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42 Little Things Teachers Do that Make a Big Difference

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A teacher bends down to talk to two students in a classroom during teacher appreciation week.

When we celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week last year, we had no idea what twists and turns were in store for teachers and students. 

Whether it was making the best of remote learning, enforcing safety protocols at school or connecting with hard-to-reach students, we saw you go above and beyond in difficult circumstances.

Teachers like you are the backbone of the education system, and have impacted countless lives. But it’s not always about the big, grand gestures — it’s about all the little things teachers do that add up to something amazing. 

We want to take Teacher Appreciation Week 2021 as an opportunity to say thank you to teachers for all you do, big and small.

First, here's a video some of the teachers at Prodigy made for you:

42 Ways teachers make a difference in and out of the classroom

There are so many little things teachers do that make a big difference for their students and communities. At Prodigy, we want to say thank you for all the time you spend:

  1. Laminating projects
  2. Wiping glue off of tables
  3. Documenting everything
  4. Calming anxious parents
  5. Sharpening all the pencils
  6. Bandaging scraped knees
  7. Listening to student stories
  8. Creating classroom handouts
  9. Preparing for standardized testing
  10. Daily behavior reports for students
  11. One on one sessions with students
  12. Keeping the peace in the classroom
  13. Changing out bulletin board displays
  14. Doing yard duty in the worst weather
  15. Zipping zippers and buttoning buttons
  16. Building lessons around student interests 
  17. Giving up your breaks to go the extra mile
  18. Piles (and piles, and more piles) of grading
  19. Fixing the copier, even when you’re in a rush
  20. Constantly learning and developing new skills
  21. Having silly brain breaks in the middle of class
  22. Caring about students when you’re off the clock
  23. Stepping up and being a role model for students
  24. Labeling everything from coat hooks to craft bins
  25. Sanitizing every single surface in your classroom
  26. Cheering students on as they tackle difficult tasks
  27. Browsing the library for books your students will love
  28. Reaching ELL students and families in creative ways
  29. Troubleshooting technology (especially in the past year)
  30. Keeping students safe with masks and social distancing
  31. Staying up late to make amazing classroom decorations
  32. Counseling students and families through hard problems
  33. Finding new and exciting classroom activities on Pinterest
  34. Updating class websites and learning management systems
  35. Differentiating for all the learning needs in a diverse classroom
  36. Searching high and low for the best worksheets and resources
  37. Holding impromptu parent-teacher conferences over the phone
  38. Tying shoelaces — and teaching students how to do it themselves
  39. Tidying the classroom (or gamifying cleaning so your students clean up for you)
  40. Constantly organizing your classroom and making sure everything is in the right place
  41. Attending endless meetings — parent-teacher conferences, PD days, staff meetings and more
  42. Encouraging students, cheering them on and staying in touch long after they’ve left your classroom

On behalf of Prodigy, a big thank you to every teacher working tirelessly to support their students.

Thank you from Prodigy's Teachers

Inside and out, Prodigy wouldn’t be what it is today without teachers like you. 

And whether it’s filming video lessons or adding new math skills, our in-house teachers make sure Prodigy is effective for you and fun for your students. 

Here’s what they wanted to say to you:

"Teachers, you are true superheroes! Thank you for the endless effort you put in to make your students feel special. Know that you are deeply appreciated for all of the seen and unseen work that you do." Josh Prieur, Ed.D, Director of Education
Dear teacher, thank you: for sticking around during these unprecedented times, for finding ways to help our kids find joy and still be kids, for giving parents peace of mind knowing our kids are in the best hands and care, for doing all of this while taking care of your own families, for your flexibility, kindness, patience, courage, strength and empathy, for making and improssible situation feel possible. Thank you for showing our kids that learning never stops, even in the midst of a pandemic. Thank you for all you do! Happy Teacher Appreciation Day! Stay safe and well, Diana, Education Specialist and proud supporter of you.
Dear teacher, Thank you for everything you do! Thank you for spending those extra hours to create fun, engaging lessons for students. Thank you for that extra encouragement you provide for your students. Thank you for taking the time to really listen to and get to know your students. Thank you for your work in creating inclusive, welcoming classrooms for students, both in-person and virtually. Most of all, thank you for being you! Sincerely, Erin, Education Specialist/Teacher
Dear teacher, Thank you! Please know that you are appreciated for all that you do. Every single thing you do to ensure students feel important, supported, and valued is appreciated. All of the time you spend to adapt to different learning modes is appreciated. The hours you spend in the morning, through the day, in the evening, and through the night thinking of ways to reach your students are appreciated. All of the big and little things you do to make a difference in the lives of students are appreciated. Please take a break when it is needed. Please know that it is very important to practice self-care. Please reach out for support and know you are not alone. You are appreciated. You are valued. You are changing lives. You are loved. You are incredible. You are a teacher! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Sincerely, Stephanie. Educator, Education Specialist, and proud supporter of you!

Got a favorite teacher or a fellow educator you appreciate? Send them this blog post to say thank you for all their hard work.

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