Teacher Appreciation Week 2020 starts today, and this year you have to get a little creative about how to celebrate our educators virtually at a safe distance.

With all of us at home, teachers won't receive the usual gifts and festivities. But even if the children aren't physically in school, there are lots of ways to jubilate and show how much you love and appreciate them.

As you know, restaurants are one of the hardest-hit industries due to COVID-19, so give teachers a break from cooking and give them a gift card or a Seize the Deal certificate for half price. The teachers want you to be smart, and this is a win-win idea because it allows you to support and appreciate the educators in your school and the hardworking food industry professionals who feed them in our area. Check around, because I noticed some of the big-name stores are also getting in on the fun, like Target's teacher discount.

I saw a "yard card" last week that was just terrific. Although it was for a birthday, how about making a giant card with a message on it like, "An Awesome Teacher Lives Here!" on your favorite teacher's front yard?

Of course, a simple but heartfelt thank you goes a long way, whether it's from the student who is thanking the teacher for staying after school for extra help, or a note from you thanking the teacher for showing your child how to explore new ways of doing things.

And to all the graduating seniors, this commentary is especially for you. Many of you won't see your teachers to say goodbye. Probably one the hardest assignments will be choosing the words to express that though you're parting from someone you admire, who was a mentor, a friend, an inspiration and guide, that you'll never separate from the knowledge you were taught.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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