As an educator, I can tell you that Teacher Appreciation Week begins very similar to every other school week. Students come in, organize for the day, and prepare to listen (as enthusiastically as a middle school student can) to the morning announcements. It is a normal week UNTIL the kids hear something about it being TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK over the PA. That’s when the fun rolls in!
Soon our teacher desks are filled with drawings, notes, origami figures, and sticks of gum! While these tokens of appreciation tend to take over like weeds on our already-cluttered desks, every item reminds us of how genuine and grateful our students can be. These sweet desk-dropped goodies are treasures, to say the least. I am terrible about saving every gem that comes across my desk because 20 years is a boat load of festive cards, notes, and crafts, but here is one that always makes me smile…
I have had a ton of “gifts” given to me by my students, but the biggest are the thoughtful words, unassuming moments, and AMAZING memories.
My very first year of teaching, I ran the very first Flying Pig Marathon. My students may have been more excited than I was about running it. One of my incredible students, Alex, asked his mom to drive him to the race. They miraculously found me on Eastern Avenue at mile 24, thankfully, not dead.
A memory I will never forget is this sweet boy holding a handmade poster board sign and running that last 2.2 miles with me! Now that is a GIFT! My mom has the finish line photo framed at her house, and I think I cry a little each time I see it. What an unforgettable memory to share with my students.
Another moment that didn’t come wrapped in a sweet little gift bag with matching tissue paper was when I was sitting at a PTO meeting. A mom looked at me and said, “I don’t know what you have done to my son, but that boy is R.E.A.D.I.N.G!”
This was six years ago before the first Hunger Games movie came out. I read the trilogy that summer before, and I knew that my 6th graders would be hooked when we tackled Hunger Games and Catching Fire together. Those kiddos could not read the books fast enough and students that never liked reading before were now reading novels! IT.WAS.AWESOME! I take great pride in the fact that my students love the learning we do, so this authentic comment from this mom was a true gift!
As teacher appreciation week comes upon us, don’t underestimate the power of your words to a teacher. They may seem like a small gesture, but they mean more than you could ever know. Kind thoughts and thank yous are POWERFUL!
If you are looking to do more than that, here is FREEBIE printable for a Chipotle, Qdoba, or Moe’s gift card…While I know that Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and other quick stop morning coffee spots are on the top of the gift card list for most teachers, some eat lunch and dinner, as well! Here is a fun printable that is inspired by one of my favorite Saturday Night Live skits when Will Farrell was a cheerleader for the swim team. If you have a moment, YouTube it! Otherwise, just click on the link below, print the PDF, grab a gift card, and you will make a teacher’s week!
To all of my teacher friends, Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! I HEART YOU!