A Few Ways to Say Thank You to Teachers

Man oh man, do teachers ever work hard.

While I’m no longer in the classroom full time, I’ll never forget my classroom roots and the time, energy, and dedication that being an excellent educator demands.

There’s just no end to the amount of mad props these teacher-heroes deserve.

And as coaches, that’s what we’re dedicated to doing right? We work daily to support the work teachers do with quality feedback, a high five on a lesson well done, or just a basket of chocolate and a free flowing pot of coffee.

But did you know that Teacher Appreciation Week is right around the corner? (May 2nd-May 6th)

Well, I say we take this opportunity to show the teachers in our school and elsewhere some extra love.

Here are a few ideas to get your creative wheels spinning.

Teacher Appreciation Week Ideas

1. Share an Inspiring Video or Article

I. Love. This. Video. It makes me happy to be a teacher every time I watch it. Great job Google.

 

Oh, and don’t skip over this read. Such a well written article by Justin Minkel on the worthiness of teaching as a life long craft, worthy of lifetime’s practice. I wish every teacher I knew would read this, and refer back to it often.

2. Give a Special Note

Print this out on card stock and drop one in each teacher’s box recognizing them for something special. Maybe how proud you are of how far they’ve come this year, or just a thanks for welcoming you in their room.

Handwritten notes go a long way in making teachers feel special. I still keep a file of all the notes I’ve received through the years, looking back through them every now and then with a smile.

Teacher Appreciation Cards

Teacher Appreciation Note Card

DOWNLOAD HERE!

3. Treat em’!

Did someone say surprise/free staff treats?! I’m in!

Our principal will often surprise treat us with a catered lunch, personal little dessert treats, or just an “it’s on me” happy hour at the end of a long week. This along with a simple email of “Thanks for all the work you do” is much appreciated by staff.

4. Create a Staff Shout-Out Board

A thoughtful staff member at school created this, and I just love it! Each day when I walk into our staff lounge, I can’t wait to see what new “shout-outs” have been posted on the board.

It’s a fun way to build culture and community in your school, and you can initiate it!

Teacher Appreciation Week

So, what do you think?! What’s one thing you can initiate or share in your building to show teachers some extra love?

I’d love for you to let me know in the comments below!

Have a terrific week, and I’ll talk to you soon,

Stories From the Field : Interview with Stacie Giesecke

Today I’m excited to bring you another episode of Stories from the Field. Stacie and I had a fun chat about her journey as a first year instructional coach, after a number of years in the classroom.

Interview with Instructional Coach

Here are some specific takeaways from our conversation:

  • How Stacie uses humor and likes “keeping it real” to build relationships with teachers
  • What Stacie has learned about becoming a better listener, and how to do it!
  • The importance of becoming a “partner” with teachers
  • How Stacie creates a welcoming coaching space
  • The unique way Stacie documents her work as a coach (clue: selfies!)
  • Stacie’s top tips for new coaches

Resources mentioned:

And if you have any follow-up questions for Stacie or would like to connect with her further, here’s where you can find her:

Twitter@staciegiesecke
Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/staciegiesecke/

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining me again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share, or a question for us? Leave a note in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.

And a special thanks to Stacie for chatting with me this week.

If you’d like to be featured in an upcoming Stories from the Field Interview (all educators welcome!) please shoot me an email.

Talk to you soon!

5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Coaching Life

You know those giant teacher bags that are overflowing with papers, notebooks, and who knows what else? The ones that weigh a million pounds and make a serious dent in your shoulder?

I used to have one. Actually, I had three. Luke used to affectionately (I think) call me “the bag lady.”

Then one year I made it my mission to be gone with the giant teacher bags. So I went all Spring Cleaning Style up on itpurged, sorted, and consolidated – until I finally emerged and found my way to one sassy leather bag that now holds all my coaching stuff, minus the shoulder dent.

Because I have less stuff in my bag, I have less stuff on my mind. And less stuff equals less stress, which feels gooood.

How about you? Do you have a giant teacher bag?

If not, then where is all your stuff hiding?…Because I know it’s somewhere.

In this post, I’ll share the five most common places where it all tends to accumulate and some ideas for how to get all Spring Cleaning Style up on it. Let’s get started.

 

Organizing for Instructional Coaches

1. Your Teacher Bag

 

Organized Instructional Coaching Bag

I can just hear you shouting at me all the reasons why you need all the stuff in your giant teacher bag. While there may be certain days when you really do need to pack a ton of stuff with you, I’m going to present the argument that for the large majority of days during the school year, there really are only a few essential items you should be packing along in your bag:

  1. Laptop/iPad
  2. Planner/Calendar/Notebook
  3. One file folder (for catching loose papers)
  4. Phone
  5. Wallet
  6. One pen and one highlighter (a few more only if you have space)
  7. Computer charger (only one charger allowed!)
  8. Essential Beauty Stuff: one chapstick/lipstick, small hand lotion, gum/breath freshener

That’s it! If you have more than this, it’s time to purge, sort, and consolidate. For some more ideas on how to organize your bag, check out this post.

2. Your Paper Files

Does your filing cabinet look like…

Back in the day I used to have a giant four drawer filing cabinet in which I stored every lesson, extra photocopy, and holiday craft project I had. When it got to the point where I had to pull and yank just to get the drawer open, I knew it was time to…you got it! – purge, sort, and consolidate. I worked my way down to a two drawer filing cabinet, then when I transitioned to coaching, I was able to say see-ya to even more paper stuff, and I now have one nice and tidy filing box. It sits quietly in the corner of my coaching office, and is reserved for only my most needed and used paper items.

3. Your Car

Yes, your car! Seriously. If you get into your car in the morning only to be greeted by crumpled up papers, empty cups, a pile of school books and who knows what else, the likelihood of a pleasant, stress free ride to school goes way down.

Instead, let’s do this. Take your car in for a good carwash this weekend, and clean out all the stuff inside.

Then on Monday morning, open up your back car door and put your one teaching bag inside. Then grab your water or coffee and place it in the gunk free cup holder. Fire up a good podcast or an audiobook for some learning on the way to school, smile, and you’re off to a great day!

4. Your Digital Files

OK. Now depending on how deep your black hole of randomly named computer files, downloads, and photos is, this could take a while. But don’t get discouraged. The most important step is to start.

This will be my big Spring cleaning project for the year. I’ve let things go a bit too long, and it’s time to shape em’ back up.

For some strategies on how to tackle your digital files, check out this post.

5. Your Desk

Organized Desk

If you’re not careful, your desk can get really bad. Eeek! Check out this post for some ideas on how to keep yours nice, neat, and organized.

Alright, now it’s time for me to give you a gentle nudge (or maybe push) to choose one area to go all Spring Cleaning Style on.

Decluttering and doing a bit of organizing in your coaching life, will go a long way towards saving you time and energy in the long run. Which will be well worth it.

Love organizing and want more? Or maybe you don’t love it so much, but know you might need to learn more? Here are a few books to check out. I’m listening to the second one on Audible right now, and it’s awesome.

Happy Organizing, and I’ll talk to you soon!