Saturday, April 7, 2018

Teacher Appreciation Week is in May - Here are 9+ ideas to celebrate teachers!


Next to parenting, teaching is one of the hardest jobs there is. Teachers do more than teach content to their students, they build self-esteem, counsel, encourage, manage behavior, foster hope, and MORE! 

While we should celebrate teachers every day of the year, there is one week set aside for special celebrations across the United States. 

Teacher Appreciation Week is celebrated in May each year. This year (2018), it is celebrated May 7th - 11th, with National Teacher Day on Tuesday, May 8th. 

In today's post, I'm sharing 9 ideas with you to celebrate teachers in your school, district, or lives.  

1. Cookie Day



For Cookie Day, parents brought in homemade cookies and they were re-plated and dishes were labeled. Paper bags in three sizes were provided so that teachers could "grab and go." Each bag was stamped with "Merci Beaucoup."


2. Teacher Appreciation Station



I just love the blog post written about the "Appreciation Station" found in the picture above. A station like this would be easy to set up in a lobby, library corner, lunchroom, or other common area. Provide Thank You cards and allow students and staff members to write thank you notes to teachers. 


3. Door Decorations



Decorating teachers' doors would be a great project for a student council, parent organization or booster club, or a student club to take on.  Even better... what if the students (and/or parents) come in over a weekend so that when the teachers arrive on Monday they are greeted to their new door decorations?!


5 - A Token of Appreciation



I don't know what it is, but every teacher I've ever met loves a good pen! Here's an idea to give a small token of appreciation with a sharpie and cute gift tag. In the blog post at The Review Wire, you can download free printables to attach to the pens. (You can also download the "Let's stay sharp" tags for the current year.)


6 - Donuts + Cute Printable



Drop by your local donut shop and pick up some donuts for your teachers. Be sure to print out the cute and free printable at Ashley's blog, Teach, Create, Motivate, to go along with the sweet treats! 


7 - Show or create an inspirational video



The 2-minute video above is inspiring! If you are a student or a parent, it would be just as meaningful for your or your child's teacher to get a video from you. If you are a member of a school leadership team, perhaps you create a video for your teachers to thank them for the hard work they do each and every day of the school year. 


8 - Provide a small plant for a teacher's desk 



I LOVE the idea of giving a small plant that a teacher can put on his/her desk and also be able to take home and plant in the yard or in a flower pot. It's a great gift that a teacher can look back on with fondness even after Teacher Appreciation Week. Check with local nurseries to see if they would donate the small plants and decorate with cute signs and/or ribbons. 


9 - Hand deliver goodies



Hand delivering snacks to teachers in their classrooms is a special way to say thank you for what you do. It's a time-saver for teachers and it's a fun way to visit classrooms. Provide a variety of snacks (healthy options included) so that teachers have choice on their treat. 



Want more ideas? 
See my Pinterest board, "Teacher Appreciation Ideas."


During Teacher Appreciation Week, be sure to share on twitter how you celebrate the teachers in your life and use the hashtag #ThankATeacher. 









Saturday, March 31, 2018

We must Maslow before we Bloom

Maslow over Bloom by @Jennifer_Hogan

The fourth quarter of school is a special time. 

At this point in the school year, teachers and students should know each other well, the warmer weather welcomes outside play and activities, and the approach on the close of one of life's mile markers rapidly approaches. 

It's at this juncture that we as educators must ask ourselves, "Have I made a connection with each student?" and "Have I helped students meet their needs in my classroom?" 

We must remember as we enter into this last phase of the school year that we must "Maslow before we Bloom." 

Abraham Maslow (1908 - 1970) was a psychologist who developed the Hierarchy of Needs in a pyramid form with five levels. He describes human motivation as being driven by unmet needs. The lower level of needs must be met before one can move on to the next level. 

Maslow was driven by a desire to understand self-actualization and "peak performance," where a person experiences life at a level of wholeness, service to others, creativity, and profound happiness.


Maslow over Bloom by @Jennifer_Hogan


Each and every interaction that is made on the way to and from school and at school in a classroom, hallway, office, lunchroom, playground, or gym can contribute to a student's needs being met. 

The importance of building relationships goes back to the age-old saying, Kids don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. 

We can't focus on Bloom without first making sure that students' needs are met. 

So at this time, I encourage all educators (myself included) to reflect about the relationships that we have developed with students at school and ask ourselves, Is there anything more I can do?

While there can be no checklist that is comprehensive enough to ensure positive relationships between teachers and students, there are a few things that can be done during the fourth quarter of school to make sure that students' needs are met and relationships are repaired, created, or nurtured. 

I would love for you to share in the comments about what you think should be added to this list.

Is there anything more I can do?

1 - Smile and greet each student. (If you are a classroom teacher, be at the door to shake hands, fist bump, and greet by name. Also, look students in the eyes as an initial barometer of how they're doing that day.)

2 - Avoid the use of sarcasm. (It doesn't matter how "funny" you are or how sarcastic the student is, avoid it.)

3 - Do a survey of your room for visual clutter. Do you have papers piled up on the counter/desk/floor? Are there items in the corner that you meant to throw away and just haven't gotten to yet? Are old student projects taking over a section of your classroom? If needed, clean your room and provide order for your students.

4 - Teach / re-teach behavioral expectations when working with a partner or in groups. Provide opportunities for students to practice behaviors and be consistent on respectfully enforcing behaviors. Avoid judgment.

5 - Say I'm sorry. If sarcasm is used, apologize. If you recognize that the words, body language, or tone damaged a relationship, apologize. 

6 - Forgive. When a student messes up, forgive him. When a student apologizes, say "I forgive you."

7 - If you notice a student is unhappy, pay attention and ask questions. It just may save a student's life. 

8 - Keep snacks in your drawer/fridge. Students don't usually binge on healthy snacks. Keep carrots, apples, crackers on hand for the hungry student. (I learned the carrot idea from Allyson Apsey.

9 - If you don't have systems and/or routines in place, incorporate them for the last quarter. How to turn in homework. How to schedule a make-up test and/or re-take. What to do when entering the classroom. What to do with cellphones while in the classroom. How to transition from individual work to group work.

10 - Give lots of praise. Even for the things that students should already be doing. Think about the last time you were praised at work... did it make you want to do more or less?

11 - Try the "2 x 10" strategy. For those students you don't know much about or with whom you have a strained relationship, spend 2 minutes a day for 10 consecutive days having relationship-building conversations. Don't talk about school and/or assignments. Talk about life outside of school, dreams, likes, dislikes, etc. to build or strengthen a relationship with a student. 

12 - See below....






If you haven't seen the video below, it is a wonderful reminder of the importance of every interaction at school. While we can't meet the needs of students while they're away from us, we can be intentional about our interactions while they're with us. 




Sometimes at this time in the school year, we can take for granted our relationships and each other. We get focused on content and curriculum, but we must remember that positive relationships always come first. 


Pin this to share later>>
Maslow over Bloom by @Jennifer_Hogan





Sunday, March 18, 2018

Free Download: Goal-Setting Guide


It's mid-March, and you still haven't done that thing that you said you would do. 

It's mid-March, and you don't have a way to track your progress on your way to reaching your goals. 

It's almost summer, another school year over, and you've given up on one (or a few) of your goals you set for yourself back in January. 


Can you relate to any of the sentences above?


With Spring Break around the corner, I wanted to share some inspiration and a FREE GIFT with you today. 

Feel free to print the images below for your classroom, office, car, or any other space where you need and want inspiration. Also, be sure to fill out the form below to get a copy of my FREE Goal-Setting Guide. I want you to ROCK YOUR GOALS this year, and it's not too late!

Just hover over each image and choose right-click and "save image as" to your computer. 














I created the Goal-Setting System to help me with my goals this year, and it has helped so much already this year that I wanted to turn it into a free download to help others, too.



Just fill in the blanks below and get a link sent to your Inbox for a FREE, instant download. 

Keep rockin'!

Sign up here to Rock Your Goals with Jennifer Hogan's Goal-Setting Guide.

* indicates required


After signing up, check your Inbox for an email from me with a link to the Goal-Setting Guide. Be sure to drop me a line and let me know how it's working for you!


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Monday, March 12, 2018

Staying balanced in life


How are you doing at staying balanced in life?

Is it simply a work-life balance... creating an equal number of hours at home and at work? There's so much to juggle in life that we can't just talk about work-life balance.

A balanced life has many things to consider, such as
  • nutrition
  • emotional health
  • physical health
  • work
  • family
  • self-care
  • social 
  • productivity

In order to have balance, we have to be willing to pay attention, reassess, and recalibrate often. I can guess what you're thinking... How do I do these three things when I'm busy trying to keep everything balanced?

Have you ever heard someone say that they don't have time to meditate or exercise, but when they do it they feel so much better? There have many times in my life that I have scolded myself for not taking a walk, because I know that the benefits would far outweigh the sacrifice of time that I would have to make in order to take that walk. 

From the food we eat to the time we spend moving our body to the news we read, we must pay attention to how we feel and how what we do affects us. If you feel tired, stretched in too many directions, or overwhelmed, chances are that your life is out of balance. We must reassess our actions and how the choices we make are affecting our lives. 

To recalibrate, sometimes it means letting go. It means something that you thought you would do, you won't. Accepting that something else has to take front and center first. Sometimes it means re-writing your goals, or simply re-writing your timeline for your goals. Again, this will be different for each person. 

To help me with reaching my goals this year, I've done more writing down of my goals than in the past. To keep balance, I've made sure to use one specific method to keep myself from burning out and to make sure I reach them. I like having a visual map of where I'm going and what I need to do to get there. Also, using my quadrant system keeps my fire list all year long. 




Also.. here's the secret sauce that it's taken me 24 years as an educator to learn...

When life gets out of balance, don't hunker down. Reach out. Lean in. Lean on. Find a group of friends, colleagues, or family members that you can share your burdens with. I have learned this the hard way, and now I know the easier way. 

If you want coaching from me and how to keep all of the plates in the air while keeping your sanity, please contact me. I would love to be your coach.







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