The educational publisher Twinkl has teamed up with the charity Mind and public sector buying organisation YPO to recognise the tireless work of educators and schools throughout the pandemic.
The Wave of Thanks campaign, launched this week, invites and encourages people globally to send in messages of thanks, and to share stories of educators who have supported them or their loved ones since the first lockdown in March 2020. This is all in the lead up to National Thank a Teacher day 2021, which is taking place on 23rd June.
Twinkl decided to launch the campaign after hearing first-hand from teaching staff about the incredible and creative ways they had supported their pupils and communities.
Leon Smith, Chief Customer Officer at Twinkl, said: “Millions of educators have gone above and beyond in challenging circumstances this past year. Schools worked incredibly hard to remain open for key worker and vulnerable children, as well as providing for those at home. They have faced many unexpected hurdles along the way, from socially-distanced classrooms and operating in bubbles, to changing guidelines and remote teaching. Despite this, educators and all of those working within schools, have continued to put children and young people first, going above and beyond to care for their pupils.
“As a former teacher and mother of two primary-aged daughters, I know how important it is to show them just how much of a difference they have made and how thankful people are for their support during the pandemic and beyond.”
Anyone can get involved with the Wave of Thanks to share a special message. Twinkl is encouraging people to create a video, drawing, written message, dance, poem or use any other form to say thank you.The publisher is then asking that everyone shares their message on their own social media pages using the hashtag #waveofthanks to show appreciation and create a wave of gratitude for educators across the globe.
Twinkl, YPO and Mind are also planning a number of surprises and exciting online content for educators, to make the campaign as special as possible. This includes sending 500 wellbeing bundles packed full of tea and biscuits (staples of staff rooms around the world), thank you postcards and notepads and pens to schools.
Public sector procurement organisation YPO, which supplies materials and contract support to schools across the UK, is also sending 100 surprise ‘Thank you’ gifts to teachers and school staff. Later in the month they will also be wrapping one of their delivery vans in #WaveOfThanks artwork to amplify the campaign. Alongside this, they will be running a competition to give communities a chance to name 40 new delivery fleet vehicles after inspirational teachers and tutors.
Following a report stating that more than half of teachers said their mental health had declined during the Covid-19 pandemic, Twinkl is also continually working with Mind to create content which promotes teacher wellbeing. Mind will be supporting Twinkl’s campaign with their own content aimed at boosting educator wellbeing, including sharing tips for promoting good mental health.
Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind said: “We are excited to be part of the
Wave of Thanks campaign, hoping to give a much-needed boost to the wellbeing of our
amazing educators after an extremely challenging year. Even before the pandemic, we know
that teaching professionals faced many challenges to their mental health, including a large workload and long working hours. When you add to that all of the disruptions and uncertainty associated with the pandemic, including partial school closures and teaching remotely, it's no surprise that educators might have experienced a worsening to their wellbeing.
“We want to make sure teachers – and all key workers - feel valued and appreciated for what they do. The effects of the pandemic have shown us how important it is to care for our own mental health and support others to do the same. We’d urge anyone struggling with their mental health to make use of Twinkl and Mind’s teacher wellbeing resources on the Mental Health at Work website and the support available through Our Frontline.”
Martin Armytage, Head of Education at YPO said: “The education sector has been through one of the most challenging times it's ever faced, needing to pivot between in person and virtual learning several times over the past 18 months. Across the sector they have overcome hurdle after hurdle to continue educating and supporting students, often in ways that are far beyond individual roles and responsibilities. We're proud to support Twinkl's Wave of Thanks campaign to shine a light on the teachers and all of the amazing professionals in education who have made a positive difference to the lives of their pupils throughout the pandemic. We hope that the general public will join us in acknowledging and celebrating teachers through the campaign and we look forward to reading the Wave of Thanks messages and nominations in due course.”
To find out more, please visit: https://www.twinkl.co.uk/blog/join-a-wave-of-thanks-for-educators