Before my crazy roller coaster of a ride called parenting started, I was a teacher. I know. Scary, right. And, to make it even more interesting, I was a high school teacher! What the heck was I thinking? I taught science for six years. Then I had two babies and can’t remember the last five minutes…much less the last seven years.
In a lot of ways, teaching prepared me more for parenting than any book I could find in the library. Overall, I enjoyed teaching and loved most of my students. But, just like parenting, there were some pretty tough days thrown in with the good days. And, just like parenting, I had to learn how to take those days in stride. Two students with the exact same personality? No way! How about your own two kids with the same personality? Forget about it! Teaching taught me to look at each student as an individual–each with a unique personality, diverse backgrounds, and an array of learning abilities. Now, as a mom of two very different kiddos, I have to use those skills to navigate through every single minute of the day. Talk about some good parenting prep?!
I remember pouring countless hours of work and energy into my students, with very little thanks or gratitude. I was never a huge a fan of receiving “things” from students, but boy did it make my day when I would get a smile or a “Hey, thanks, Mrs. A!” How could I expect students to buy me something to say thanks when most could barely afford to eat school lunch? Lunch conversations about life, future dreams and aspirations, and everyday silly stuff are the moments I know I will never forget!
The school I taught in would ask students to write a “My favorite teacher is…” note to a teacher during Teacher Appreciation Week. Better believe I still have every single one of those notes. And, the best part of teaching? I still receive emails and messages of joys and triumphs, life events, and random hellos. I mean, how cool is that? Just like parenting, teaching leaves an impact on every single student. Those days of teaching my students the building blocks of knowledge pale in comparison to the days spent teaching my students how to be mindful, respectful, and motivated.
Teacher Appreciation Week starts Monday, May 7th this year. Are you ready? If not, here are a few ideas for each day of the week. Most of these ideas are geared more towards the elementary/middle school age, but they can be adapted for high school teachers too!
Bring or make a pretty flower to kick off the week. Crafty? Check out these tags to attach to the flower from The Crafting Chicks and Crazy Little Projects. Or does your child have a teacher that enjoys cooking in his/her spare time? Check out Such the Spot for some tags to attach to fresh garden herbs!
Donate a school supply/book for the class! Teachers often use their own money to purchase additional supplies for the classroom, so anything donated is extremely appreciated! Here’s a list of the top ten things teachers love to get.
Draw a picture of/for each teacher or fill out one of these fun printables!
Indulge the kids’ teachers with their favorite snack or beverage. Pinterest has an amazing array of labels/tags/printables to attach to treats. Here are a few that caught my eye from Salt and Pepper Moms, Tammy Mitchell Photography, and Crazy Little Projects.
Make an appreciation card or write a thoughtful note. This can be from the student, the parent or both! For younger kids, a fill-in-the-blank style letter might be a little easier. Be a Fun Mum has a free letter to use as a guide!
Remember, it doesn’t take a lot to let your kids’ teachers know how much you appreciate all that they do! A simple thank you goes a long way 🙂