognize and thank them for their service.
The National Education Association is encouraging people to share their stories and messages of appreciation to teachers on social media using the hashtag #thankateacher. Those on Twitter can also search #thankateacher to view stories and resources from others. Too often we think that recognizing a job well done must be a planned event or time-intensive task, but a short message can be an easy and powerful way to say thanks.
"Teachers are Heroes" Infographic
The infographic below was posted on the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education blog. The statistics are grabbing and the teacher hero stories are really inspiring!
Master's in Teaching
People Magazine Nomination
People Magazine has teamed with Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal to recognize five amazing educators in grades K-12 who are making a difference in their student's lives. Winners will receive a $5,000 prize. The judge panel includes superintendents, teachers, and other education professionals.
Anyone can download an application from People's website and nominate their favorite teacher. Applications will be accepted through July 2. You can also visit the website to read stories about past recipients. They are sure to give you goose bumps!
Teaching Channel Prize
The Teaching Channel is giving away more than 200 prizes to educators in recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week. These gifts include Amazon, Zappos, and SpaFinder gift cards as well as flip video cameras. If you are a teacher, you can sign-up for the raffle. If you know a teacher, share the website!
Teacher Appreciation Week is an important opportunity to recognize and show appreciation for great teachers, but we all must work to foster an environment in our schools and communities where teachers are thanked and recognized for their service year around. K-12 talent managers play a key role in this effort. Rewarding educators in not just about compensation or benefits, it also means building a culture in which teachers feel valued and supported.
For more information on talent management, you can follow me on Twitter at @EmilyDouglasHC!