Teacher Appreciation Week is not only about giving teachers well-deserved kudos. It’s also an opportunity for principals to forge meaningful connections with their staff.
School leaders can have a profound impact on keeping teachers engaged and excited about their jobs, and new studies have shown that school leaders’ actions can play a significant part in helping reduce teachers’ stress levels. So it’s important for school leaders to take stock of these relationships, and assess how they can nurture them to their fullest potential.
Earlier this year, teachers responded to an EdWeek Facebook post sharing the best ways their principals show appreciation for their work. We’ve collected four of them for you. Now, put them in action during Teacher Appreciation Week. Some responses have been edited for clarity.
“The BEST way to show appreciation is through respect. Respecting teachers as the highly qualified professionals that they are and making sure their salaries reflect that.”
Give teachers some time for themselves
“Time is the best form of appreciation. Turning a scheduled PD/meeting day into a grading day (even better if it’s from home) is like all the holidays put together!”
- Paul O.
“Today it was being afforded the guilt-free opportunity of maintaining my commitment to volunteering in my son’s class even though we were short-staffed.”
Offer treats or a fortifying breakfast
“Ours brings us treats every first Friday of the month she bought with her own money.”
“My principal used to do the breakfast cart twice a year. She’d buy biscuits and donuts and coffee and juice and bring breakfast to us as we taught. Fun morale booster!!”
Give a sincere thank-you
“A personal thank you and a handshake goes a long way.”
- Larry G.
“I had a principal who always left a note on [my] desk [during] meet the teacher night. She commented on how nice the room looked, the appreciation for the work we did and wished us a wonderful school year.”
- Hope G.