Teaching is the profession that makes all other professions possible. Educators at all levels strive to enrich and enlighten children; to encourage and inspire them in ways that will shape their future for the better. And whether or not you have children in school now, you probably had at least one teacher who made a difference in your life.

Since today marks the beginning of Teacher Appreciation Month, we’re sharing a few ways that you can show how much the educators in your life mean to you. Even a small gesture of gratitude can make a big difference!

  1. Write a note: Teachers love to hear from parents and students about what their hard work means to the youth they serve. As long as it’s heartfelt, it will be appreciated.
  2. Lend a hand: By stepping up to help in the classroom, during a fieldtrip, or with classroom prep, you can show teachers your support. Don’t forget, teachers are vastly outnumbered in the classroom, so parents who are willing to volunteer mean a lot.
  3. Rewind to teachers past: One of the best ways to show an educator their impact is by keeping in touch. Graduation and career development updates, along with marriage and birth announcements can mean a lot, by showing a teacher how their pupils are succeeding.
  4. Create something: Whether it’s a homemade treat, a handwritten poem or a handmade gift, share something unique and personal and it will certainly be a treasured gift.
  5. Keep up the momentum: Teaching can be a tough gig. To really make a difference, remember to say “thank you” to teachers throughout the year and recognize the difference they’re making in your community.