Teacher Appreciation & TpT Gift Card Giveaway

Teacher apprecitation giveaway blog post

My first memory of having a distinctly attentive teacher goes back to when I was in fourth grade. Our class was learning about fractions and for whatever reason (let’s be honest, it’s probably because I am terrible at math), I just couldn’t get it. My teacher spent several lessons working with me while everyone was moving forward with their homework and I got more frustrated and embarrassed as the week moved on. One day, she asked me to arrange to stay late so she could see me after school. I thought for sure that I was in trouble, or at worst I would be “demoted” to third grade because I couldn’t understand fractions.

But instead, my teacher spent an extra hour after school with me and we played with beans.

My breakthrough happened when she explained how fractions worked using dried beans and we arranged them into full figures. I still vividly remember that “aha” moment as my 4th-grade brain finally understood fractions. And good news: I still understand them!

These are the stories that teachers live for. However, in the nature of our profession, my fourth-grade teacher probably has no idea that she made that impression on me.

I have been blessed with many amazing teachers over the years:

  • My fifth-grade teacher, who used three distinctively creative and motivating rewards systems, including “lunch bunch,” choosing prizes from buckets (which I’m sure he paid for out of pocket), and the privilege of choosing the next month’s seating chart. His civil competition strategies no doubt fed into my love for competing for tiny tin-foil stars in my own classroom. 
  • My eighth-grade teacher, who held up my short story about a mouse in front of the whole class. Rather than ridiculing it, as I was expecting, he read it aloud and praised my brilliant narrative choices (which I still maintain were purely done out of luck). That was the first time I realized I was a gifted writer, and that I enjoyed using my writing to explain things to others.
  • My freshman Spanish teacher, who let me hang out in her classroom long after everyone had gone home because I was often waiting for a ride home into the evening hours. Even though I pestered her about stories about college, drew all over her whiteboard, and almost never did anything to actually assist her in grading or prep work, she still happily tolerated my presence. This taught me to be intentionally relational with my students, and that sometimes just an open classroom door is an important invitation to a lonely student. 
  • My art teacher, who fed into my creativity, even when I had absolutely no idea how to apply it. She let me dabble in everything–with very mixed results. I never excelled in art, but I learned that my imagination can apply to many parts of life, and that you don’t need to be an artist to be creative. 
  • My sophomore English teacher who ultimately inspired me to follow my subject matter, instilling a love of Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, William Shakespeare, and a hatred for The Old Man and the Sea, which we still argue about over Facebook. His attitude and antics taught me that students learn more when they stay engaged, and you don’t have to like it, but you do have to read it. 

My list could go on and on, including some wonderful college professors, my mentors and colleagues at my first high school placement, and the professional “family” that I’ve found at my current school. I truly have been blessed to be surrounded by teachers.

As a gift to any educator who reads this, I’m offering a giveaway for a $10 Teachers Pay Teachers gift card. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post, or e-mail me at aplitandmore@gmail.com if you’d prefer, by 11:59 pm CST on Friday, May 11. 

Thank you to all educators out there, both in the classroom and beyond, including office staff, cafeteria workers, custodians, homeschool teachers, stay-at-home mamas, daycare employees, Sunday School teachers, administrators, professors, and anyone else who helps shape the minds and hearts of young people. I hope someone gives you an idea of how much your actions can touch a life.

And to Mrs. Dykes, Mr. Block, Mr. Timm, Seรฑora Hutchins, Miss Sohn, and Mr. Chilman, thank you for shaping my life and inspiring me to teach. This one is dedicated to you.

In case you haven’t heard, the Teachers Appreciation Sale is going on at Teachers Pay Teachers from now until Wednesday, May 9. All items in my store are 25% with the code THANKYOU18.

3 thoughts on “Teacher Appreciation & TpT Gift Card Giveaway”

  1. What great memories of all your teachers and the lessons they taught you! It’s so nice to be reminded that teachers do make a difference, long after kids are gone. Thank you too for the gift card giveaway!

  2. I’ve had some wonderful teachers – some who I appreciated at the time and some who I only realised their value years later. I would love to think that I might have an impact on some of my students like my teachers have had on me.

  3. Such a great post! I love hearing stories about teachers who have made an impact on the lives of their students. ๐Ÿ™‚ It so great to hear you have had so many amazing teachers throughout your life!

    This is my 19th year teaching HS Spanish and English, and although I, too, have many fond memories of teachers who have made a difference in my life at one point or another, my most memorable and life-changing moments have been those in which the roles have been reversed. Our students are the reason we say yes to way too many things, the reason we make up raps about The Odyssey, and the reason we wear orange polka-dots and side pony-tails during spirit week. They have us doing things we would never do if our lives didn’t include them. Our days are crazy and challenging, but without them, I wouldn’t be me. My students have played a huge role in helping me become the person I am today. Each day they inspire me to be better than I was the day before, and I’ve learned over the years that I need them probably as much as they need me. So, students of past, present, and future, thank you for challenging and inspiring me every single day. You all are appreciated! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Happy Teacher Appreciation Week, everyone! I hope it’s a good one…you deserve it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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