Paraprofessional Appreciation Day 2024: Celebrating All the Support They Give


Paraprofessional Appreciation Day 2024 takes place in the first week of April, and it’s the perfect time to recognize the amazing work that paraprofessionals do each day. Check out why we set a day aside for paraprofessionals and ways to recognize the occasion in your classroom or school.

What is Paraprofessional Appreciation Day?

Paraprofessionals, or paras, teaching assistants, or instructional assistants, do a little of everything in schools. They support classes, are assigned to specific students in special education, help with substituting and supporting the general running of the school, and help supervise students.

Parapros are—we’ll say it—not paid enough for the work they do each day. Paraprofessional Appreciation Day is a chance to put them in the spotlight and recognize the dedication they bring to students each day.

When is Paraprofessional Appreciation Day?

Paraprofessional Appreciation Day takes place the first Wednesday in April each year. In 2024, it’s celebrated on April 3.

10 Ways To Celebrate Paraprofessionals

1. Bring breakfast

Amazon

Start the day off right with coffee, doughnuts, bagels, and more in the staff lounge or delivered individually to your paraprofessionals.

Buy it: Paraprofessional mug at Amazon

2. Celebrate them on social media

Use the hashtag #ParaprofessionalAppreciationDay and post images of your school’s paraprofessionals, their contributions to the school, and how much you love them. Paras are often unsung heroes, working behind the scenes and not as visible to parents as teachers and administrators. Use April 3 (and all of April) to sing their praises!

3. Write thank-you cards

example thank you cards for school support staff
We Are Teachers

Just like teachers, paraprofessionals appreciate a note of appreciation and thanks for all they do. Customize thank-you notes with signatures from students and staff.

Get it: Free Printable School Support Staff Thank-You Cards at We Are Teachers

4. Host a celebration lunch

Host a lunch for all the paraprofessionals in your school. Give them time in the day to meet together, socialize, and enjoy pizza, fried chicken, or another local favorite.  

5. Find the perfect gift

tumbler for paraprofessional day gift
Amazon

A new tumbler that holds hot coffee or cold soda is a welcome treat.

Buy it: Paraprofessional Tumbler at Amazon

sticker that says paraprofessional crazy enough to be a paraprofessional tough enough to love it
Amazon

Computer stickers declare how much they love their job and how tough they are.

Buy it: Stickers at Amazon

keychain that says thank you we wouldn't be the team that we are without you
Amazon

For the paraprofessional who wants a small token of appreciation, or for a small gift that can be given to a team of paras, a key chain is a versatile option.

Buy it: Paraprofessional Key Chain at Amazon

Plus here are even more gift ideas for every paraprofessional in your building.

6. Paraprofessional survival kit

paraprofesional day gift survival kit bag
Amazon

Depending on the paraprofessional, they’ll need different materials to do their job. A special education paraprofessional may need a supply of fidgets or reward tokens, while a first grade teaching assistant may need PBIS tickets and extra pencils. Stock your favorite paraprofessional’s survival kit with just what they need.

Buy it: Paraprofessional survival kit bag at Amazon

7. Create a wooden desk sign

paraprofessional desk sign
Amazon

Let everyone know what your awesome paraprofessional does all day with a desk sign that sends a clear message. Order this sign, or get a wooden sign, paint it, and have students contribute their thoughts, words, and images to create a custom desk decoration.

Buy it: Desk Sign at Amazon

Buy it: Unfinished Wood Sheets at Amazon

8. Invest in paraprofessionals

Find professional development opportunities for paraprofessionals to advance their skills and provide those, not just on Paraprofessional Appreciation Day but all year long. Some paraprofessionals may want to gain the credentials to be teachers, but others may have different goals, so find out what each paraprofessional’s goals are and provide PD that fits their needs. The benefit: They’ll have even more skills and knowledge to contribute.

9. Recognize their contributions

woman standing with a sign of recognition in a classroom
Stewart Elementary/Paraprofessional Day via X/Twitter

Take time during a staff meeting or special event to recognize the paraprofessionals in your building. Pass out plaques or certificates or create a presentation with information about how each contributes, and include student quotes and observations to make it extra personalized.

10. Decorate the halls

bulletin board that reads thank you for lending us a hand
School bulletin boards/Thank-you bulletin board via schoolbulletinboards.net

Turn the hallways into a celebration of your paraprofessionals. Have each classroom decorate their bulletin board with thank-yous, take time to say thank you, and give students time to thank your paraprofessionals.

How are you celebrating Paraprofessional Appreciation Day 2024? Share in the We Are Teachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, check out A Teacher’s Guide to Working With Paraprofessionals. 

Paraprofessional Appreciation Day is the day to celebrate the amazing assistants who support teachers and students. Make the day special!





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