Teaching is one of the most important jobs that exists, and our nation’s PreK-12 teachers need support more than ever before. Donating to classrooms is just one great teacher appreciation idea, but we know there are lots of people who want to help who don’t have the financial means to donate. Here are five teacher appreciation ideas that won’t cost you a dime:
1. Enter teachers into contests for classroom supply funds
Contests and sweepstakes for teachers offer a quick and easy way for teachers (and their supporters) to enter for the chance to win classroom funds.
Take it from Jan Patterson, a contest enthusiast and grandparent of a student at Freedom Classical Academy in Las Vegas, Nevada. So far, she’s helped her grandson’s school win $5,000 on AdoptAClassroom.org through corporate sponsor sweepstakes programs.
“With COVID hitting and Nevada being mostly tourism, the school’s budget is taking a big hit. I’ve always loved contests, so I started looking around for contests for schools. AdoptAClassroom.org contests came up several times in my internet searches, so I just started entering.”– Jan P.
Are you looking for more teacher appreciation ideas that involve entering teachers to receive funds for their classroom? Join our mailing list here to stay in the loop on upcoming teacher sweepstakes.
So far, three teachers at Freedom Classical Academy have won $1,000 each from Lenovo, all thanks to Jan. “I’ve nominated all three of the winning teachers from our school,” said Jan. “I nominate every single teacher at our school every single day. The teachers are so excited. It’s not just the prize, it’s that somebody took the time to support them and believe that their career is essential.”
2. Share links to teachers’ fundraising pages
Sharing a teacher’s AdoptAClassroom.org classroom fundraising page is one of the best teacher appreciation ideas, because it will help that teacher reach a new network of potential donors.
AdoptAClassroom.org makes it easy to share the link to a teacher’s classroom fundraising page with your friends and family.
You can share a fundraising page to Twitter or Facebook, or via email directly from the teacher’s page by clicking the “Share” button.
When you share a link by clicking on the Facebook, Twitter, or email icons, you’ll see an auto-generated fundraising ask that you can edit to fit your needs, as shown in the below Tweet.
When your friends and family members hear directly from you about classrooms that need support in your community, they’ll be more likely to help.
3. Ask local businesses or groups to donate
Businesses near you may also be looking for teacher appreciation ideas or local education causes to support. Do you have a connection with a local business or community group? Ask them if they’d be willing to donate to teachers in your community who need help. Check out this donation flyer you can print out or share with your contacts via email. When you share it, ask your contacts if they can post or hand out the donation flyer in their storefront or offices.
If there’s a specific classroom you’re asking them to support, please give them the details they need to include with their donation (teacher’s name, school name, city and state).
4. Show appreciation on social media
This past year has been particularly challenging for our nation’s educators. During the pandemic, they’re working harder than ever to ensure students and families have the school supplies and resources they need, wherever learning is taking place.
Giving the special teachers in your life a shout out on social media is a great way to show your appreciation for their hard work and dedication, especially because it often goes unacknowledged.
“Lots of teachers are leaving the career field because it’s so hard. I didn’t realize how hard it was until I started really getting to know the teachers at my grandson’s school,” said Jan. “They put so much extra work in, and it just seems to get piled on more and more and more. With COVID, they’re working hours and hours extra, with no extra pay.”
If you have children or grandchildren in school, ask them to help you say thanks. They may have some teacher appreciation ideas of their own. Some of our favorite ways to show appreciation on social media are to post a short video message, or an image of a handmade thank-you card.
Be sure to tag the teacher(s) in your post, or post your thank-you directly to their page.
5. Volunteer at a school
Teachers are hard workers who could definitely use assistance, so volunteering at a school offers lots of teacher appreciation opportunities. While some volunteer activities may not be an option right now due to the pandemic, once it’s safe to engage in volunteer activities again, figure out what activities interest you and how much time you have to give. Then, check with local schools to find out if they’re looking for volunteers and what help they need.
If you have children or grandchildren in school, find out how you can get involved to help their school, like Jan did.
“I worked full time when my two kids were growing up, so I didn’t have time to volunteer at the school, and I really felt like I missed out,” said Jan. “Now that my grandson lives in the same area as we do, I volunteer at the school and try to help out wherever I can. We don’t have a PTA or PTO. Our administration feels like there’s such a burden on parents already, so I’m trying to focus on things that parents can help with that don’t cost money.”