10 (+1) Ways to Say Thank You to Your Faculty

By: Rachel Levitt Klein Dratch
KC Topics: 
Coronavirus, Personnel Development & Empowerment

Do you have more ideas to add to this list? Send them to Rachel Dratch so we can share them with the field!

1. Go old school

You’ll need to ask your teachers to help you out with this small project. The idea is to honor the teacher who inspired your teachers to go into the field. Ask them to dedicate a book in your library to that person or the school can make a donation to the chesed fund in their honor. Ask your teachers to share the stories behind their inspirations. Even better if they can email you a picture of themselves as kids at the age when this teacher inspired them.  Showcase these photos on your website and highlight how inspiring your team is and has been!

2. We are family

We always say it takes a village.  Why not reach out and thank your teachers’ support systems, too? Thank the families and loved ones of the teachers. Thank their spouses, parents, roommates or even pets. Send over a bag of candy with a thank you note. “Thanks for being so sweet about sharing your mom/dad/roommate with our school!”

3. I dedicate this song to the one I love

Host a live online video or begin each day with announcements on zoom and invite students and parents to call in requests for songs to be played that they can dedicate in honor of a teacher.

4. Game time

During challenging times, it's important that when we’re communicating with our staff, we’re getting important information across but it’s also crucial to include gratitude and have a little fun as a team!  

A few ideas to throw into your next staff email communication:

  • Raffle fun opportunities for when school resumes onsite- a special parking spot or  exclusive rights to the copy machine for an hour.. A little something that says thanks (and welcome back!)
  • Send a guessing game and ask for responses within 24 hours. Fill a jar with jelly beans and ask teachers to guess how many there are or guess how many emails you received in a day.  
  • Host a caption contest. Send a picture from school and ask people to submit a caption. The caption with the most votes wins.
  • During a Zoom meeting, hold a lip sync contest or play ‘name that tune’.  Use the Zoom chat or poll feature to collect guesses or votes. 

If you want to send prizes for any of these games, digital Amazon or Starbucks gift certificates are great ways to show your gratitude!

5. Surprise supplies

Send a “care” package to your teachers filled with classroom supplies or simply activities they could enjoy while working from home. On websites like Shutterfly, you can create puzzles with your own photos. Make a puzzle with photos taken from a teacher's classroom and send that out to them.

6. You know me, you really know me

Personalized gifts make everyone feel very appreciated. Any time we receive gifts that show someone truly understands us, we feel seen. What if you designed and sent your staff coffee mugs using their favorite phrases or images they love?

7. It’s not just for dating

Studies show that being around beautiful flowers actually improves your mood! 

8. R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me

Respect their time, their effort and their context. Show them in action. If someone needs to take some time to focus on their family or just needs some ‘me’ time, respect that need for space and time.  Show respect for their work and professionalism. 

9. Show them off

Tell everyone how great your people are! Blast social media with superlatives, stories and photos of the amazing work your staff is doing. Be mindful and make sure you highlight everyone, you don’t want to accidentally leave anyone out.

10. LISTEN 

Listen to your staff well and often. What does a day in the life of this person look like? Where are those moments of victory? When does s/he feel energized? What are the moments of challenge? How can you be supportive and empowering?

11. There is always pizza

Unless of course, the staff member is allergic to gluten. cheese and tomatoes. If that’s the case, sending over some pareve gluten free cookies is the way to go!