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Teacher Appreciation Goes Mainstream During School Closures

Teacher Appreciation Goes Mainstream During School Closures

A look at how giving teachers the love they deserve has spread well beyond parent groups during this spring's school closures.

by Emily Graham


With many schools closed by the coronavirus pandemic, parents overseeing their children’s distance learning are getting a closer look at their child’s education than ever before. Many of them are finding creative (and humorous) ways to express appreciation to their child’s teachers.

Celebrity Shout-Outs

Powerhouse television producer Shonda Rhimes shared her thoughts on Twitter soon after she started homeschooling her two children. “Teachers deserve to make a billion dollars a year. Or a week,” she tweeted.

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Will Ferrell knows 🙌🏻 . #teachers #willferrell #teacherappreciation #teachersofinstagram #teacherspay

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Comedian and father of three Will Ferrell shared his opinion on a T-shirt reading, “Pay Teachers More Money.”

Two familiar faces from television joined an educators’ Zoom meeting to thank teachers for all they do. “America’s Next Top Model” creator and mom Tyra Banks and actor Emily Hampshire from “Schitt’s Creek” surprised the teachers and talked about how their own teachers made a difference in their lives.

“I don’t know how you guys do it,” Banks told the teachers. “I am so happy that you guys are getting the respect that you deserve right now, because people were sleeping on y’all.”

Hampshire credited a teacher with encouraging her to get involved with school drama. “She is the reason I became an actor, 100 percent,” she said.


Finding the Humor


Alexa! Homeschool the kids! ##teachersoftiktok ##homeschooling ##covidー19 ##funny ##laugh ##homeschoolprobs ##quarantinelife ##CookieWithACause ##bookclub

♬ original sound - theog_summer_sol

Teacher Amy Gibson has built a strong following on TikTok during the quarantine period, in part from reading hilarious posts parents have written about their experiences of homeschooling. One gem: “Alexa, homeschool the children.”

Many parents felt unprepared to play a larger role in their child’s school lessons, but this mom figured out a way to feel more prepared—by holding photos of her child’s teachers in front of her face.

This parent on Instagram seems eager to give up her homeschooling role. “When do we find out our kids’ teachers for next year? I hope it’s not me again,” she posted.


Dads Giving Respect

In this dad’s YouTube rant about homeschooling “during the apocalypse,” he promised that after the crisis is over, he’ll join the school parent group and attend every school board meeting. And he offered some ideas for additional ways teachers should be compensated, saying teachers should get a butler, clothing, and cable all for free. “Teachers are amazing,” he said. “Thank you teachers for what you do. Just, freaking, thank you.”

These fathers made sure teachers at their school’s drive-by teacher appreciation event knew how they really feel, with signs reading “You’re awesome” and “You all get a gold star.”

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