Teacher Appreciation Is For More Than Just Teachers

Teacher Appreciation Week is here, and there are so many ways to celebrate our kids’ creative, dedicated, kind, intelligent and extraordinarily patient teachers.

And, boy, do they deserve it! Parents across the country (the world, even) know this better than ever this year as we add “teacher” to our own imaginary parent email signatures.

          ::Insert Name Here::
          Parent, Chef, Chauffeur, Remote Control Hunter, Adjunct Lecturer…
          Household Co.
          New Orleans, LA

Thank you, teachers!

What About Behind the Scenes?

Behind the scenes, though, is another group of hardworking support staff and administrative team members. As an educator of more than ten years and a newly minted school staff employee this year, I cannot tell you enough that schools simply would not function without these individuals. Many teachers would emphasize, too, that their jobs would be unmanageable without the teamwork and camaraderie they experience with their fellow adults on campus. There’s a reason why teachers are instructed in undergrad education classes and student teaching experiences to make friends ASAP with librarians, maintenance, and the staff in charge of the copy machine.

From the school secretary, nurse, and tech team to the maintenance staff, administrators, and business office employees, there are a LOT of superhero capes worn on campuses around the country. Many of these individuals continue to work harder than ever during the pandemic; for a school to go virtual or even prepare printed packets requires an incredible amount of coordination, leadership, and organization. 

We should acknowledge, too, that some of the staff mentioned above may not be able to work while school locations are closed. A simple hello and thank you shows these individuals that they are appreciated and have not been forgotten.

So– this year above all– be inclusive of all of the school employees you see on a normal basis and even those you don’t. 

  • Try assigning a group to each day of the week! Your classroom teachers can be your primary focus, but maybe specialists can be assigned to Tuesday, maintenance and lunch staff to Wednesday, office staff to Thursday, and administrators to Friday.
  • There’s no need for expensive gifts or even inexpensive trinkets. You’ll find that most school employees simply want to be recognized. An email, a handwritten letter, a coloring page– they’re all fantastic ideas.

Trust me, they’ll appreciate it.

Katie M
Katie is a towboater’s wife and devoted mother to son, Olie (2015). She's lived across the Southeast and has been a proud, Mardi Gras-loving resident of New Orleans since 2008. Though she recently transitioned to the Communications Director role at her school, she is and will always be an educator at heart and a fierce advocate for gifted learners. Football season is her favorite time of year; she bleeds red and black for the Georgia Bulldogs and can be found cheering loudly with her fellow Who Dats in the Superdome. She enjoys making to-do lists, drinking too much iced coffee, and beating the guys in fantasy football.


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