Posted tagged ‘Celebrate Teachers’

Celebrate the teachers in your life

May 9, 2017

Did you know that in Hawaii public schools, there are over 10,941 teachers, 170 librarians, and 602 counselors? (Hawaii 2015 Superintendent’s Annual Report, 2014-2015 School Year)

Did you know that on average, teachers work more than 52 hours a week, including 30 hours of instruction and 22 hours on tasks like preparing lessons and grading papers? (National Center for Education Statistics 2011-12 School and Staffing Survey)

Teachers give us so much, and their job is much harder than we realize. They prepare lesson plans that engage and inspire students. They find a balance between correcting mistakes and encouraging excellence. They stay after school for homework clubs and mentoring. They show up at school events in the evenings and on weekends. They make the classroom a safe place to learn, challenge assumptions, and build character.

Today is National Teacher Day, part of a week-long event celebrating the teachers in our lives. You can say “Thank You” by joining the 2017 #ThankATeacher campaign and sharing stories and photos of special teachers.

My son is completing the fifth grade this year, and I want to take a moment to thank my fifth grade teacher, Ms. Foster. She was energetic and fun and it was the year I started to see teachers as real people, outside of school. She set up a classroom economy with jobs, a bank, and even checkbooks. She gave us daily writing assignments to practice our writing skills and encourage creative writing. To this day, I remember the first verses of “Do your ears hang low?” and “I Can’t Do That Sum” that we had to recite.

If you need some inspiration, the National PTA offers a free Teacher Toolkit to personally thank teachers for making a positive impact on your life and children’s lives.

If you have children, grandchildren, nieces, or nephews in school, here are 7 ways that How Can Families Effectively Partner With and Support Teachers, courtesy of the National Education Association:

  • Develop a relationship with your child’s teacher and keep in touch with him/her often
  • Ask the right questions
  • Set goals with your child and his/her teacher and foster the achievement of those goals
  • Review your child’s data to ensure he/she is on track
  • Look in your child’s backpack every day
  • Frequently view the parent portal (or whichever tool your child’s school uses)
  • Actively participate at school when possible

Which teachers had the biggest impact on your life? How will you thank a teacher today?


Superheroes among us: celebrate teachers!

April 28, 2015

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

* 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?