Teacher Appreciation Ideas

    “The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.”Dan Rather

    "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." Henry Adams.

    Most of us can remember a specific teacher who believed in us, pushed us, or lead us. Really, where would we be without them?  Teachers help us move in the right directions, explore new worlds in a safe environment and introduce us to what our future might look like.  When we are young, they are so special to us and we often form very strong bonds with them.  When we are older we appreciate how amazing they are.  So giving of their time, attention and knowledge for not quite enough in return.  In college we hold them in such high esteem, they are the experts.  We often look back and for the first time realize how much an elementary or high school teacher taught us.  And when we have children of our own, we trust them to do the same for those we hold most dear.

    We show appreciation to our teachers in many ways.  At the elementary school that my kids attended, we had a luncheon for them every year the week before school started.  We volunteered in the classroom helping with the kids or cutting out snowmen shapes or making copies of assignments so the teachers wouldn't have to stay after school.  At holiday time, many of the kids will bring in small gifts of appreciation (including Starbucks gift cards).

    We celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week the first full week of May.  This normally includes a different activity each day of the week.  One day the kids bring flowers from their gardens or make paper flowers.  One day they write personal notes.  The next might be a breakfast or lunch.  Parents are organized to bring in the food and serve the teachers.  Lattes are brought in one morning and sometimes we even offer free chair massages.  It's all crammed in one week, but they feel pampered that week.

    We can do more though, throughout the year.  Encourage your kids to verbally thank their teachers often.  A teacher's highest reward is being appreciated by his or her students.  They, like all of us, need to know that what they are doing is meaningful to someone else.  That they make a difference.  I'm sure they know that they make a difference 'in general'.  But to be told 'Thank You' for a specific act of assistance really brightens their day.

    I asked my middle school age daughter to help me brainstorm some great gift ideas for teachers to help them feel appreciated.  I was thinking tickets to a concert or play.  She said it would be best to make something personal for them.  A card, a picture, something to put on their desk or hang on the classroom wall.  Something that shows that you spent time thinking about all they do for you and you wanted to do something for them in return.  Smart girl.

    When my daughter left elementary school, she felt nudged to do something for her principal.  (I'm pretty sure they met in his office on her first day of kindergarten, so they had quite a history.)  So she made a card, drew a lovely picture of herself for him, and from her heart wrote about how much she appreciated all he had done for her over the years.  I could tell he liked it.  Later that day when he saw me, he went to get the card out of his office and sat down with me so we could read it together.  It was obvious it touched him.

    How can you thank a teacher today?  How can you tell them you appreciate all they do?  Spend some time thinking about this with your kids, then do it.  You'll be happy you did!

    Nominate your favorite teacher!

    Here are some ways we, here at Issaquah Trophy & Awards, like to recognize our local teachers.

    Macaroni Kid Teacher of the Month.  Recognizing the dedication of teachers in the Snoqualmie Valley, Issaquah and Sammamish areas.  You can nominate your teacher here.   http://snoqualmievalley.macaronikid.com/article/366871/teacher-of-the-month-nominate-a-teacher-today

    Star 101.5 Teacher of the Week.  Honors outstanding teachers for their hard work.http://www.star1015.com/contestsevents?contest=6831

    Have fun recognizing the teachers that are so important in your family's life.

    Blessings, Anne

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