May 7-11 is National Teacher Appreciation Week. Against this backdrop, we have seen several teacher walk-outs across many states since January, each imploring their state legislature to increase education funding in general, and recognize teacher efforts with higher pay.

Gathered under the banner #RedforEd, these organized efforts point at the painful truths many teachers are faced with in filling this important calling. While they make a compelling case for addressing the issue at a political level, there is much that the rest of us can to appreciate teacher efforts without “taking it to the streets”.

If you are a parent of a student make sure that you and your child go out of your way to let their teacher know you appreciate what they are doing. This shouldn’t be done one month every year, but every day, if possible. Band together with other parents in your student’s class and hold a “Thank You Day” that honors their efforts. 

Extend this into important discussions with teachers about what they need to help them do their jobs, then raise money from other parents to cover this cost.

If you are a student, take the initiative with your other classmates to honor your teacher. Remember, they are on your side and are dedicated to helping you learn, grow and succeed.

If you are a friend of a teacher, make sure you let them know that you appreciate their calling in building our future. These people are truly unique…they are walking the walk and talking the talk about making this world a better place. We need to recognize them. Why not put together a gathering of friends over refreshments to thank them for what they do every day?

Study how the educational system in your state and local area works. Many people have been caught by surprise with the #WearRedforEd movement and the reality that many of these teachers endure to meet their calling. The issues that have impacted school funding and teacher pay are not new, but they reflect a longer-term consequence of a politically charged debate about taxes and the role government plays in our lives.    

Finally, honor teachers by joining public debate about how your community values the role education plays in building strong capable students and shaping the future communities that they will inherit. 

On behalf of everyone at Human eSources, I thank teachers for the hard work they do every day.