Teacher Appreciation

Teacher Thank You © 2009 Cameron Blazer

Romans 12:7 “If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well.” (NLT)

Teacher Appreciation is quickly approaching. This year it is the week of May 7-11, 2012, Day: Tuesday May 7th. I was a teacher for ten years in public and private schools and while a teacher I received some amazing gifts that said Thank you. But I am only one person and as I began to look for great ideas I explored Pinterest and other sites and it was overwhelming. I love Pinterest and look all the time but I thought I would get some more personal help.
I emailed a bunch of my friends that are former teachers and just some creative moms to weigh in on either the best gift they ever received or gave a gift that was a big hit. Here are some of there responses.

·      Gift Cards: Visa so you can spend it anywhere

·      Have the teacher fill out a sheet at the beginning of the year with their interest, hobbies, favorite stores, favorite foods and favorite things. This way that can help the moms when they want to get you something you sure are to enjoy.

·      One year our PTO turned the teacher's lounge into an Italian Bistro.  They waited on us like any fancy place would. The menu was excellent!

·      Gift Cards that are useful, Kohl’s, Wal-Mart, Target, Bookstores, and for me I love Starbucks so that is a treat for me!

·      “I think one of my favorite gifts was getting one of those boards where you can slide pictures or notes between the ribbons. The parent had put little gift cards all over it. Such as $5 to Wendy's, $10 to Panera, $10 to Barnes and Noble, etc.  I thought it was an awesome idea!  I still have the board on my fridge!”

·      Basically anything you could eat, burn (as in a candle), or spend.

·      SIMPLE...just a handwritten note/card from my students telling me that they are grateful to have me for a teacher:)

·      I always enjoyed a great gift card. I have received from Macy's, Lands End, Barnes and Noble, Panera Bread, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks and more. Stores you can get "teacher clothes" from are always nice. Restaurant cards were nice too. Even if the gift card was for $5 it was wonderful!!!!!!! I think supplies are nice too. Like stickers, pens, pads of decorative paper, etc.. Teachers spend a lot of their own money to provide for their classroom.

·      A beautiful hand made nativity set made of origami (the dad that made it was actually in jail at the time, about 25 years ago!!!) it was very cool.  It was all white made of like thin tag board so it was strong.  I also got a set of needle point Christmas ornaments with Christian symbols on them.  A framed saying "teachers touch lives forever" from a student who died of leukemia 2 years later (I still have that one hanging up).  When I get ornaments from students, I always label them with their names and think of them if I use them each year. Of course food was always appreciated, especially once I had kids.

I like getting hand santizer, hand soap and candles (practical stuff). I talked to a teacher yesterday whose fav gift was a basket of books for her classroom....each handpicked by a child in the class.  Our class made a basket of school/classroom supplies for the teacher.  Starbucks gifts cards.

Skip to my Lou is a great place for creative crafts and ideas. Back in 2008 they posted a list of ideas to show appreciation to the teachers at your child’s school. The link is below and a list of ideas.

Place a large poster in the Teacher’s lounge that says, “We think you are ‘souper’!” and serve a soup lunch. We do this for our teachers on a day that there are no classes but they are required to be at school— like for parent teacher conferences or an in-service day. We place little notes in the box ahead of time inviting them to the special lunch. Parents are asked to send a crock pot of soup so the cost for this is very little.
Late fall or winter place a basket of hot cocoa mixes, instant flavored coffees and spiced cider packets in a basket with a sign that says, “You warm our hearts!”
You can ask parents to donate homemade breakfast goodies and invite the teachers to “A breakfast of champions!”
Supply the teacher’s lounge with cupcakes decorated with lots of pretty frosting and post a sign that says, “Our teachers are the icing on the cake!” or make cakes and have the sign read, “Our teachers take the cake!”
Place a pack of gum in each teacher’s mailbox and say, “You’ve chewed through 1/2 the year. Keep up the good work.”
Place a Power bar in each teacher’s mailbox and a note saying, “We hope this energizes your day.”
Place some store bought tins of flavored popcorn, homemade caramel corn, or packages of microwave popcorn in the teacher’s lounge with a note that says, “Have a popin good day!”
Have the student council or a group of parents wash the teacher’s cars or only car windows. A few days before let teachers know you are planning to do this by putting a note in their mailbox that says, “Thanks for making everything ‘clear’ We are treating you to a free car wash!
Make a sign that says, “Our teachers are the sweetest.” Have parents bring in sweet treats or provide a chocolate fountain and fresh fruit.
Hire a few massage therapists that will come to the teachers lounge and do chair massages. Usually massage students are willing to do this for a reasonable rate. Let teachers know about this special treat by sending them a note that says, “You deserve a pat on the back!”
During parent teacher conferences we put boxes of of conversation hearts in each teacher’s mailbox. We included a note that said, “Hoping your ‘heart to heart’ conversations are sweet!”
Conversation hearts or any other heart candy could be placed in the teacher’s mailboxes with notes saying, “Thanks for putting your heart into teaching.”
At Easter put candy filled plastic eggs in the teacher’s mailboxes with a note telling them they are ‘Eggstra’ special teachers.
Put a lottery ticket in each teacher’s mailbox with a note saying, “We are lucky to have such great teachers!”
Another Blog that I love to look at is:
They have amazing ideas for all kinds events. Check them out!!

I have also put the link to my Teacher Appreciation Board on Pinterest. If you are not familiar with Pinterest to keep it simple it is a virtual Pin Board. You do not need to be a member to look at my boards or any other pins. Check it out!

“What nobler employment, or more valuable to the state, than that of the man who instructs the rising generation.”

Marcus Tullius Cicero

"One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child." 
Carl Jung

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