Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week

This teacher appreciation week is one I will never forget! I wish every teacher could experience the support, encouragement, and recognition I have received in the last few days; the far majority of teachers I know deserve this type of appreciation – not just one teacher in the district.

Thanks to everyone who has reached out to me this week with words of encouragement, cards, coffee, flowers, and CAKE – lots of cake!!. This tells me two things: we need more people to advocate for students and teachers and everyone likes to eat cake. 









I am still processing the events of this week but here are a few thoughts:

  • I have prayed from day one in Room 128 (and continue to pray) that the Lord will give me favor with students and colleagues. He continues to answer that prayer.
  • Teaching is a noble profession where I am able to do meaningful work on a daily basis. Even on the last couple of days where I have administered standardized exams, I am still able to speak words of life to students. Whatever you choose to do with your life, make it count!
  • Invest in the next generation. Yes – they’re messy, unpredictable, and frustrating at times; however, it’s also incredibly rewarding.

I had the opportunity Tuesday night to thank some people but want to do this publicly as well.

Thanks to my c̶o̶l̶l̶e̶a̶g̶u̶e̶s̶ friends who I work with at Northgate. I am so honored and humbled to be Northgate’s Teacher of the Year twice in the last five years. Anyone who has been around me more than five minutes knows I love Northgate and my Northgate family. (And even though they are no longer at NGHS, Amanda and Wendy took the day off to come down and join Hilary, Stacy, Toni, and Sherry to support me; my friends are the best). 

Thanks to my 2nd block for not acting the fool when the judges sat in our class. I did not tell my class who was coming just that we were having visitors and they should “be themselves just not too much themselves.” They were themselves, and it was fun, unpredictable, and an authentic look at a real high school classroom. 

Thanks to my two principals at NGHS, Bill Harrison and Therese Reddekopp, who have trusted me enough to let me do my thing in Room 128 even though it may seem unconventional at times. Thanks to them also for writing letters of recommendation for me.

Thanks to Abby Coe, an AP Lit student from last year, who wrote a letter for me. I bawled like a baby when I read her letter (the same response I had when I read Jake Peterson’s recommendation five years ago). I told Abby Tuesday night that her letter means more to me than any award I could ever receive, and I’m glad she had a platform to share her story. Thank you, Abby; I’m so proud of you!





Thanks to my family who have listened to way too many teacher stories.






Enough about me; how can you celebrate teachers this week?

Encourage your student to write a note to his or her teacher. Even though these notes are very different, I love them both because they are heartfelt. Small, messy, formal, informal, pretty, or straight to the point – any note will encourage a teacher.






Write a letter to your child’s teacher. Sadly, most emails or notes teachers get from parents are not kind, so if you go out of your way to say something kind, your words will go a long way. Last year I had a parent write the kindest letter to my principal about me and gave me a copy. This still fills my emotional tank.

Homemade gifts. Check out this vase made out of pencils that a mom sent in this week filled with candy (long gone) at the time. I love this! And if you’re not crafty –

Chocolate and coffee. The struggle is real in the classroom.

Raise your children right. The best teacher appreciation gifts are the small things students do daily to show kindness and respect. Today a student picked up a pencil that I dropped, another student opened a door for me, and someone told me to have a good day when he left my class.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

What can you do to show your appreciation to a teacher this week?

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