Teacher Appreciation Week
This week is Teacher Appreciation Week at schools all across the country. As I reflect on the year my Kindergarten son has had, I just knew I had to take the time to acknowledge all the unique ways we appreciate his teacher.
Please recognize the irony that this post is a day late from the actual teacher appreciation DAY, which was yesterday. This should be no surprise to my son’s teacher that I’m often scrambling and trying to keep it together, so I’m sure she’s not surprised at all that this comes a day late… but like she has done all year, she’s always ready for my son, always prepared for her literacy centers, her math stations, and the individual book boxes filled with “just right” books for the kids. I’m forever thankful that she gives of her time and funds for our children – always going above and beyond to keep our kids learning and engaged. I’m always appreciative that she cuts me some slack when I make a mistake.
So…. here goes… huge shout out to Mrs. Terebessy, worlds best Kindergarten teacher!
- She brings in How-To Draw Dinosaur books
She’s taught an entire unit on dinosaurs this year and we are forever thankful. Most schools don’t teach about dinosaurs in Kinder anymore, but she does! She incorporated non-fiction reading, writing, drawing/labeling, science, land forms, and ART into this unit. My son was so inspired that he used his own birthday money to buy more How-To Draw books and a sketch pad. She’s inspired him to love art and learn drawing techniques – all the while sneaking in learning about history, science, reading, and writing!
- She hosts a lunch bunch for her students
This is a positive incentive for positive behavior. Students earn stickers toward eating lunch with the teacher in the classroom. This gives the children time to get to know their teacher. According to my son, she loves soccer, Reese’s peanut butter cups, and says “Colorado” funny. This is a great way for her to get to know our kids too – just don’t believe everything they say, especially if they tell you about the time Mom got a speeding ticket. Ha ha.
- She brings in Pokemon Cards
Okay really? “Yes, Mommy, really. Mrs. Terebessy has a binder of Pokemon cards behind her desk!” She brought in her son’s Pokemon card collection and let’s the kids look at the cards carefully. Her son is now in college. Let’s acknowledge right here and now that if you bring in Pokemon Cards my son will think you’re the true Teacher Goddess you really are! He was amazed to see old cards that aren’t made anymore.
- Sends me pictures of food labels
She has been so thoughtful in considering my son’s food allergies. Occasionally she’ll send me a picture of a label to double check whether or not he can have a snack or treat being provided. If there is a whole class party I can always bring in something safe to eat for him and/or everyone. I know she’s aware of his allergies and if she’s not sure she’ll check with me. This makes me feel like he has an ally on campus and will be kept safe!
- Classroom Farm
This Spring she brought in farm animals. And by brought in, I mean she taught the life-cycles by bringing in chicken eggs, duck eggs, preying mantis eggs, caterpillar larvae that turned into butterflies, and ladybug eggs. Over the course of a month the kids got to watch the life-cycles happen at their desks and in almost every corner of the classrooms. THIS is true learning. The kids got to learn by watching, holding, listening, and talking about what was happening. Each child got to hold and touch the animals, write about them and more. This was a magical month when my son woke up every morning eager to get ready to check on the animals at school.
- Friends and family are always welcome
Because Kindergarten has so many wonderful things happening all day, my son wants to share with his brother all the great things he did most days. It’s no surprise that Brother wants to come check out the classroom fun after school. Mrs. Terebessy is often working late after school and welcomes our family in so we can see what activities have been done that day. When grandparents visit, she welcomes them to come see the exciting learning happening too. Our son got to show his grandparents every inch of the classroom, meticulously explaining every chart, every poster, every routine, and every book and binder he could. It was fun to see his ownership over the classroom, his knowledge about the importance of each piece, and his pride in his work!
- She reads aloud chapter books and other quality literature
Being in Kinder, but wanting to be older, my son was so happy that his teacher was reading aloud a Magic Treehouse Book. His brother has read many of them already so he felt like he could be part of the “reading club” and be able to talk about what happens in each book. He was so motivated that he began reading some of the books too! It’s not uncommon that he comes home telling us funny parts of different books she’s read that day.
- Library Choice
When the class goes to the library she lets him pick his books. Sometimes he comes home with books that are too hard and some that area just right. He’s proud because he gets to self-select books, from the selection provided. This helps him stay motivated to read them or look at the pictures. She’s helped create a positive feeling about going to the library to pick books, even if we don’t read every single word of every single book.
Mrs. Terebessy really does an amazing job at teaching literacy. She was reading a book to the kids about a dog, and it just so happened that she had two dogs at home similar to the ones in the book. So… like any good teacher she brought her dogs in to help bring the story to life. She let the kids pet her dogs and engage with them as they roamed around the room for a short time. My son was so happy to pet his teacher’s dog after finishing up his math work for the day. This was special because she showed she trusts the kids with her personal puppies.
- Reading Centers
Mrs. Terebessy does Daily 5 and other interactive, choice based, student led methods for her literacy stations. This helps my son feel independent and trusted to choose what to complete each day. He knows he has to do all the work, but has a little wiggle room in when he finishes the work. Knowing she trusts her class and helps guide them to make positive choices feels good as a parent.
- Math Games
She has games, games, games for her math stations. Although technically she follows Kindergarten standards, she has a lot of fun games to reinforce the ideas and concepts she’s teaching. She can use this time to work with kids on math concepts and behavioral expectations. By allowing time for “games” in her classroom almost every day, she gives the kids a chance to practice their math skills, while at the same time practice social skills! I think every elementary grade should have time for “games” so kids can practice social skills.
She uses the Class Dojo app to share pictures of our kids in a private, safe, secure way. We all know that after school kids can be tired and hangry. At least mine are. It’s nice to see my son engaged in work, releasing butterflies, or otherwise enjoying school and smiling during the day. We think about our kids while at school and being able to see pictures throughout the weeks and months helps us know that, even when they come home hangry, they still had a good day at school – because we saw the pictures!
- Saving the best for last…….
When I thought about writing this post and started listing ideas about what I wanted to say, I asked my son, “What has been favorite part about Kindergarten this year? What do you love most about your teacher?”
His reply wasn’t surprising. He said, “Hmmmmm that’s a really hard question. There are so many things, I can’t think of just one!”
There you have it! I’m sure I could easily think of 10 more to add.
We really appreciate having a great Kindergarten teacher who goes above and beyond to help our son learn and enjoy coming to school. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention recess. He loves recess too – and at our school the Kinder teachers gives 30 minutes each day!
What do YOU appreciate about your child’s teacher?
PS. We also love the PE teacher and ART teachers too! That would require another post entirely…. we especially love those dance moves our son comes home with from PE! ha ha ha
In what seems like the never ending social media cycle of the blame game assigning fault for society’s problems lately squarely on parents and/or teachers, I want to ask every single parent to pause, take a breath, and remind yourself that nobody is always perfect. So while my perfect angel may misbehave at school (What?? Not my baby, he would never do anything wrong! wink wink), I appreciate our teacher’s help in redirecting and reengaging him should My Precious be less than perfect, like his mom is.
Happy Teacher Appreciation week to YOU, the parents too –
You truly are your child’s first and most important teacher!
Could you imagine if we all stepped back from perfection and said, “Thank you” more often? Perhaps we, the parents are the avenue by which we can improve our schools and improve the culture on our campuses. Let’s not expect perfection. I encourage you to share something you appreciate about your child’s teacher with our Permian Kids community and with their teacher. Remember, it’s never too late to show appreciation. Every week could be Teacher Appreciation Week if we wanted it to be.
What do YOU appreciate about your child’s teacher?
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