It’s wild to think that our children are entering their third school year affected by COVID. My little second grader has never attended a full school year without a disruption due to the pandemic, and yet she has had a wonderful time in school. Kids are resilient, but her joy and success when it comes to learning is because of her phenomenal teachers.
Just like so many parents, our partners at US Eagle Federal Credit Union want to support teachers and local schools this year. The in-class volunteering of the past is unlikely due to restrictions, so here are a few ways you can support teachers this school year.
Apply for an enrichEd Grant from US Eagle Federal Credit Union
US Eagle Federal Credit Union believes that every student should have access to the resources they need to thrive in school. That’s why in collaboration with New Mexico United, they have created the Classroom Grant Program to allow teachers to invest in items that enhance the classroom experience.
Education is, and always will be, at the forefront of our support pillars. US Eagle wants to see our local schools implement projects that excite curiosity, deepen understanding, and encourage new ways of learning. A lack of funding should never get in the way of that. Their enrichEd program seeks to support New Mexico public school teachers by providing ten educators with $1,000 for educational resources and classroom activities.
Please share this opportunity with your child’s teacher or discuss a dream project they have for this year and fill out the application on their behalf. Applications are now open through September 13. Click here to apply.
Extra Supplies and Subscriptions
If you have a little bit of extra funds from your back-to-school budget, you can ask your child’s teacher if they need any extra supplies. Many teachers have created Amazon Wishlists for their classroom where you can do a good deed without ever changing out of your pjs. This is also important mid-year when supplies begin to run out.
If your child’s teacher does not need more supplies (unlikely, but you never know), you can offer to provide a class sponsorship for apps like Epic!, Prodigy, Scholastic, Newspapers or other digital magazines. This is a fun treat for the students and a great way to motivate reading.
Lastly, water fountains at schools are still closed due to COVID restrictions. Next time you are at the grocery store, consider picking up a case of bottled water so that the teacher can fill up any child’s reusable bottle if needed.
Offer Your Time & Talents
Volunteering in the classroom may be on hold for a little longer, but that does not mean you can’t help out in other ways. If you have a passion or talent, talk with your child’s teacher about Zooming in to lead an art project, discuss Ancient Greek history, or whatever you are awesome at. My husband mentioned that his father, who is a software engineer, used to teach computer science concepts to his elementary school. What a fun way to engage student in new topics and give you child’s teacher a break from being the lead!
If you don’t have a hobby or skill that you want to share, you can ask for administrative work that can be picked up from the school and done at home. A few years ago, my daughter’s kindergarten teacher needed help with cutting paper prepare for a project. This is something totally easy and doable while watching your favorite Netflix show.
Favorite Things List
If you are like me, you might procrastinate a bit when it comes to winter holidays, Teacher Appreciation Week, and the end of the school year. I always want to give a little thank you gift, but I’m always unsure of what to get the teacher. My go-to is a Starbucks gift card (no shame in that), but this year I’d like the gifts to be as thoughtful as the teacher is through the school year.
Here is a printable form where you can find out all of the teacher’s favorite things, so when it’s Wednesday of Teacher Appreciation, you can grab their favorite drink and treat and deliver it at pick up. It’ll seem like you never even procrastinated…
Be a Partner in Your Child’s Education
Buying cupcakes and teaching an art project are super fun ways to help your child’s teacher this year, but the most important thing you can do is be active in your child’s education. Maintain open communication with your child’s teacher throughout the year about what lights your child up or where there are huge homework meltdowns. Show up to your conferences and any other school sponsored activity. Supporting your child’s education and being involved will help your teacher serve your child best and reduce the amount of guesswork they are doing on how to help your child thrive in the classroom.