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Celebrate Teaching with Random Acts of Appreciation

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As we all know, giving thanks to others is a best practice of talent managers in high performing organizations. Employee recognition can be a formal or informal practice. What some might not know is that appreciation is a fundamental psychological need. Studies show that when individuals feel that they, as well as their work, are appreciated, productivity, engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty increase. Recognition could be a certificate, thank-you note, public announcement, direct or indirect compensation, or even a kind word. Yes, it can be that easy!

What better time to express appreciation for educators than during National Teacher Appreciation Week, which is May 6-10. Teacher Appreciation Week appears to have originated in the mid 1940s when Mattye Whyte Woodridge, a teacher from Arkansas, began writing to government leaders about the need for an appreciation day specifically focused on teachers. In 1953, Eleanor Roosevelt echoed this sentiment. Congress first declared March 7 as National Teacher Day beginning in 1980, but the event was eventually moved to Tuesday of the first full week of May.

One way you can express your thanks to a teacher who has special importance in your life is through a "random act of appreciation." Here's how:

First, select a teacher to recognize. Think of a teacher who inspired you as a child, your children's teacher, or a friend or family member who is a teacher. Then, decide how you want to express your appreciation to that teacher. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

• Send the teacher an email or letter of thanks
• Donate school supplies or books to the teacher's class or school
• Give a token of appreciation, like flowers or a gift card to a coffee shop
• Make a donation in the teacher's name to a cause you think they would enjoy
• Participate in an ongoing contest like the PTA's letter contest, or even Promethean's contest!
• Post about your act of appreciation on the your Facebook timeline
• Write a blog about a teacher who changed your life!
• Tweet a photo and/or story about your random act using the hashtag #celebrateteaching or #ThankATeacher

This week, I will be writing about teachers who changed my life and posting stories from others about teachers who have had a lasting impact. I also plan to send a donation in the name of a teacher to an Appalachian summer camp for gifted and talented kids in need!

However you do it, please join us in taking this opportunity to celebrate the contributions of all teachers!

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