Are you aware that Paraprofessional Appreciation Day is just around the corner and searching for gift ideas? If so, thank you. It just so happens, that many times people miss it or it happens to fall during Spring Break.
But that’s ok, individuals who value paraeducators such as yourself will find a way to show appreciation to the paraeducators in their life and this guide will help you do just that. Now, let’s dive in.
What is Paraprofessional Appreciation Day?
If you conclude that Paraprofessional Appreciation Day is the day to shower paraprofessionals with appreciation, well my friend, you are correct. However, what exactly are paraprofessionals? Paraprofessionals are individuals that work under the supervision of a licensed professional. For example paralegal and paramedic. Nevertheless, the paraprofessional title is mostly associated with paraeducators, teaching assistants, or instructional aides.
Therefore Paraprofessional Appreciation Day is a day for the support staff to get recognition and appreciation for their integral roles in education, which vary daily.
For instance, working with students or supplementing enriching activities either in small groups or 1:1. Most schools usually hire paraeducators for special education settings with a variety of disabilities. Even so, there are other types of paraeducators like bilingual, media, and health.
When is Paraprofessional Appreciation Day?
As I mentioned earlier, there is a little discrepancy on the exact day Paraprofessional Appreciation Day falls. In my research, you observe the first Wednesday of April but according to National Day, it is on April 3rd each year which for 2023 is today Monday.
Why do people celebrate Paraprofessional Appreciation Day?
People celebrate the important work paraprofessionals do in our schools by thanking these educators for their hard work and dedication to their students on Paraprofessional Appreciation Day. Paraeducators do amazing hard work for the love of their students and help to run the classroom as smoothly as a special education classroom can run. They are overworked and underappreciated (aka underpaid). In addition, please do me a favor and take the time to give recognition to their valuable work and contribution in the classroom.
How do people celebrate Paraprofessional Appreciation Day?
Today is an excellent day to show paras appreciation, whether it be with a:
- Verbal thank you
- Handwritten note
- Email or ecard
- Simple high five
Additionally, if you enjoy working with children and making a difference in someone's life this day may be a good day to consider being a paraeducator.
How much should you spend on a paraeducator appreciation gift?
That is the dreaded question. You don’t want to seem cheap but you also don’t want to both break the bank and seem too excessive. Putting you in analysis paralysis, pondering if $50 is too much for a paraeducator gift. Or is a $10 gift card too cheap? 🤔
According to the Washington Post, the average teacher gift is $10-$25 and according to Quartz, you should spend less on paraeducator gifts. Making it safe to say that the average paraeducator gift is around $5-$20. Coincidentally it also happens to be what you should spend for coworker gifts. Yes, paras can appreciate other paras, too. Show the love!
Stating that my best answer to you is to give from the heart. It will never fail and sometimes you don’t even have to spend a dime. Win-win! YAY!!
10 Gifts ideas for paraprofessionals
The following gift ideas make great Paraprofessional Appreciation Day gifts from teachers, students, or anyone who wants to thank a paraeducator and show them, love.
- A handwritten note saying thank you. I appreciate you.
- As a thank you email or e-card (yup they still make those) lol
- Surprise them with treats.
- Pay for their lunch.
- Flowers or a small house plant
- Gift cards (I use Swagbucks)
- School Apparel
- personalized gifts like a travel mug or keychain
- Mani/Pedi or nail polish
- Homemade gifts include a self-care gift basket with a spa mask, lip balm, slippers, or gift mug kits filled with hot chocolate, coffee, or tea packets.
BONUS: The best way to truly show paraeducators appreciation is to get to know them, include them, and value their input.
Additional Gift Ideas to Celebrate Paraprofessional Appreciation Day
You can find more gift ideas from my fellow special education teacher bloggers.
Other days to remember paraeducators:
- Back to School
- Paraprofessional Day in some areas they have Paraprofessional Week
- Teacher Appreciation Day May 2, 2023
- Teacher Appreciation Week May 8-12. 2023
- End of the Year
I hope this guide helps you understand Paraprofessional Appreciation Day, stops your analysis paralysis, and clarifies how to appreciate the paraeducators in your life. Bring awareness to paraeducators this Paraprofessional Appreciation Day by sharing this post. Doing so will help all paraeducators get recognition and not be forgotten on their special day! As thanks, enjoy these gift tags to help your gift-giving endeavor.