(Family Features) Throughout the pandemic, teachers have gone above and beyond for their students, becoming not just educators, but also counselors, role models and friends to their students by supporting their overall well-being.
Even so, only 52 percent of teachers feel valued by their communities, according to PDK International, a professional association for educators. What’s more, teachers are more burnt out than ever, with 81 percent reporting their workloads have increased and 55 percent sharing they have less time for planning than before, according to a State of Teaching survey conducted by Adopt a Classroom.
Heading back to school means stocking up on supplies, updating wardrobes and planning new routines for hassle-free mornings. As you prepare for the new school year, consider these ideas for supporting your children’s teachers, too:
Volunteer in the Classroom
With the extra roles and responsibilities many teachers have taken on in recent years, there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete special projects or keep up with certain tasks. Ask teachers how you can lend a hand. That might mean spending some time physically in the classroom, or there may be ways you can support your children’s classes from home, such as assembling instructional packets or researching field trip ideas.
Recognize Teachers Who Go Above and Beyond
Chances are good you know at least a few educators who have gone beyond the call of duty and made an exceptional impact on their students. Honoring their contributions shows appreciation for all they do. One way to demonstrate your gratitude is by nominating educators for Staples’ fourth annual #ThankATeacher contest, which recognizes 20 stand-out educators who go above and beyond for their students. Winners' schools will be awarded $5,000 in classroom essentials for the upcoming school year. Learn more about how to nominate a teacher at staplesconnect.com/thankateacher.1
Be a Partner in Your Child’s Learning at Home
Supporting teachers isn’t just about the classroom and supplies; you can also provide a helping hand by creating good habits and modeling the importance of education at home. Actions like creating routines that keep students on a comfortable, familiar schedule help teachers manage classrooms more effectively. You can also make communication with your children’s teachers a priority so you’re aware of concerns and can help address them early.
Donate School Supplies
Often, teachers dip into their own income to create fun, engaging learning experiences and supplement student supplies when they run low. In fact, the average teacher spends $745 on supplies for their classrooms that are not covered by school budgets. According to Adopt a Classroom’s State of Teaching survey, 71 percent of teachers spent more of their own money on classroom materials in 2022 than during the previous year.
You can ask teachers what supplies they need, or you can give back to teachers through Staples’ Classroom Rewards program. Join for free and earn 5 percent back on every qualifying purchase for you and 10 percent back of qualifying purchases to donate to local teachers. The program helps reduce teachers’ out of pocket costs for their classrooms by allowing them to earn up to $2,000 a year.
Attend School Board Meetings and Voice Support
Keeping tabs on the issues affecting your school district and teachers is an important part of monitoring and advocating for your children’s education, but it’s also a way for you to lend your support on topics affecting teachers. Stay informed about issues that matter to your children’s teachers and support school board policies and actions that serve teachers’ best interests.