We’ve always suspected that teachers are more than they seem. The clues have always been there:

Like when our child comes home and talks excitedly about something they learned that day.
Or when they work on a subject without our prodding.
Or when a teacher reaches out and lets us know our child needs extra help.
Or when you see them cheering for your kid or teen on the sidelines of a sporting event.

But I don’t think we realized how they would handle all . . . this.

Many of them have changed months of planning for in-class learning into an online classroom.
They have connected with our kids and encouraged them.
Some of have even made sure that their students had the items at home they needed, such as food and technology.
All while teaching from their homes, and juggling the needs of their own families.

Many teachers miss their students. They miss the in-person interaction. Some of them are missing the chance to say goodbye and celebrate the kids they’ve invested so much in already this school year.

And most of us can agree, we miss our teachers.
Now that many of you have become teachers “at home” over the past few months, you know that teaching can be challenging, and we recognize all the many things that teachers do. We understand their worlds a little better.

That’s why this May 4-8, when teacher appreciation week rolls around, we want to show our immense appreciation for all the teachers in our kids’ lives. But in ways that a social-distanced world can accommodate. Here are few ideas:

1. Email a gift card.

There’s nothing that warms a teacher’s heart more than a gift card. Send them a digital gift card though email. You can find them on Amazon.

2. Mail card.

A simple thought and words of encouragement go along way. If you have an address (school or other) to mail them something, mail a homemade card from your child. Or  take a picture of the homemade card and email it to them. Or simply email or text a few words of thanks.

3. Send a gift.

Find out from the school where you can send them a gift, order one online and address it to the teacher. (If you need some ideas, check out the Parent Cue store.)

4. Buy  dinner at a local restaurant.

You can never go wrong with dinner. Dinner to-go that is. Contact the teacher and find out a favorite restaurant near their home. Find out what night would work best, then order it, pay for it, and let them pick it up. (Or use a restaurant delivery service like Uber Eats or GrubHub to have it delivered.)

5. Brag about them.

One of the easiest ways to encourage a teacher is to brag about them online. Let everyone know how awesome they are. Even better, send an email to their administrator telling them what a great teacher they have been.

6. Leave a gift on their doorstep.

If you know the teacher personally, or you’re a room parent and want to go in as a classroom, leave them a gift basket on their doorstep.

And while you’re showing your appreciation for teachers, take a few minutes to step back and look what you’ve done, too. You’ve stepped up too, and done a job you may have never really wanted or thought you could do. You did it. Give yourself a pat on the back and do something to appreciate yourself, too! You did it!

In a season of much loss, we have all gained a much greater appreciation for things, tasks, and people, that we may have not noticed before. So, let’s make sure we don’t keep it to ourselves, and let those people know how thankful we are for them.