5 Festive ways to say “Happy Holidays!” to your favorite teacher

December 9, 2011

In many regions of the world, classes are winding down for a winter holiday break. Here are 5 festive ways to let your favorite teachers know you appreciate them:

1. A hand-made holiday card – Teachers love cards and notes that say “You make a difference in my world!” A store-bought card is nice, and a hand-made card is even better.

2. Certificate of Appreciation – Most word processing programs have a template for certificates. Create your own Certificate of Appreciation for a teacher complete with their name, the name of the school and the school year. Sign them and add a sticker of a happy face or a gold star for extra effect.

3. A home-made consumable gift – A batch of cookies or a jar of home made jam is a super gift for a teacher. Many of them are so busy at this time of year finishing up with classes and corrections that they do not have as much time as they would like to bake and make things for the holidays. A gift that they can share with their loved ones is always appreciated.

4. A gift of indulgence – A gift certificate to a coffee shop or a movie theatre is a wonderfully indulgent gift. I have two teacher friends whose absolute favorite gift to receive is a gift card to their favorite coffee shop. Suddenly, a $10 gift card transforms into an afternoon visit with a friend over a cup of coffee – and the teacher gets to treat!

5. Fun school and office supplies – Did you know that many teachers supplement the supplies they receive at school with their own extra-special supplies such as stickers, post-it notes, coloured markers and other fun stuff that are not part of regular school supplies? Often, they pay for these little “extras” out of their own pocket. A trip to your local discount store can provide you with stickers, posters, arts and crafts supplies and other goodies that many teachers can use in their classroom.

Related posts:

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


Thanksgiving, gratitude and appreciation: activities with a high-school ESL class

October 26, 2011

Sarah Eaton and Farida Garrett at James Fowler High School: Collaborators on a Lesson in Gratitude

Recently I was invited to speak at James Fowler High School in Calgary to a group of English as a Second Language (ESL) students from the Philippines, Afghanistan, Palestine, Kenya and other countries. The theme was gratitude and appreciation.

My invitation was to visit the class two times. The first time was two weeks ago, during which we incorporated the theme of Canadian Thanksgiving, which had just passed. Today was my second visit to the school. I got to work with the students on their gratitude journals, which they started earlier in the project.

Here’s how we structured the session:

Objectives

  • Learn about Thanksgiving as a celebration
  • Learn new vocabulary around giving thanks
  • Increase students’ awareness of what it means to give thanks and be grateful
  • Develop an understanding of gratitude as a personal, social and cultural practice.

Artifacts, realia and props

  • A pumpkin
  • A banana bread made by the students’ teacher, Mrs. Farida Garrett (It was her idea to share the cake to symbolize “breaking bread” together)
  • Letter blocks that spelled out “Give Thanks”

Supplies

  • markers
  • coloured pencils
  • glue sticks
  • glue gun
  • stickers
  • flip chart paper

Session #1: Activities

Saying thanks – Students shared how they say “thank you” in their native languages. Then, they wrote out the word(s) on a flip chart paper.

Vocabulary building – The words “thanksgiving”, “gratitude”, “gratefulness” and “appreciate” were written out on flip chart paper. Mrs. Garrett drilled students on how to pronounce the words. We worked with students to help them use the words in sentences.

Brief on Thanksgiving – We talked about the celebration of Canadian Thanksgiving, how it originated and what it means.

Making a thank you card – Students made their own thank you cards and thought about who they’d like to give their card to.

In between my first visit and second visit to the school, the students started a gratitude journal.

Session #2 Activities

Review the new vocabulary.

Review what the celebration of Thanksgiving is about.

Students developed their gratitude journals, contributing writing and drawings about what they were grateful for. We asked them to express their appreciation for their family, teacher, school, community and country. Students generated their own ideas about what they appreciated.

What an amazing group of resilient, bright young students Mrs. Fowler has. At the beginning of the first session, students were hesitant to talk and seemed baffled when they were asked to think about people in their lives that they appreciated and why they were grateful to them. By the end of our second session, the students were talking openly about who makes a difference in their lives and why they are grateful to them. In two weeks, they grew leaps and bounds in their personal development, as they learned that recognizing others  and appreciating them is a significant part of cultivating meaningful relationships.

Who deserves your thanks today?

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


5 Ways to Show Teachers Appreciation

June 24, 2010

In many regions it is the end of the school year. Here are 5 low-cost ways to let your teachers know you appreciate them:

1. Organize a teacher and staff appreciation lunch – If you can afford to bring in some catering, go for it. If not, make it pot luck and have everyone bring a dish. The point is to gather everyone together for the purpose of celebrating.

2. Make a speech – School taking the time to publicly thanking the school teachers and staff shows good leadership. Opening up the floor for teachers to give praise to their peers adds an additional level of warmth. Keep it brief – and sincere.

3. Certificate of Appreciation – Print off one for every teacher, complete with their name, the name of the school and the school year. Have the principal sign them. Templates for certificates are easy to find on line if your word processing program doesn’t have them.

4. Write thank you cards – It’s amazing how much impact a hand-written letter or card goes in today’s world of technology. Discount stores often sell packages of thank you or blank cards for very little money.

5. Say “Thank You” – In addition to saying it in written form, a sincere, focused verbal thank you, along with a handshake, or a hand on the shoulder is always a nice touch. Be sincere and smile. This is not the time to offer suggestions for improvement for next year, but to show appreciation for the work they’ve done this year.

Related post: 7 Ways to Celebrate the End of the Semester http://wp.me/pNAh3-1R7

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


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