It’s Teacher Appreciation Week!
My school has been showing its appreciation for our hard work in a variety of ways. They’ve given us little snack treats in the morning. The PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association) bought us lunch a couple of times this week, and ice cream once.
My students have been offering their appreciation as well. A couple of students have offered their thanks to me as their biology teacher. One of my classes expressed their thanks in chorus at one point…
But today was the high of teacher appreciation week.
I was called to help proctor the AP United States History test for the first portion of the day. As I was walking there, one of my students stopped me and gave me a Starbucks gift card. I greatly appreciated my other students’ verbal thanks throughout the week, but the physical gift really struck me. (My first gift as a teacher!) I thanked him heartily, put the card with my phone and put them both in my back pocket, and then proceeded to help with testing.
At some point, I took my phone out of my back pocket and unwittingly dropped the gift card. I didn’t realize this until much later. I felt guilty for losing this gift card so quickly after receiving it.
I was sure it was gone for good.
Later I was in the office, and one of my other students said that someone found my gift card! I then ran into the student that found the gift card, and she handed it over. I expressed my extreme gratitude that she was so honest and turned it in. She looked very pleased with the recognition. I later wrote up a Tiger Ticket recognizing her for her honesty, which gets her a small prize and enters her into a raffle.
I hope she enjoyed receiving that, and I hope she wins!
I haven’t been a high school teacher long, though I’ve been an educator for about 6 years now. It’s these sorts of things that help me to realize the important things about this vocation: thank you notes from students or students just saying “thank you,” small gifts, students doing the right thing… They are all reminders of the good in the world.
At the end of the week, I feel very appreciated.