Saturday, May 14, 2016

Teacher Appreciation: What Teachers Really Want & Free Printable!

It's that time of year when students and teachers rejoice! The school year is coming to a close and while teachers may seem like the pillars of responsibility, trust me, they are just as excited for the year to be over as the kids. And it's not because they had a horrible year or hated their job. Teaching is exhausting! Teacher is hard work--physically and mentally. In my eight years of teaching experience, I put so much time, energy, and creativity into preparing lessons, teaching them, and grading papers that  by the time May rolled around, I was ready for a break!

Teachers teach because they love kids. Even if you were a parent who struggled to get along with your child's teacher this year, I still believe they should be thanked. Don't end the year on bad terms and use your experience as a learning one. (Side note: I would LOVE to talk to parents of my old students who argued with me about how perfect their student was and it was my fault their homework "got lost". I honestly believe that most of them would apologize and probably realized that it wasn't my fault after-all).

I'm sure we've all seen those cute crayon wreaths or pencil bouquets floating around as ideas for teacher gifts. Here's a tip: Teachers don't want those! Sorry, but it's the truth. We also don't want any school supplies at the end of the year. Save those for the beginning or maybe Christmastime when our supplies are running low. Instead, try some of these teacher appreciation ideas:

The number one thing I wanted from my students was this: A heartfelt note or fun questionnaire filled out by them (for my favorite questionnaire for younger students, click HERE). If your student can't write independently, help them, but otherwise the student should write it. Have them talk about their favorite activity, what they learned, and anything else that stuck out in their mind. I have kept all of my notes from students like this and they mean so much to me and are a fun reminder of past students over the last 8 years.

Other fun ideas that teachers really want: a gift card to somewhere to buy a treat. It doesn't have to be expensive. I once got a $5 gift card to Wendy's and it made my day! Gift cards to places like Sonic to buy a fun soda is also appreciated. Once a student asked me what my favorite treat was and on the last day of school she brought me a Dr. Pepper and a candy bar. I loved that she remembered!

Don't get caught up in the idea that your gift has to be crafty, grand, or expensive. When all else fails, a simple THANK YOU from your student to your teacher is greatly appreciated. The last few weeks of school are full of craziness, it's always nice when a student stops and remembers to say a verbal thank you.

I went to an education conference in April and one of the speakers shared this quote. I loved it! Teaching is such a selfless profession and I thought any teacher would love this reminder. Of course, the quote goes perfectly with a candle. This print is sized as a 4x6 and prints 2 on a page--so it's small enough to easily tape or glue onto the jar of a candle.
To download the quote, CLICK HERE

Teacher's will love being reminded of this beautiful saying on hard teaching days. A candle makes a great gift because the teacher can take it home or leave it in the classroom (although teachers shouldn't light candles at school, someone having an open candle near my desks helps relieve me of that stinky smell my room gets).

Don't forget to check out my shop to see if there's anything else that teachers in your life might enjoy! And as always, if you liked this post please LIKE, SHARE, and PIN. Thanks for stopping by!