One upon a time (okay, seven years ago), before I became a Mom, I was a full-time teacher. I have loved being a stay-at-home-mom, but as my babies are growing up and heading to school, I have decided to dip my toes back into the teaching field again. This year, I will be teaching music at my son’s preschool. (Very exciting!!)

This week we began our teacher training. As I sat in meetings, looking around from face to face and seeing a room full of professionals who are compassionate, dedicated, and very committed to taking care of children, I was inspired. And as I walked through the halls on the way to my new-to-me classroom, I watched them bustle around, trying their hardest to create a wonderful environment for their future students to create in, to feel safe in, to learn in.

These teachers are not being paid for their overtime. Often, they are not even being reimbursed for many of the items that they buy for their classrooms. They go above and beyond for one simple reason: they care about their students (even those who they have not yet met), and they want them to succeed. And as a mother, I am humbled and grateful.

So this week, as many kids are back in school (or preparing to head back to school), it’s time to repeat the Teacher Appreciation Challenge.

Just a reminder – this challenge is NOT just for those who have young children at home. If you’ve had a great teacher at school … if anyone is teaching you in another facility (work, church, etc.), if you or your kids are involved in a sports league … even if you even KNOW a teacher who is putting in a lot of effort this time of year, this challenge is for you!

Teacher Appreciation Challenge

One more idea I’d love to add to the original challenge … I found this awesome post on Pinterest: “The Best Teacher Appreciation Gifts, Told By Teachers“. (This link will send you to a roundup of ideas. If you see a printable you like, just click on the “source” button right under the picture.) While you might not be thinking about teacher gifts right now, I love the idea given in this post to send your child to school the first day with a “Getting To Know You” paper for the teacher, asking questions like “Where is your favorite restaurant?” and “What is your favorite drink?” Both of my kids are going to be headed to back-to-school night with one of these forms! They will only take a moment or two for the teacher to complete, and they will allow me the opportunity to make sure that I’m able to give their teachers meaningful gifts throughout the year. (Once again, these don’t have to be fancy or expensive, but something as simple as knowing your teacher’s favorite candy bar can go a LONG way toward letting that teacher know you truly appreciate the work he or she does.) And make sure not to forget classroom aides! They work hard and love to be remembered and appreciated.

So happy back-to-school time, everyone! Let’s let teachers know how much we appreciate them this week. Please remember to check out the original Teacher Appreciation Challenge here for lots of ideas – including things you can do on a $0 budget.

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