May is Teacher Appreciation Month and the first week of the month is Teacher Appreciation Week. This year, it’s abundantly clear that teachers play a vital role in our communities. With many schools closed for face-to-face classes for the school year, we need to get creative in showing teachers our appreciation. In this post, we’ll give you three ideas for ways to show some appreciation for the teachers in your lives this year. Then, as so many parents are now teaching their children at home for the first time, we have three tips that could make school at home a little easier for you.
1. #ThankATeacher on Social Media
Social media is an excellent place to show your appreciation for teachers. Write up a quick post thanking the teachers in your life and post it to your social media pages. You can even get the kids involved by asking them to list three things they love about their teacher, and including their list in your post. If you can, tag their teachers in your post. If you can’t tag them, use the hashtag #ThankATeacher. Even if you can’t include a specific teacher, this will still show appreciation to all the teachers who search the hashtag!
2. Send a virtual teacher gift.
Many teachers use their own money to pay for school supplies and extra items for their classrooms. If you normally give your children’s teacher a gift at the end of the school year, you still can even without seeing them in person! Many places offer online gift cards you can email to your favorite teacher. While it’s certainly not required, a gift card for a coffee or a sweet treat is a great way to show your teacher you care.
3. Have your kids make their teacher a card.
This has been a hard transition for many children who are used to seeing their teacher every week day. As an art project, give your child some supplies to make their teacher a sweet card. Then, you can take a picture of the card and send it to their teacher, or have your child show their teacher the card during a video class. Even if you can’t physically send a card to your teacher, you can still show them you care.
Now, what about the parents who have found themselves teaching at home? As the school year winds up, it’s likely your kids are getting a little stir-crazy and are finding it hard to pay attention. If you’ve never been a teacher, or even if you are a teacher yourself, it can be super difficult to teach kids at home. Here are three tips for parents trying to teach at home.
1. Use a block schedule.
Block scheduling may be something your kids are already used to depending on their school. Instead of planning every second of your day, block off large chunks of time for certain activities. Asking a kid to work for seven straight hours a day is a lot to ask. Instead, a day could include a couple hours of school work in the morning, followed by an hour of unstructured play time, then another hour of school work before lunch. In the afternoon, there could be movie time, then an hour of school work, and end with half an hour of clean-up. Block schedules can change throughout the week and be adjusted to fit your family’s needs.
2. Try the Pomodoro Technique.
Older children, teenagers, or even college-aged students may benefit from using a variation of the Pomodoro Technique. This technique is based on using a timer to break down work into intervals, usually 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. If your student has a hard time staying focused and is easily distracted, the Pomodoro Technique can really help. There are many free web applications and phone apps that follow this method.
First, choose a task to focus on. Let’s say your child has a three-page essay to write. Set a timer for 25 minutes and have your child work on the essay during that time. After 25 minutes is up, set another timer for five minutes and let your child do whatever they want during this break. When the break is over, put another 25 minutes on the clock and get back to work. Decide how many cycles of this they need to complete (e.g., a two-hour block of time will take up four cycles) and then give them a longer break (e.g., half an hour). Many people find it easier to stay focused when they know a break is coming up.
3. Utilize technology!
Our final tip for at-home teachers is to use technology! The worry around too much screen-time is completely understandable, but technology is a great way to get an education. If you’re using a block schedule, you could make some days screen-free while other days use the computer or tablet. Your school may already provide an online program for your children. There are also many educational apps and online courses your kids can use.
If you have a teenager at home, this would be a great time for them to complete their driver education course online! Safe2Drive offers online driver education courses that your teen can take at home. Our courses are completely online, and include videos, slideshows, and games to keep your teen interested while also getting an education. Check out our website to see if we offer a teen driver education course in your state!
This Teacher Appreciation Month may look a little different than usual, but we can still show appreciation for teachers of all kinds, whether they’ve been in the classroom for years, or have turned their kitchen table into a classroom. We at Safe2Drive appreciate all teachers, and hope these tips help!