Teacher Appreciation Week is May 7-11, 2018
The school year may be winding down, but spring is definitely one of the most stressful times of the year for teachers. So what better time to show our love and admiration for the special and amazing teachers in our lives? It’s also the perfect time to slow down and take care of ourselves as educators. This Teacher Appreciation Week, we’ve got you covered with gift ideas and self-care advice for educators like you.
Eat Lunch, For Real
Forget that soggy sandwich, or hurriedly eating a granola bar over the copy machine. This week, take a real break. You’ve earned it. Order out, go out, get delivery, or pack something special for lunch. The point is to eat a real meal, to sit down and talk with your friends, and to enjoy even just a half hour of calm in your busy day. Feel like being extra good to yourself? Plan for yummy and relaxing lunch breaks all week.
Organize a Teacher’s Night Out
Teacher fatigue is real and Netflix nights are so easy, but this week treat yourself to a proper night out. Gather your teacher friends, or your non-teacher friends, and do something fun together. Have dinner, take a walk through town, catch a movie, or just catch up and laugh. It doesn’t matter if it’s an early night or if it costs nothing at all, just get out there! You’ll be glad you did.
Plan an Evening to Truly Disconnect
Leave the grading at work, even for just one night. Give yourself a work-free, stress-free, and distraction-free night off. No housecleaning, no grading, no planning. Take a bath or a long shower. Do a face mask, have a glass of wine, read a book for fun, and turn off your phone. You’ll be amazed at just how revitalizing an unplugged night can be.
As teachers, we often get into a strict weekday routine to get everything done. Get out of the classroom (and out of the house) to breathe in some fresh, spring air. Instead of heading home to grade, change your routine and get a healthy dose of nature. Errands and work can wait this week. Talk a walk, hit the park, stare up at the sky, and take a big cleansing breath.
Leave the Building
So many teachers get to school in the wee hours of the morning and never leave the building until evening. This week, take a real break by going outside. If it’s just a few minutes outside, a quick drive around the block, or grabbing a coffee — that works! Take a teacher friend along to enjoy the company and the respite.
Buy Yourself a Little Something
We know teachers don’t earn the largest salaries and often spend much of their own money on their students. If you can, treat yourself to a little something. Maybe get that new top, that top-shelf beer, the wine you love, or that oh-so-delicious latte you rarely order. Whatever it is and whatever you can afford, let yourself indulge with a little something for you this week. It will lift your spirits.
Treat Your Colleagues
This Teacher Appreciation Week, remind the educators in your life just how much they mean to you. We’ve curated a Pinterest board of affordable gifts that teachers can truly use and enjoy.
- Handmade Treats: Sometimes the best gifts are handmade. Create a unique thank you for the fellow educators in your life with these adorable and affordable ideas.
- The Gift of Supplies: We all know teachers spend a lot of our own money on school supplies. At the end of the school year, reserves are dwindling. Refresh your favorite fellow teacher’s desk drawer with some much-needed and fun supplies.
- Affordable Gifts for the Educators in Your Life: Treating your teacher colleagues doesn’t have to break the bank. We’ve included some fun, useful, and affordable gift finds to say “I Appreciate You,” all for under $10.
Totally Free Ways to Say “I Appreciate You”
- A good, old-fashioned, thank-you note
- Have students make thank you messages for teachers
- Record gratitude videos
- Do a favor for a fellow educator: Make their copies; do one of their duties for a day
- Check out Room 241’s blog on meaningful ways to thank teachers
Resources for Teacher Appreciation Week
- #ThankATeacher printables
- NEA National Teacher Day printables and web shareables
- ASCD Teacher Appreciation Week printables
Jennifer L.M. Gunn spent 10 years in newspaper and magazine publishing before moving to public education. She is a curriculum designer, teaching coach, and educator at Hudson High School of Learning Technologies in New York City. At Hudson, she created Right to Read, a literacy acceleration program for adolescents. Jennifer is also co-founder of the annual EDxEDNYC Education Conference for teacher-led innovation and regularly presents at conferences on the topics of adolescent literacy, leadership, and education innovation. Jennifer is a regular contributor to outlets such as EdWeek, The ByEd Blog, and Concordia University-Portland’s Room 241 Education Blog. Connect with Jennifer on Twitter: @jenniferlmgunn.