By: Paige W
Where has the time gone?! I can’t believe we’ve reached the last blog of the school year! As with every other teacher in the world, I keep truckin’ through the year, and the reality of summer doesn’t kick in for a good week or two following the year’s end! Fortunately, there are amazing parent organizations that help us stop and smell the roses. Every May, Teacher Appreciation Week takes place. While I’ve been fortunate to work with students and families that make me feel appreciated always, I’m never going to turn down some bagels of appreciation! Here are some gestures that are sure to make the teachers in your life feel special:
Flowers: I once taught at a school in which every student brought each of his/her teachers a single flower on a predetermined day of Teacher Appreciation Week. (The day was arranged through the PTO.) Teachers then gathered each flower and compiled them into a beautiful bouquet as unique and colorful as their students. I loved both the sentiment and the symbolism!
Baked Goods: Through the years, students have brought me all kinds of homemade baked goods. Beyond the fact that they’re absolutely scrumptious, the labor of love speaks volumes; I so appreciate that families take time out of their busy schedules to make something for me. The bonus factor is a recipe near and dear to your heart; I once received a Filipino cake made of dates, which was extra special because of the cultural significance. Another great idea, on a similar note, is getting several families together to host a buffet-style breakfast or lunch in the break room.
Student Art: Yes, I do still have cards from my first class of students. Yes, I did save the cookie ornament that broke in half somewhere between your house and my classroom. If your kid made it for me, I treasured it. One of my favorite pieces is a drawing of a tree trunk and branches with student fingerprints as the leaves; I have it hanging in my house! I’ve seen similar artwork on ceramic plates. If you can get the class to go in on a group gift like that, it will undoubtedly be cherished.
Classroom Décor: Personalized decorative items are always a hit with me! Door sign, mug, you name it! Etsy.com is a great source for this kind of stuff!
Target Gift Card: If you’re in a pinch for time or not sure about food/stylistic preferences, a safe bet is a gift card to Target. I can’t tell you how many Starbucks gift cards I’ve received as a teacher. If only I were a coffee drinker! Target has something for everybody—even Starbucks coffee!
As the school year and this article come to an end, I’m going to wrap up with a short PSA: Kids who keep up on their literacy skills over the summer are set up for success in August. Remember that our local public libraries have fantastic (and incentivizing) summer reading programs, so take advantage of them! Other than that, have a restorative and fun-filled summer!