Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Meet Rosie - Teacher Appreciation

I'd like you to meet Rosie. Well, Rosie's namesake.
Rosie is a Penstemmon - a Canterbury Bell. She's looking a little sorry for herself right now, despite a good pruning to get rid of the winter debris, and a good dousing with water with all the heavy rain we've had recently. But in a few weeks she will be covered with the most glorious scarlet-coloured bell-shaped flowers (hence the name Canterbury Bell). Rosie was a gift from the real Rosie, a gem of a child whom I had the pleasure to teach two years ago. I had her sister last year and was rather hoping for an Eleanor to plant alongside Rosie...

My purpose in displaying my plant? Teacher Appreciation of course. We don't have a set day or week set aside for this in the UK. Instead, the children and parents tend to show their appreciation right at the end of the year which, for us, is usually the third week of July. We get showered with cards (I keep every single one, including the hand-made type done during wet play), chocolates and knick-knacks. I love each and every one because it shows that someone has appreciated the job I have done enough to mark it in some way.

My favourite type of gifts are the ones that are a little different but that don't cost much (I always feel very embarrassed accepting gifts). Rosie was grown by hand from seed by the real Rosie's dad - a landscape gardener. I have never appreciated a gift so much, and I cherish it to this day, knowing that the real Rosie is growing and being nurtured in the same way as my Rosie plant. Rosie will go a long way..

I have received chocolates and soap from Lithuania, a fridge magnet from Egypt, and a hand-blown glass tree bauble from Poland. Closer to home, key rings, books, numerous mugs and plaques, enough chocolates to put Cadburys out of business, sometimes even wine (I think the parents feel we need a quick drink in the evening..) and bizarrely a set of dipping and marinading sauces.. (..?). Here are a few of my other favourites:

Toby and Corey - my twins from last year
A wonderful hand-made bookmark from a child I only taught for 4 months

Teacher survival kit filled with bits and pieces to keep any teacher sane and on the right track

It's nice to feel appreciated. Leaving school on that last day always leaves me with mixed feelings - relieved that another year is over and that I have managed to deliver another class safe and sound to the next teacher, hopefully having learned a lot... Sad at having said goodbye to "my" children. Expectantly thinking about next year and everything that it brings. Last year was difficult because I said goodbye to my school for the last time. This year, as a sub, I won't be experiencing the usual appreciation at the end of term. But I know nonetheless that every child who has passed through my class this year has in some way appreciated my contribution. "Are you coming back tomorrow, Miss?" or "Yay! We've got Miss Powell today!" are all I need.

What do you think of Teacher's Appreciation? Should we expect tokens of appreciation? Or is the job enough in itself? I'd love to hear your views.

I am highly appreciative myself - of all of my blogger friends and fellow teachers out there across the world. Tomorrow I will be announcing details of a Teacher Appreciation sale in my TN and TPT stores, with a little freebie for you. I hope to see you here.

Happy Wednesday

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