Apr 11, 2024

Raise Your Voice, Give Gratitude & Celebrate this May

National Teacher Appreciation Week: May 6-10
National Charter Schools Week: May 12-18


With two week-long celebrations coming soon in May, there’s much to celebrate as we near the end of the school year. Teachers go above and beyond for their students every day; May 6-10 is National Teacher Appreciation week and the perfect time to share your gratitude for all they do. May 12-18 is National Charter School Week is also an opportunity to celebrate your school’s achievements and those of charter schools across the state and country. Start planning now for these five ideas to celebrate Colorado’s incredible charter ecosystem this May.

  1. Flood social media with stories of success & gratitude. Get started by soliciting your staff and families for these engaging stories. Perhaps it’s a teacher who started a popular new club or lifted up a student in need at just the right time. Alternatively, it could be a student who overcame big challenges or achieved a goal they thought was beyond reach. Ask if the contributor would be willing to briefly share their story on video.

    Google Forms makes it easy to collect this information, and cell phones are perfect for capturing video. Remember, the most compelling content is honest and real; no fancy backgrounds or tools are necessary. Use these stories and footage to create graphics or reels that thank teachers and showcase the incredible work your school is doing. Both the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and the National Education Association provide templates to ease the process. For teacher appreciation, tag @NEAToday and use hashtag #ThankATeacher. For Charter School Week, tag @charteralliance and use hashtags #CharterSchoolWeek and #CharterLove.
  2. Handwrite personal thank you notes. In today’s technological era, there is something heartfelt about a personal note that can’t be matched. Engage the support of your school’s PTO or PTA community to handwrite a personal thank you note to each teacher (consider extending it to paraprofessionals, too). Alternatively or in addition, cut and send home cute shapes around a chosen theme and have students write their own personal notes to teachers. Collect and distribute them to their desks or post them prominently in the teacher’s lounge where they can all be read and shared. Bonus points for providing a baked potato bar, sweet treat buffet or coffee cart to accompany the kind words!
  3. Send letters to your legislators. The National Alliance provides templates that make it easy to contact your local senators and representatives sharing the value of charter schools. Include a touching story (see #1 above) to illustrate your point. You might also bring democracy directly into your classroom by having students write their own short note explaining why they love their charter. Split the notes between your number of legislators and include a branded, one-page overview of your school in each bundle to provide a full overview of your school. Don’t forget to share your graduation rate, academic achievements, notable alumni, and more!
  4. Host a community social. Use either week in May as an opportunity to bring your charter school community together, including students, staff, families, and community supporters. Whether it’s a movie night, spring carnival or timehop dance, provide games and activities as well as opportunities to learn more about the various clubs and support organizations at your school. Be sure to let attendees know how they can volunteer or support your charter going forward. This platform is a great way to launch new initiatives your school may be implementing or to celebrate a select group of teachers publicly.
  5. Alert the press. Media outlets love to share positive stories. Using a template from the National Alliance, share a story with them (see #1 above) that will likely resonate with their audience. Make your campus available for them to visit, film, and interview. Pre-designate an individual to lead them around and answer questions on the record. Earned media is an excellent way to get the word out about the great things your school and teachers are doing daily for students and families while sharing the value of charter schools.

Whether you choose one or all of them, we hope you have fun sharing the value that charter schools and their teachers bring to Colorado’s public school system. Happy celebrating!

PS: Nominations for the Colorado Teacher of the Year are open now. Nominate your best teachers here by May 20, 2024.

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