Let’s Talk About: 5 Free Ideas for Teacher Appreciation

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Teacher Appreciation week is right around the corner.  Every administrator agrees they value the faithful teachers who work alongside them. With a limited budget, it can be difficult to demonstrate how much. I thought it might be helpful to suggest five free ideas as with no cost and a little effort we can make sure our teachers know that we could not do our jobs well without them.

These ideas may take a little coordination, but they will have a significant impact. Take a look at these ideas:

Flipgrid: (Reviewed here) This free tool was created to increase student voice and engagement in the classroom.  Try creating a grid that allows students and parents to offer reasons why they appreciate various teachers. Flipgrid is device agnostic, so they can participate from any device. Make sure to turn on moderation so that you approve the video posts before they show up.

Remind: (Reviewed here) This tool increases communication between teachers and other stakeholders. Users can sign up for free from any device. If you use Remind as a faculty (without parents and/or students), you can send individual notes to teachers to tell them how much you appreciate what they do.  Find additional ideas on using Remind for teacher appreciation here.

Padlet/Lino (Reviewed here and here) Both of these tools allow you to create free sticky note walls.  Either one would make a great place to post photos and notes of things that you appreciate about your staff.  You can embed the wall in your blog, or a staff wiki or share the link via email or twitter.

Comics Head/ToonyTool/WriteComics (Reviewed here, here, and here).  We all enjoy a good laugh. In fact, an old proverb says that laughter is good medicine. Make sure that your teachers get a good dose of tonic by creating and sending out a collection of education-related cartoons that they can all appreciate.  

Canva (Reviewed here) has a photo book creator.  We all take photos of great things that we see happening in classrooms. Upload those photos and use them to create a free customized photo eBook. Add some encouraging words and thoughts about how much you appreciate what you see in the various pictures. You can then download the PDF file and share it.

Do you have other ideas on how to encourage teachers using free tech tools? Share them in the comments below.

About the author: Ruth Okoye

Dr. Ruth Okoye is the Director of K12 Initiatives at The Source for Learning. As a long-time technology coach, Ruth shares ideas and strategies for professional learning and thoughts on how to motivate yourself to “dig deeper” into educational technologies.

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