For the most part, we teachers are pretty simple people. It doesn't take a whole lot to make us happy. Our salaries can vouch for that! But if you really want to know the true path to a teacher's heart, this list will give you a pretty good idea. In the words of Tom Haverford from Parks and Recreation (one of my favorite shows): "Treat yo' teachers!"
1. Don't wake them up early on the weekends.
With the amount on our minds during the week, the hamster needs to jump off the wheel and recharge a little. Do both us and yourself a favor by letting our biological clocks be the joy killers of our Saturday and Sunday mornings. Don't get any whimsical ideas that we might jump up and go for a jog, or anything crazy like that. Take the kids to the park and just let us sleep!
2. Push in every random chair you see, whenever you're around them.
In case you haven't already noticed, teachers are maniacs when it comes to chairs not being pushed in. We could be at a restaurant with friends and start pushing in random chairs on the way out. So if you don't want our quirky "teacher-brains" to get all worked up, just push in some chairs, especially yours!
3. Treat them with a wholesale quantity of coffee, tea, soda, or whatever their choice of caffeinated beverage is.
While some fitness-enthusiast and health-conscious teachers may not be victims of the caffeine addiction, most of us are, and for a darn good reason! Teaching is exhausting. A bottomless supply of whatever gets us through the day is one of the most practical gifts.
4. Go for nice, long walks down the school supplies aisles of Target.
Whether it's from Target, Walmart, Staples, or The Dollar Store, there's a special place in a teacher's heart for school supplies. We always use them and we can never have enough!
5. Never leave the copier jammed or out of paper.
When there are 10 minutes left in a free period or prep time, and the copier is jammed or out of paper, this could be the breaking point of a teacher losing their sanity. So whenever you have the chance, don't ever let that happen. You might just be the hero that saves a stressed-out teacher from a mental breakdown.
6. Offer to supervise their classroom for 5 minutes, to give their bladders and brains a breather.
It's the little things in life that go the longest way. The simple pleasure of having the opportunity to use the restroom when needed, is something that teachers appreciate more than you could ever possibly imagine.
7. Always keep a bottle of wine or beers (or whatever their preferred choice of nightcap is) on ice for when they get home.
Don't judge. We're not alcoholics. A glass of wine each day is filled with all kinds of health benefits. Sure, so is yoga and meditation, but who has time for that! After a long day of whining students and never-ending staff meetings, it might just be the only thing that helps us cope with the daily struggle. We're only human.
8. Surprise them with their own, brand new laminator!
There's not really much to say about this. Teachers love to laminate all things. Class lists, labels, name tags, flashcards, original worksheets, hall passes, brag tags, you name it, we laminate it. It's just what we do. Any questions?
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A thoughtful gift with an empowering message is one thing a teacher will always be able to keep and cherish, more than apples, chocolates, or flowers!
10. Book them a therapeutic foot massage (you can't imagine how much they need AND deserve it!)
Teachers are on their feet all day, pacing the classroom, up and down the hallways, it takes a toll on the old dogs! A foot soak, foot massage, or even a comfy pair of shoes can be just what the doctor ordered for a hardworking teacher.