We have probably all seen the commercials this time of year when you can hear the popular holiday song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, playing in the background as parents dance joyously around pouting children. But, not everyone is feeling ready or rejuvenated for this school year. While K-12 educators and students head back to classrooms, early childhood educators have been in our country’s classrooms throughout the summer—many without vacations or time off to reenergize themselves from the long, unforgiving pandemic.
As I get ready to send my only child back to school, I am reminded of a quote from one of the most famous and caring “teachers” of children, Mister Fred Rogers, who said, “Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero.” We should never forget to honor, respect, and support the heroes in our children’s lives.
We asked our CDA® Advisory Committee about the most thoughtful things parents have done for them throughout their careers. Here is a sampling of some of their responses:
- Give a gift card to their favorite coffee shop to show you are paying attention to their likes and needs.
- Share a note thanking your child’s teacher for something special they did to help your child.
- Bring a bouquet of flowers on a Friday afternoon to enjoy over the weekend.
- Purchase lunch for teachers who often do not have time to think about eating.
- Purchase a gift card for additional toys for the classroom (e.g., a center had a kitchen set and a parent purchased a gift card to buy pots and pans).
Consider holidays throughout the year when you and your child can bring a smile to their faces. Your gesture does not have to be costly or large to be appreciated. With so many educators leaving early education and the pipeline of those entering dwindling, we must show these educators how valuable they are.