Superheroes among us: celebrate teachers!

National Teacher Day 2015

May 1 might be the premier of “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” where the fate of the world rests in the hands of a mechanic, a spy, a scientist, a warrior, a soldier, and someone who always hits his target…

May 2 might be Free Comic Book Day, a day to discover or recapture the wonders of superheroes, super powers, and the battle of good vs. evil (just show your HSPLS library card at one of 20 Hawaii public libraries to get a free comic book)…

But there are superheroes among us every day. You don’t have to go to the movies or read about them in books. You can find them in our teachers, our coaches, and our mentors. And May 5, 2015 is National Teacher Day, a day when can show our appreciation for our teachers.

Looking back at my school days, I am grateful to have known Ms. Foster, my fifth and sixth grade teacher, who set up a classroom “bank” and introduced us to checking accounts… Mr. Tiffany, my speech teacher, introduced me to public speaking (and whose loud and smooth voice was both intimidating and comforting)… Mrs. Woliver, my free-spirited and enthusiastic eleventh grade English teacher, who gave us off-beat and creative writing assignments (like conversations with my body)… and Ms. Powers, my twelfth grade English teacher, who emphasized critical writing and analysis (and who scared me a little).

Here are three ways you can show teachers how thankful you are that they are in your lives:

* Write “Superhero Thank You Notes” – this set is designed by elementary teacher Whitney Parlin, a free download on TeachersPayTeachers.com.

* Give a gift card with a colorful super hero gift card holder from Jen Goode’s 101Directions blog.

* Turn ordinary items into extraordinary gifts with ideas from “50 teacher appreciation printables” collected on Andrea’s Notebook. Wrap up fortune cookies with a note that says, “We’re fortunate to have you as a teacher!” Gift movie tickets and popcorn with a note that says, “Thanks for making me feel like a star!” Give a Starbucks gift card with a note that says, “Thanks a latte!”

You can also share your appreciation for teachers with the world using #ThankATeacher, or get inspired by the appreciation of others, at the National Education Association’s “Thank a Teacher” Storify feed or on the Hawaii State Department of Education’s Facebook page.

What teachers have inspired you? What do you remember most about your favorite teachers?

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