Almost everyone has been impacted by a teacher at some point in life. Teachers can sometimes even make such a memorable impact on a student that they end up shaping a career path, faith development, or healthier outlook on life.

But teaching can sometimes feel like a thankless job; with the heavy load that so many teachers carry, it gets easy to forget that impact. That’s why we’re so excited to celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week.

May 6 kicks off the annual week of celebration, giving you the perfect chance to thank, honor, and uplift the teachers around you. Even if you yourself are a teacher, here are a few ways that you can participate.

Simply Say “Thank You”

Reach out to one of your favorite teachers and say thank you—in writing, with a phone call, or a card. Do you remember who your favorite teacher was or is there a teacher in your community who is making an impact? Sometimes all it takes is verbal recognition to uplift someone.

Here at Concordia, in honor of teacher appreciation week, a few of our staff shared about their favorite teachers and what made them so impactful.

Bring Them Coffee

Who doesn’t enjoy a morning pick-me-up? With the long, often grueling hours that teachers put in to selflessly give to their students, coffee is a necessity. Show up at your favorite teacher’s classroom with a hot cup of coffee to start off their day or provide a little pick-me-up in the afternoon. You could even use a delivery service to gift a teacher with coffee if you aren’t able to visit in person. Saying “thank you” goes a long way, but making a small gesture of thanks in action goes an even longer way.

Volunteer Your Time!

Recognize a teacher’s work ethic by acknowledging their commitment and asking if they would like help with something. Are they hosting a book fair or doing a weekend spring classroom clean? Reach out and offer your time. Even if it’s something as simple as cutting out new bulletin board decor, teachers appreciate all the help they can get!

Uplift Them in Prayer

Include teachers and their classrooms in your prayers. As a teacher, knowing that people like you are offering support through prayer can serve as a huge encouragement.

Support Their Goals

Just like any other professional across various industries, most teachers are working toward some kind of goal. If you have a teacher in your life or know one in your community, be curious about their goals and inquire about ways that you can support them. They could be working toward a specific outcome for their classroom. Perhaps they want to teach in a certain kind of school. Maybe they’re planning for how to go back to school themselves to advance their own learning. Whether it’s holding them accountable, researching degrees, or volunteering your time, you can support the teachers in your community to help them reach their goals.

Related: Top 5 Ways CUAA’s English as a Second Language Program Stands Out

Invest in the Next Generation of Teachers

In almost every state, districts are grappling with teacher shortage. You know how important education is, so take time during this week of appreciation to set up some action points for how you’ll invest in the next generation of teachers.

This is one of the best ways that you can say thank you—ensuring that the field continues to stay filled with educated, prepared leaders who are equipped to teach students. If you’re a teacher yourself, you can offer your expertise in mentorship for a high school or college student who is a prospective teacher. You can help them figure out where they want to take their educational career and what degree best paves the way toward that career.

With so many opportunities for ways that you can give back, don’t miss this opportunity to make the week of May 6—10 extra special for the teachers in your life.

Julie Weinlander, the Graduate Education Outreach Coordinator, contributed significantly to this article. 

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