Pivoting from classroom learning to e-learning during a pandemic added another layer of stress for educators across the state, as many teachers scrambled to quickly learn technologies such as Google Classroom and WebEx. In addition, they are stepping up to assist students who may not have internet access, meals or supplies at home.
Educators are among the heroes that are leading us through these unprecedented and challenging times. These heroes elevate us mentally and emotionally, but they, too, need encouragement and support. Here are eight ways your family can encourage, support and make teachers smile — including some hands-on fun that kids can even do themselves, depending on their age.
Create a photo slideshow.
Take photographs to mark a day in your life while sheltering-in-place, including video chats with a teacher or working to complete online assignments. Creating a slideshow that captures grinning faces and the closeness between your family members will bring joy to any teacher’s day. Use a variety of simple apps and online tools to create your show and even add music. Afterward, email the slideshow to your teacher and be assured that he or she will smile.
Make a video.
Your family can get inspired by the latest TikTok dance challenge. Sing a song, play an instrument, share your words of wisdom or just espouse pure joy while capturing it on video. Share the video with your teacher. It’ll be a welcome break in a day of grading assignments and developing online lessons.
Jot down a note.
Have your child send their teacher a quick note to check in, spread cheer or communicate the things they miss most about being in class. During COVID-19, educators’ email inboxes are filled with questions, requests and concerns. It will be nice to receive a note simply expressing appreciation.
Write a unique poem.
Unlock your kids’ creativity to engage, excite or inspire their teacher with a poem that captures the essence of his or her unique influence on their life. It is a timeless gift that their teacher may just keep forever.
Send a grocery gift card.
Gift your teacher with time. Online teaching can be time consuming, particularly when managing the workload of many students. A local grocery store or Instacart gift card will allow your teacher to grocery shop online and then have the items delivered to their door.
Buy an online gift card.
Rather than spending their time trying to find hard-to-buy items in their neighborhood, your teacher will appreciate just placing an order, whether it’s at an independent bookstore, Target, Amazon or another local shop that offers online gift card ordering. You also can save them some time in the kitchen by sending a gift card to a local restaurant that offers carry-out or delivery.
Compile a “must-watch” list.
Just like you, after a long day’s work, teachers look for ways to unwind. Movie theaters and entertainment venues are closed, but there is still must-watch TV via Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or other streaming services. Compile a list of your family’s favorite shows or movies to provide some inspiration for a fun-filled movie night.
Share a playlist.
Have your kids share their musical discoveries with their teacher. Create a memorable and interesting music playlist that balances a mix of songs and genres. Music can help create a peaceful and stress-free environment while grading papers.