It is time to say “Thank You” to the special teachers in our lives. Let’s show our educators that they are appreciated for all that they do. This year, Teacher Appreciation Day falls on Tuesday, May 9th. Nationaldaycalendar.com, the site I go to for all holidays, gives the history on how Teacher Appreciation Day became a national day and eventually a national week. Appreciation pinches are thoughtful to give to the teachers anytime during the school year - but especially during this week.
It’s probably going to shock you but I haven’t given a thoughtful pinch to a teacher on Teacher Appreciation Day - ever. I don’t purposely ignore the day. I didn’t even really know about the day until a couple of years ago. But I do think since we give pinches for many holidays throughout the year, our teachers already know how much my family thinks about them and appreciates them. This “unofficial” national day is very close to to the end of the school year so I think it gets overlooked.
I admire my friend Allison who gives their teachers something for each day during Teacher Appreciation Week AND an End of the Year gift as well. She shared the following Teacher Appreciation ideas with me:
A pack of Sharpies with a note that says: “Thanks for keeping me sharp!”
Nail polish with a note that says: “Thanks for making my day bright.”
Liquid soap with a note that says: “You deserve a hand for all that you do.”
A potted plant with a Starbucks gift card with a note that says: “Thanks for helping me grow this year.”
All of those pinches are right up my alley but I just couldn’t get to them this year. As a stall tactic, I will “Red Stamp” thoughtful messages via email tomorrow because we are going to have to wait to show our appreciation, in gift form, at the end of the school year.
When my friend hosted a Stella & Dot party, I wanted to support her by getting teachers gifts because I knew that would bulk up my total pretty easily. Since we had already given the teachers bracelets for the past 2-3 years, I bought gift cards in hopes that the teachers will use them to buy Stella & Dot earrings or a ring or use it towards a pair of sunglasses or a purse. It felt great that I was able to help out two friends- the one who threw the party and the one who was new to the company - but it was after much hesitation. I had originally planned on giving our teachers my latest gift - a “money lei” - which I give to special family members and friends for their milestone birthdays. But giving cash to a teacher is just so… HARSH. And I’m pretty sure it’s against the school rules.
A couple of weeks ago, during the last parenting class of the year, we gave our educator (who is no longer affiliated with any schools) a money lei. All of the moms softened up the cash gift by writing a note complimenting our educator. Our notes were written on flower-shaped paper, read out loud to her, then added onto the lei while she was wearing it. Surrounding our teacher and listening to positive, uplifting compliments about her was so great. The notes added color while at the same time, gave the gift a lot more meaning than just cash. I really wanted to give the same gift to my kids’ teachers.
The challenge then became - how does a Stella & Dot gift card fit my lei theme? And how is this at all related to Teacher Appreciation Day/Week?
Well, my kids are writing one nice thing about each of their teachers every day of Teacher Appreciation Week. By the time we prepare our End of the Year gifts, each of the kids’ teachers will have five or more notes written about them. In order to do this, I’m taking a page out of the second grade Friendship Card lesson book. My daughter, who already wrote all of her bullet points for each of her teachers, will type her final draft notes on the computer, elaborating on each compliment. We will print the compliments, cut them out and attach the slips of paper onto the lei. One main gift card to either Stella & Dot or Amazon will be the “real” End of the Year gift surrounded by the notes written by the kids, a $5 Target gift card, a $5 Barnes & Noble gift card and a $5 Starbucks gift card. When the teachers receive a lei, I hope it conjures up the image and feeling of rest because leis usually represent a relaxing vacation in Hawaii. Wouldn't it be great if the “real” gift we give our teachers is a trip to Hawaii?
Eleanor Roosevelt wanted to proclaim a day to honor our teachers and I’m so glad she convinced congress back in 1953. The responsibility that all educators take on is immense -what would we do without them? Show your thoughtfulness by thanking a teacher this week.