May 2008
Vol 5 No 5

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Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.5 No.5 May 2008

Cover Story by Todd R. Nelson
Only a School. Only a Teacher.
School is still, at its heart, a dance of men and women of character. A school is its teachers.

Harry & Rosemary Wong
An Amazing Kindergarten Teacher
I use modified modeling to teach my students the correct procedures. Instead of just telling, I act out the wrong way first....

Promoting Responsibility - Or How Not ToMarvin Marshall
Differentiated Instruction & Ability GroupingCheryl Sigmon
The Busy Educator's Monthly FiveMarjan Glavac
Counting the days yet?Barbara & Sue Gruber
Problem-Based Learning, Part 3Hal Portner
Successful TeachersLeah Davies

'Subprime' Is Voted "Word Of The Year" For 2007
May 2008 Writing Prompts
Use Math's Magic to Intrigue Students Solving Linear Equations
I Choose Teaching - A Meaningful Career
Teacher Appreciation Day: Not Nearly Enough
Treating All Students With Dignity
Two Teachers, Two Philosophies, One Result
Favorite Teacher Appreciation Activities
Academic Writing Guidelines
What is an Effective Teacher?
Drexel Online Education Program

Candles of Inspiration: May 2008
Featured Lessons: May 2008
Video Bytes: A Hidden Lesson, Baptism By Fire, Mom and more...
Today Is... Daily Commemoration for May 2008
Live on Teachers.Net: May 2008
The Lighter Side of Teaching
Apple Seeds: Inspiring Quotes for Teachers
Is a school only as good as the teachers in it?
Teachers' Best Teachers
What Is It About Teaching That Keeps You Going?
Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers


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Editor in Chief: Kathleen Alape Carpenter
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Cover Story by Todd R. Nelson

Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong

Contributors this month: Marvin Marshall,Cheryl Sigmon, Marjan Glavac, , Barbara & Sue Gruber, Hal Portner, Leah Davies, Tim Newlin, James Wayne, P.R. Guruprasad, Donna Streetenberger, Alan Haskvitz, Laura Dombrosky Miller, Bill Page, and YENDOR.

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An impressive collection of teachers' favorite Teacher Appreciation Day gifts and activities and some timeless articles we're calling "The Miracle of Teachers."

Teachers Share:
Favorite Teacher Appreciation Activities

Collected from Teachers.Net Chatboards
May 1, 2008

Posted by Chrissy
In my children's elementary school, there is a Teacher's Appreciation Luncheon EVERY month of the school year (I'm not kidding). Each month a different grade (K-8) parents take turns hosting (and paying for) the luncheons. There is also a recently instituted "Bus Driver" Appreciation lunch to be held at the end of the year. It's getting a little ridiculous on the parents end, but the teachers (and now, Bus Drivers) love it.

Posted by Grateful
I worked in an independent elementary school and we were provided with two luncheons per year. We were usually given a $10 gift card at the December luncheon and nothing extra at the May luncheon. Parents prepared all the food. Parents also supervised students during the luncheons. It was very nice. The school, though, discouraged Christmas or end-of-year gifts by individual families (other than homemade items or very simple tokens of appreciation).

Teachers prepared an annual luncheon for the maintenance staff -- a small gesture for all the glitter and paint they contend with throughout the year! In my child's school (a public school), there are two luncheons per year, too. Parents also prepare these, but I don't think the teachers all get to attend at the same time because parents do not provide lunchtime coverage. I think most homeroom moms try to organize a group gift, such as a gift card.

As a parent, I was pleasantly surprised when my child's teacher gave me a gift at Christmas time. It was a thank you gift for volunteering in the classroom (a frame with my child's photo). I was so touched, particularly since I had only volunteered for a couple of hours. It's nice to be shown appreciation as a teacher, but it's also great when teachers show their appreciation for those that help them!

Posted by WEK
The Home and School (PTO) arranges a lunch for the teachers. You go when its your normal lunch time. The food is prepared and provided by the parents, and they also provide the plates, cups, beverages, etc. This happens at most, if not all, of the schools in my large district.

Posted by Erin H
Our principal grills us brats and burgers for lunch (small school, so he's able to do this); the student council helps out by serving and bringing in desserts. Usually, our support staff puts a veggie/cheese tray or donuts in the lounge.

Posted by Andi
My current school does nothing. At other places, this is taken care of by the PTA (which my current school does not have). They give the teachers little treats every day either at breakfast or lunch. It can be as simple as a computer-made card with a piece of candy on it. You can also buy doughnuts, coffee, and juice and set it out one morning where everyone can come and enjoy it. Additionally, see if any area businesses would be willing to donate items. You can also have a drawing each day or at the end of the week for various items (coffee mugs, lunch bags, etc.) See if other teachers would be willing to new items such as candles, picture frames, potted plants.

Posted by wig
I am blessed to be at a school where it happens all year. Teacher Appreciation WEEK, however, does not happen.

The classes take turns serving us a big lunch once a month with parents taking over our lunch and recess duties. (Our favorite gift of all.)

We get at least one, usually two, gift certificates a year from the PTL.

Students are generous at Christmas and on our birthdays (or half birthday).

When there is a book fair we get to choose five to ten books and if parents would like to purchase them for us, they can. I usually choose five and they are always purchased.

Posted by Sarah
One of my past principals used to approach all area businesses asking for gifts or gift certificates to be given away to all of his teachers on Teacher Appreciation Day. He would put the items out on a table, draw a name, then we would go to the table and select the gift we wanted. He made sure there was enough so everyone received something. He also coordinated with the PTO and they purchased a carnation corsage or boutonnière for each teacher, and the PTO put on a buffet luncheon that spanned all of the lunch periods. The principal made sure there were enough parents (and himself) to cover for anyone who didn't have a free period and so we didn't have to rush back from the luncheon.

Another building's PTO made sure the faculty lounge had a good supply of home baked treats all week long.

Posted by Disney Cathy
One year our principal made the faculty breakfast and served us dressed in a tux!

Our PTO always has a lunch for us and they watch the kids in the cafeteria so we can enjoy a duty free lunch.

Posted by anon
I read about a school where the principal brought in a massage therapist who was stationed in the faculty lounge all day and after school to provide neck, shoulder and hand massages for the teachers!

Posted by Jerry
One idea is to have the PTO sponsor a free car wash for teachers.

Posted by Kat
One year PTO members painted small clay flower pots with lovely colors and simple flowers and inscribed the bottom of each pot with the date, "Teacher Appreciation Day - Thank you! PTO." They included a package of flower seeds and it made a lovely gift.

Posted by Laura
At our school we have a certificated and classified employee recognition luncheon. One teacher is chosen and the committee writes a poem or a passage for the teacher and their friends and family are invited to celebrate. We also have teacher luncheons monthly so everyone can get together and share ideas or just catch up on things at school.

Posted by Magoo
In 1996, I'd been subbing for a 3rd grade teacher the entire last quarter. When Teacher Appreciation Week came up, those kids moved Heaven and Earth to give me a good week! I got a 'little something' every single day, plus their behavior was just great. At the end of the week they gave me a teddy bear wearing a dress with daisies (my favorite flower) on it! I still have the bear and the good memories. Some of those kids are now juniors in college, some are working good jobs, some are married, a couple are in prison (I could tell they would be), a couple have just disappeared.

Posted by JPM on 4/23/08
We each had our picture taken then put on a poster board outside our classroom door. The staff, parents and children are encouraged to write notes of thanks to us. It's nice to see all these great things written. The parents put on a pot luck lunch for us. Each "room mother" is putting together something for us for Friday. (My poor room mother) Also there is an employee appreciation website for parents who want to sign it. Sometimes this is a good and bad. Some parents appreciate you but just don't take the time to tell you, which kind of leaves you feeling "unloved" when you see other teachers getting recognized.

Our director has "something up her sleeve" for Friday. Today during the potluck lunch we watched T.V. The director brought in old Friends episodes and had them playing all day in the lunch/planning room. Each day this week is a different theme day, so we don't have to wear our uniform to work. Today was twin day; it was fun to pair up with someone to look like them. Yesterday was glamour day and one teacher dressed like Hannah Montana… it was cute. Each of us was given a t-shirt to decorate for our co teacher that we will wear on Friday. We have had breakfast provided for us each day, We had supplies for manicures on Tuesday, Friday night some of us will go bowling.

Posted by Kathy
The PTO feeds us a wonderful lunch and gives small gifts. This year, we as teachers voted to have the PTO give the money they would have spent on the luncheon, decorations, and gifts to buy Thanksgiving meals for needy families in our school. I believe 27 families got meals plus extra food.

Posted by not much
Not much of anything. The office does nothing, the kids do nothing, the union gives us a pen I think, and the PTO some years brings us granola bars for breakfast.

Posted by Addie/mo
Our PTO is really into Teacher Appreciation Week. They bring in breakfast one morning, provide an hour long luncheon on another day (I will explain supervision in a minute) and send home notes with all the kids about doing something special each day for the teacher(s) of their choice: wear favorite color, make a homemade card, bring a flower, bring teacher's favorite candy, bring teacher's favorite drink.

The notes contain all the "favorite" information for each person. They line up parent volunteers each day for various tasks. New this year, we are sending home forms for the kids to write a special note to a favorite teacher. One note per grade level will be drawn at random at morning assembly and the winning students will get to read their essays to the school.

On supervision for the luncheon, we have a parent volunteer to supervise each class. All classes go out to the

playground for a picnic lunch and then the volunteer can read two books aloud and play a group game. The counselor and I will supervise the whole school.

The Miracle of Teachers

We've rounded up links to some notable teacher-related articles from past issues of the Teachers.Net Gazette. Enjoy!

The Miracle of Teachers - A Tribute by Harry & Rosemary Wong
What teachers do is nothing short of a miracle that humbles and inspires us all.

The Teacher Is the Difference - A Tribute by Bill Page
There are many factors that can make a difference in student achievement, but the teacher is the difference.

Overworked and Under Appreciated - by Don Quimby
Today, the hurdles teachers face in their effort to encourage young learners to become all that they are capable of becoming are far more stress producing than ever before.

Teachers Remember Their Favorite Teachers

Lemons to Lemonade - Teachers' Least Effective Teachers

More Gazette articles...