Showing Teacher Appreciation
Robbie Tweito, a member First Baptist Pickens and a volunteer for Heart4Schools, has been serving teachers and staff members in her local school district through various initiatives. Heart4Schools is a network of churches serving students and teachers in South Carolina.
At a recent Heart4Schools gathering, Robbie explained how they started their mission. “We decided we would try to do one little tiny something for each of the teachers and the staff members,” she said. Their first step was to put a letter in every teacher’s box, introducing their ministry and expressing their desire to support and pray for them throughout the school year.
In the letter, they also included a questionnaire, which included questions such as their favorite candy, their favorite drink, their classroom needs, and ways they wanted the ministry to pray for them. Although they only received responses from 30 teachers out of the total 80, they felt it was a good start for them.
Robbie and her team then presented their adopted teacher program to their church congregation. This program involved assigning a specific teacher to each member of the church, who would then be responsible for providing them with small tokens of appreciation throughout the year. They started by sending handwritten thank you notes and bags of candy to their adopted teachers in October, November, and December.
They also provided boxed lunches from Chick-fil-A and homemade desserts to all the teachers in February, and this was made possible through a grant fund from the South Carolina Baptist Convention and the missions budget at their church. Looking ahead, they plan to partner with the PTO at the middle school to celebrate teacher appreciation week with a superhero theme and fun activities for teachers.
Robbie’s experience with Heart4Schools has taught her that even the smallest gestures of kindness can make a big impact. “The teachers appreciated any little thing we did. Anytime we were at the school, quick things in boxes, people would stop us and say how much it means to us for y’all to do this with us and to be praying for us. And, you know, that’s all it took. It made everything worthwhile for some, just somebody to stop and say, thank you for doing this for us.”
For anyone looking to start a similar initiative, Robbie recommends making relationships with the receptionist at the school’s front desk as they can be instrumental in opening doors and facilitating communication. Additionally, she advises partnering with the PTO and other community organizations to maximize their impact and reach more teachers.
Our desire is to connect every school in South Carolina with a church that loves and serves them well. To learn more, visit www.scbaptist.org/heart4schools.