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May is AISD Teacher Appreciation Month

Every year, AISD joins school districts across the nation in celebrating National Teacher Appreciation Week. This year, the district has designated the month of May as AISD Teacher Appreciation Month, beginning with Teacher Appreciation Week from May 7-11, to build awareness about the crucial role and essential contributions of AISD's more than 6,000 teachers and substitute teachers across the district.

Every day, teachers touch the lives of students, parents and communities in significant ways. They work to ensure that every student receives a high quality education and they encourage, support and prepare our students for their future careers. Teachers also fill many roles -- as listeners, explorers, role models, motivators and mentors. Because of these dedicated professionals, students embrace the notion of unlimited possibilities and are motivated to seek greater expectations of themselves. Most importantly, a teachers’ influence continues long after their school days are only memories.

AISD is fortunate to have excellent teachers serving in our classrooms each and every day. Thanks in large part to their dedication and efforts:

  • Achievement gaps between student groups in AISD have narrowed by nearly one half since 2003, and more students are applying -- and ready -- for college than ever before;
  • The latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results show that AISD eighth grade students ranked 1st out of 21 other urban districts in mathematics, and our fourth graders ranked near the top of the charts in reading and mathematics; and
  • AISD has 243 National Board Certified Teachers for the 2011-12 school year -- more than any other Texas school district!

Teachers and substitute teachers are often the unsung heroes and treasures of our district and community. Please take a moment during Teacher Appreciation Week and throughout the month of May, to thank them for making a difference in the lives of Austin’s children. Read the Superintendent’s message to AISD teachers.

Join AISD in Celebrating Teaching Excellence at Salute – May 23

Bring your families and join AISD as we honor Teachers of the Year, National Board Certified Teachers, Teachers of Promise and Principal and Classified Staff of the Year at Salute on May 23. We also will name the Austin Teacher of the Year, who will serve as the district's nominee for the Texas Teacher of the Year Program. Learn about this year's Teacher of the Year finalists.

Simple Ways to Appreciate Teachers

To assist in commemorating this important event, we've developed and compiled resources using National PTA and NEA assistance to help celebrate and recognize our teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. This celebration provides a wonderful opportunity for schools to work closely with PTAs and other community organizations to celebrate the contributions of teachers.

Tips for parents and community:

  • Show your gratitude - publicly thank your favorite teacher by sending them a shout out, or read what others have written.
  • Share your favorite teacher story - We’ve all had at least one teacher we remember because he or she inspired us, made learning fun, or expressed a genuine interest in our lives. To help shine a spotlight on teaching, we invite you to share your most inspiring or heartwarming story with us about a teacher who changed your (or your child’s) life. Selected stories will be posted on the district website and Facebook page throughout May.
  • Bring a teacher’s idea to life - The nonprofit website www.DonorsChoose.org helps teachers fund their projects.
  • Redecorate the teachers’ lounge - The teachers’ lounge is a place for teachers to eat lunch, meet with colleagues, or simply take a break. Sprucing up the teachers’ lounge is a real and lasting way to show your appreciation.
  • Give a gift-a-day. Partner with your child's PTA to organize a "gift-a-day" for teachers during each day of Teacher Appreciation Week. Small gifts such as apples, plants, stickers, bookmarks, key chains or tea lights stacked together and wrapped in tissue paper twisted at each end to resemble a package of Lifesavers are some ideas to start.
  • Send flowers. Send a bouquet of flowers to the teacher's break room at your school.
  • Write a Note. Showing appreciation doesn't have to cost money. A parent can provide a note listing the top five or ten reasons they like the teacher, or share a specific story of a time the teacher helped their child in school. Teachers love to hear a parent's perspective on how they inspire and help students achieve goals and overcome obstacles.

Tips for schools:

  • Publicly thank your favorite teacher by sending them a shout out, or read what others have written.
  • Fill the teachers’ lounge with flowers, snacks and gourmet coffees.
  • Do something special for teachers each day of the week. For example: Monday- doughnuts in the teachers lounge, Tuesday- bring each teacher an apple, Wednesday- write them a note or letter of appreciation, Thursday-give them some supplies for their class and Friday, clean their room.
  • Give your teachers heart-felt thank you cards or Bravo! Cards and tell others about this quick and easy way to give teachers the warm fuzzies.
  • Display the names of your teachers on the school marquee and honor them in your campus newsletter bulletin.
  • Decorate the hallways of your school with teacher appreciation themed pictures and banners.
  • Encourage students, staff members and parents to write poems, letters, or notes of appreciation and leave them in teachers’ mailboxes or set up a table during lunch where students can write thank you notes to their favorite teachers.
  • Organize a surprise pep rally and invite parents and students to perform songs and skits in honor of teachers.
  • Set up a lunch-time “relaxation and rejuvenation spa,” where teachers are treated to massages or plan an end-of-the-day stress relief game with refreshments.
  • Promote Teacher Appreciation Week throughout your school by displaying a poster or banner in the front office, hallways and library.
  • Have the students in each class create their own posters thanking their teacher. Take a picture of each student holding his or her sign. Then, put together small photo albums of the thank you messages for the teachers.
  • Have students publish a special Teacher Appreciation Newspaper, featuring articles and photos about teachers. Each student can profile a teacher, conducting interviews, writing the story, and taking the photos. Publish the newspaper as a kick-off event for Teacher Appreciation Week at your school.

Top Five Teacher Appreciation Week Sources

The following websites will be helpful in planning events, activities and publicity for your school's Teacher Appreciation Week celebration:

Top Five Sites on Quotes About Teaching and Learning

The following websites might be helpful in finding quotable sayings on education, teaching and learning.