Honor Retiring Teachers
Thousands of teachers and school leaders across the country retire each year. These educators deserve to be honored for having dedicated their lives to making a difference for kids. Battelle for Kids encourages school districts, parent-teacher organizations, businesses, and communities to celebrate and recognize the service of retiring teachers. Here are a few ideas:
A teacher can receive thousands of plaques and thank you cards over the years, but it’s the stories of those they influence that make his/her legacy.
- Create a web page for people to share their appreciation with the retiring teacher by leaving comments or posting photos.
- Create and share a short video thanking a retiring teacher. Be sure to use the hashtag #CelebrateTeaching.
- Run congratulatory messages on electronic signs outside banks or other businesses, or on billboards, banners, or storefront signs.
- Invite a local newspaper reporter or editorial writer, or a local TV news personality, to spend a day with the retiring teacher, and share a story about the impact this teacher has made in the community (with the teacher’s permission).
Give a Gift from the Heart
- Ask guests in your school to sign a personal message for a retiring teacher.
- Frame a picture or collage of pictures of students the teacher has influenced over the years.
- Make a quilt with school t-shirts from over the years.
- Invite current and past students to write a thank you note and compile the notes into a binder or book.
- Ask teachers and students to create a fun book for the retiring teacher, sharing some quick advice on how he/she should spend his/her retirement. (For example: In the morning, you should… Now, you can wear… You should go…)
- Create a gift card flower pot to show appreciation for the retiree with gift cards for his/her favorite restaurants and travel and tourism activities.
- Invite the teacher to a reception in his/her honor, hosted by the mayor, school board, school administrators, Chamber of Commerce, or other group.
- Invite the teacher to an after-school salute at a local grocery store, business, or school auditorium or parking lot (think tailgate party!). Invite the school and local communities to join in the celebration.