Hi! I'm Ayn and I am a Ga. Pre-K teacher, serving 4 and 5 year olds in an inclusive setting. I share my classroom adventures on my blog, little illuminations.
Do you ever have a bad day? A bad week? I sure do! It seems that it has been one thing after another for the last couple of weeks!
We started back to school and our building was undergoing a re-model. Most of the school is staying the same, but we are adding on and the addition is connected to my classroom. This meant cutting a small portion of my classroom to make a hallway for the new classroom. As with any re-model, things have not gone exactly as I had hoped, and the workers, trying to work around my teaching schedule, have had to come in after class hours. Often times (sometimes more than once or twice in a single day, almost every day, for the last few weeks) that has meant moving part of my classroom so the workers could have access. It has entailed dust, noise, distraction and many other annoyances. Can you spell S-T-R-E-S-S????? As I am trying to get my classroom ready for the new school year bulletin boards have come down and been moved. My areas for learning centers have had to be flexible because the electrical outlets are not all working while the electric has been worked on for the new room.
It's been tricky getting a new group of kids on board with our routines and putting things in their places when things have been changing on a daily basis. BUT, I'm a teacher ---I can be flexible! (Or I try to do a good job of faking it, anyway!) I try to see things with a glass half-full perspective. It is a GOOD thing that our other Pre-K class will be getting a much larger room, the same size as the one I've been blessed with these last few years. It is a GOOD thing that we will have another class for our one year olds and we will be able to accommodate many of our families. My kids are loving, kind and excited about learning and they keep my bucket full.
We've been looking forward to this past Friday as having most of the work done and we were scheduled to have a half day as a scheduled teacher workday. Yayyyyy! We were finally going to get our room in order. But wait. Not. So. Fast. It turns out that we were getting new (and much needed) carpet for our center. The workers would be coming in over the long weekend to put it down. Translation: instead of putting the room in order, we would pack the ENTIRE room up and move it up and out so the carpet could be laid. Then, Tropical Storm Hermine showed up on the scene. The Emergency Preparedness folks in our area suggested that we cancel school for students due to a threat of high wind. The upside is that we would have the full day as a teacher workday to pack the room up. (I was trying to keep a happy face on it but honestly, my bucket was beginning to leak.)
Last month I was working on a post I thought was going to be pretty great. While doing that, I was making several "freebies" to go with the post. Just before the post was scheduled, I came across some really great things that I decided to share instead. I thought that I would add more great "freebies" and share them this month. I have been working on these all month and have been very excited to share them here with you. I was planning to add the finishing touches this weekend and schedule the post for today. Sounds great, right?
When I got home Friday evening, my computer started having one of those no-good-very-bad-days of its own. It went bonkers! I had my technician work on it all weekend. When I got it back Monday evening, I was told it was a good news, bad news situation. The good news was that the computer had been saved. It was restored to the condition I bought it in. The bad news is that it was in the condition I bought it in. Every file, picture, document, etc, that was on it was gone. Microsoft Office was gone. All the major applications that I use regularly---GONE. (All those delicious "freebies" that I have worked on for the last month? Well, those are gone, gone, gone, too.)
So I got up Tuesday morning and put on my "big girl pants" and went to school VERY early so I could put my room back together. I walked in and the carpet was BEAUTIFUL! My lights in the classroom had been switched out and I had bright, beautiful light in my room! I went to work putting the room in order again. (For the umpteenth time, but who's counting? ;) And then, someone did something nice for me. A small something. It wasn't much, but it made me feel better. It made me smile. I came home and this meme was the first thing I saw when I turned on my computer.
|from the No-Exceptions.org facebook page|
Is all that other stuff what is important? It's stressful, yes. But in the grand scheme of things, is it REALLY important? And I realized that it doesn't take much to make someone's day. Someone can be having a REALLY "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day" and one small something can turn it around for them. It is IMPORTANT to do good deeds for others. It makes them feel great and it can also do a world of good for the person doing the good deed.
The start of the school year, holidays and Teacher Appreciation Week are when many people think about doing something nice for teachers but random kindness is a GREAT way to show you care. Whether you are a parent and you'd like to show appreciation for your child's teacher or you are a teacher who wants to show a little love for a fellow teacher, here are a few simple things that don't take much to really brighten that teacher's day:
- A smile and a few kind words in the morning are a GREAT way to make a teacher's day!
- Offer to help in the classroom. You can read a story, cut things out, put up a bulletin board or even help with small group work or projects. Whatever your talents are, I'm sure your teacher will appreciate it!
- Send in school supplies. You always hear about how much money teachers spend for their classroom. Here's a secret: Every teacher LOVES Sharpies and colorful Post It notes! Or, take note of what items your teacher seems to use a lot. Does she tend to use a certain type of pen? Pick one up next time you are in the store. Or make a little "bouquet" with a few Post-Its, some pens, crayons and pencils!
- Candy! It doesn't have to be a big box of fancy chocolates! A candy bar with a sweet note attached can start a day off on a positive note and give the teacher something to look forward to later when she/he needs a little pick-me-up. I've had students bring me a single Hershey's kiss and that simple gesture went a long way in making my day brighter.
- A cup of coffee or a cool drink on a hot day. One parent brought us Sonic slushies on a really hot afternoon. It came up in my "Facebook Memories" last week. It has been several years, but when I saw the post, I smiled all over again.
- A little snack. I once had a parent bring a HOT Krispy Kreme doughnut to me in the middle of the day. She said she was driving by and the "HOT" sign came on in the window and she couldn't resist driving through and picking one up for me and my assistant. Wowsers!
- Bring in lunch! Something delicious is always a treat, especially when a) you don't have to cook it yourself and b) it's not cafeteria food!
- Flowers! A surprise bouquet is always a treat, but a quick snip of a flower from your garden will certainly brighten her day, too!
- Fruit baskets and Edible arrangements are nice, too! This one made my day and I still remember how yummy it was even though it has been a few years!
- A cute cup to carry drinks from home.
- A picture of the class with handwritten names on the matte. I have gotten several over the years and I love each one!
- Ask your child and their class mates what they love about the teacher. Make a video, card or poster with the responses. This will be a keepsake more precious than the most expensive gift money could buy!
- Spread the kindness! Encourage others to shower the teacher with little acts of kindness to make a truly special surprise!
These last 3 are BIG!!! REALLY, REALLY BIG!!! And here's the thing....they are free. Completely free. BUT, they are sure to be some of the BEST ways you can show your appreciation and share a bit of kindness. Are you ready?
- Write a letter to teacher letting her know how much you appreciate her. Write from the heart and you will make her heart swoon. The "warm fuzzies" will last for days. Seriously. FOR. DAYS.!!!
- Write a letter to her administrator or principal. Let them know how much you appreciate her. Often times the administrators mostly hear from parents with complaints. Now you've made TWO people's day! (Don't forget to send the teacher a copy of the letter, too!)
- The Golden Apple. If you REALLY think the world of your child's teacher, nominate her for an award. Most towns have some sort of local award to recognize great teachers. The one in my area is called The Golden Apple Award. Teachers are nominated by families and recognized for their hard work and dedication. At the end of the year, there is an awards ceremony and a black tie banquet. It is truly a special recognition. Even if you have the GREATEST teacher in town and you think surely someone must have nominated them before, send a letter of nomination. I have a friend who got a Golden Apple Award after many years of dedicated service and teaching hundreds of students. It was well known that she was "the" teacher everyone always requested. It turns out that several families over the years thought of nominating her but didn't because they assumed she was so fabulous that someone else must have nominated her before. Finally someone did! It really made her year and has been an honor that lasts a lifetime!
I encourage you to make a teacher's day! Go big, go little, but show you care. We have way too many good teachers who are leaving our profession and we need to keep the great ones around! Remember, this is the person who loves and cares for your child for most of the day while they are away from you. Your Random Act Of Kindness can make a HUGE difference and in the end, you'll feel pretty good, too!