Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Classroom Rewards...for the Teacher!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week, my fellow teacher friends!

As teachers, we demand so much of ourselves. We do and do and do, and sometimes, we forget to breathe. We scarf down lunches in twenty minutes and are fortunate when we find time to use the restroom for a minute. We bring home stacks of papers, and we work long after we physically leave the school building. 

I think that even when we are physically away from school, we are never really mentally away. Even in the summer, we are thinking about it in the backs of our minds. I can recall being on vacation and seeing things I just HAD to buy for school! I bring an extra suitcase for the things I "need" to take home for my classroom! It's just the way a teacher's mind works. My husband has learned to just deal with it.

In the first two or three years of my career, I never even considered classroom niceties for myself, though. I would spend so much money at teacher stores, on rewards for my kiddos, on classroom games and decorations and...well, you all know what I mean. However, I went to school with a teacher bag that was a bit worn on the bottom. A fellow teacher had a beautiful bag that she carried her papers in, and I told her how much I loved it. She told me where she had purchased it, and it really wasn't even expensive. Then she grinned and said (as she was older and wiser), "Sometimes I like to reward myself, too." 

Since then, I've realized that allowing myself the little niceties in my teaching day is a lovely thing, and though they may not seem like much, they color my world a little bit brighter. They are the little splurges that make me feel at home in my classroom. That, in turn, makes me a happier teacher. A happier teacher equals happier kiddos. 

Go ahead, indulge every so often. This week, it's Teacher Appreciation Week. I can't think of a better time to appreciate YOURSELF and the great job you do each and every day!

Here are some of my own favorite "teacher treats" or niceties:

1. I have a special soft spot for Vera Bradley. Carrying my papers to work in a Vera tote is a beautiful thing. She also makes very pretty desk accessories! I love her pencils.
2. I love to have B. Witching Bath Co. lotion on my desk. My hands get very dry in the winter months, and I have found that their goat's milk lotion is the absolute best. It smells so good, too!
3. I love pretty pushpins and thumbtacks! I ordered this set from YUMYUM Buttons at the start of the year, and now I am hooked! She has so many beautiful designs!
4. I treat myself every morning with a different flavor of coffee. However, my newest favorite is Green Mountain's Wild Blueberry Coffee. I know...blueberry coffee sounds YUCKY! I thought so, too, until I tried it. When I drink it, it makes it very easy to imagine I am eating homemade blueberry pancakes on a lazy Sunday rather than on my way to work. I'm serious!
5. I also love interesting cups and mugs for my teacher coffee or tea. Have you seen the great stuff at Anthropologie? They have some really pretty teacups. I love their pencil cup as well!
6. I also love anything from Papaya! Art. They make the absolute prettiest sticky notes in the universe! Every "To Do" list is more bearable on a whimsical sticky note!
7. Though I don't have one YET, I am thinking of treating myself to a lesson plan book for next year from the amazing Erin Condren. If you haven't seen her things for teachers yet, you have to head on over to her shop. She has personalized planners, desk pads, clipboards...you name it. They are just so much fun! What's even better is that during the month of May, she is offering 25% off for Teacher Appreciation!
Don't forget that the HUGE Teacher Appreciation Sale (TODAY IS THE LAST DAY!) is also going on right now at Teachers Pay Teachers! What better way to treat yourself than to save up to 28% on teaching resources to wrap up the year or start the year off right in the fall? All of us here on ATUE are offering 20% off in our shops. Add that with the coupon savings from TpT (just enter the code TAD13 at checkout), and you have a savings of 28%! Just click on the pic below to see some special featured products on sale!

Now that I have mentioned some of my favorite teacher treats, what are some of yours? I'd love for you to share them with me! 

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I'd like to offer a special THANK YOU to our blog readers here on ATUE! The first three people who leave a comment with the mention of a "teacher treat" that's a small indulgence for you (AND your email address) will receive my End of Year May and June Writing Prompts for FREE! 

UPDATE: The first three spots filled up so quickly (and I love hearing about the teacher treats so much), that I have decided to extend the fun. There are three new lucky numbers (between 4 and 20). Leave a comment with your teacher treat and email, and if yours is one of the three posts that matches one of those numbers, you will also win the prompt set for free!
Until next time, happy teaching, friends!
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31 comments:

  1. My teacher treat for myself is the Bath and Body Works tinted lip balm in the green tube - the minty kind. It's quite expensive for what it is but I love it!
    - Amanda Phillips (avphilli@gmail.com)

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    1. Thanks for sharing! I am definitely in the market for some new lip balm. I use some stuff from Mary Kay, but the rep just moved away. I wanted to find something new anyway! I am going to check it out.

      I just emailed you the prompt set. Thanks for reading ATUE! Have a great Wednesday!

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  2. Every year, my mom gives me some cute little things for my classroom. I have some happy face push pins that are very cheerful that I got from her! I don't do much for myself, but I do always pack myself a healthy lunch that is a good pick-me-up partway through the day. I may be working while I'm eating, but I have never, ever skipped lunch on a school day.

    Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to everyone at ATUE!
    emartinez(at)gccsda.com

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    1. Awww, you have a great mom! :)

      You make a good point about healthy lunches. I should really do that for myself more often. I am usually grabbing something in the morning (that equals frozen Lean Cuisines), and I should really make my lunch at night. Reading your comment inspired me to do that for myself tonight!

      I just emailed you the prompt set. Thanks for stopping by! Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to you, too!

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  3. My favorite teacher treat is my tervis mug in pink paisley and peach keurig snapple . A great pick me up to the hot spring days important the classroom. kmagyar at hffmcsd.org

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    1. I have heard people talk about the Tervis mugs, but I have never seen or used them. I am going to have to check them out. Peach KEURIG Snapple???? Wait, you can make Snapple in a Keurig?!!!! Sorry for the crazy punctuation, but I am kind of excited!

      I just emailed you the prompt set, too. Thanks for being the lucky third and final winner. Thanks for reading ATUE!

      Delete
  4. My favorite teacher treat is my tervis mug in pink paisley and peach keurig snapple . A great pick me up to the hot spring days important the classroom. kmagyar at hffmcsd.org

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    1. Oops! Somehow your comment posted twice. I will still just count you as poster 3 (and number 3) for the sake of the freebie. Thanks again!

      Delete
  5. My fav teacher treat is my erincondren life planner. It keeps me organized between home and school and life!
    Tchrgrl79@gmail.com

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    1. I am so glad you shared that you love your Erin Condren planner. I don't know anyone who has one and was thinking of getting one of those as well, so it is great to have some feedback on it! :) Thanks for sharing!

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  6. My favorite teacher treat is my pens. I have to use a special kind of pen to grsde papers and write notes. I don't let anyone else use my pens either!

    Rosie
    Rosie's Rambles
    rose.loiacono@gmail.com

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    1. I hear you! I love my pens. I collect crazy pens that all have a special meaning, and I even did a blog post on them!

      http://peanutgallery19.blogspot.com/2013/01/odd-pen-ponderings.html

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

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  7. My *favorite* teacher treat is also my bag! It's a PINK NFL Saints bag with my name monogrammed on one side and "WHO DAT" monogrammed on the strap. I am *BEYOND* a huge Saints (and all football) fan! :)
    I also indulge in fancy pens. My favorite? Sharpie pens!
    I *really* want that writing prompts pack. I'm not sure if we're supposed to PICK a number or if it's the number of our comment. So if it's pick a number (just in case) then I pick #9. Otherwise, ignore crazy me! :)
    Erin
    <a href="http://imlovinlit.blogspot.com>I'm Lovin Lit</a>

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    1. Hey there, Erin! Well, I am sooooo glad you did not pick nine because the next lucky number is SIX! That's you. So just turn your nine upside down and rejoice in your win!

      Can you provide me with your email address so I can send you the prompts? If I don't hear back, I'll hunt you down over at your blog. hee hee

      Thanks for stopping by! Two more lucky spots up for grabs!

      Delete
    2. YAHOO!! :) So glad I came back to CHECK! My email is ecobb@me.com. SO much for lucky Drew Brees! HA! :) Erin

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    3. Yay! I will be emailing you the prompts shortly. Congrats! Darn that Drew anyway! hee hee

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  8. Just to clarify...you don't have to pick the numbers. I will use the order of your posts as numbers. Thanks! I will respond to all and share the winners after school, so keep sharing! :)

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  9. My favorite teacher treat is my Sketchers Go Walks. I wear them almost every work day with whatever I'm wearing, skirt, dress, jeans, capris... Probably not the best fashion sense... but my feet and back thank me EVERY day! I also love my chart paper, sharpies and Zebra Flight Pens!

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    1. Yay, you! The older I get, the less I care about fashion sense. I just want to be comfortable! I used to wear heels and boots and everything. Now I wear flats and have my own Sketchers, too! We are on our feet sooo much that cute shoes that are not comfortable are just not worth it. Plus so many shoes cause me pain. Comfort all the way!

      Thanks for sharing!

      Delete
  10. I use the power word "Believe" as my special word and this weekend our school had a Spring Fling, so I found a great mug with the word "Believe" on it that also helped with supporting survivors of breast cancer. This had special meaning for me because I have a mom and a sister who are breast cancer survivors. Now I have this mug on my desk and it makes me smile and feel good when I see it.

    Charlene/Diamond Mom
    www.diamondmomstreasury.weebly.com/blog.html

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    1. I totally know what you mean. Having something on your desk as powerful as that word (esp. when it connect you to your family and what they have been through and survived...strong women there!) is a reason to smile indeed! Blessings to you and yours! Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. MY favorite teacher treat is the Thirty-One laptop case. I love it. It sure beats the ugly black one that the district gave me. Thanks for the opportunity to win.
    Ursula
    ugamler@boyertownasd.org

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    1. I love Thirty-One... pretty, pretty stuff!

      Thanks for stopping by! Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

      Delete
  12. My treat to myself are my favorite pens!! I've got several kinds that I LOVE: Pentel RSVP, PaperMate Flair and Uni-ball vision (older style). I have enough pens to take me to retirement (15 more years) but I keep buying more!!

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    1. You are a pen expert! I like silly pens, but I couldn't tell you any brand of pen. My brand is "whatever writes." I DO appreciate a good pen, though, so I should invest in some of these you mentioned!

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  14. I treat myself whenever I can. I love anything that I can use in the classroom; pens, notebooks; storage ideas; whatever. My favorite "teacher" gift this week was a beautiful candle and 2 jars of nail polish! Came from a sweet little boy in my classroom who at the beginning of the year was so shy and quiet, but has blossomed into the most wonderful reader and adorable little boy! :)

    rwrench64@yahoo.com

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    1. Yay! Our next lucky winner! Congratulations! I will be emailing you the prompts shortly.

      I am so glad to hear to your sweet little guy. What a difference being in your class made for him! This is why we do what we do! :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  15. One lucky spot still available! :)

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  16. This was such a fun idea for a post, but I didn't reply so that other readers could enter your contest. :) But enough time passed that I figured it was okay and wanted to share! It really does help to treat yourself to pretty teaching things when the going gets rough...and things started to get rough this year for me at school! So I indulged quite a bit, haha. And at this point things feel like they are settling down, so that's proof that retail therapy works. ;)

    My indulgences for 2013 have been:
    *A very cute clipboard (similar to our blog theme with the blue polka dots!) Not only is it cute, but it's strangely lightweight and I've found I like that! I use it for daily homework checks so it was worth investing in.
    *Cute binder clips, push pins, and magnetic clips. They are all similar colors to my own blog scheme (which is also my classroom color scheme). I found them all at Target one day when I was in a splurge mood.
    *File folders in the same color scheme. We adopted a new math program last year, and I figured it'll be with us for a while now, so I might as well go whole hog. File folders in a tub works better for me than binder systems.
    *Table cloths turned curtains, which I recently blogged about over at Shutthedoorandteach. The whole makeover cost only $12!
    *Thin Sharpie pens for marking. Felt tip is so much nicer than ballpoint!
    *The occasional trip to Dunkin Donuts! Although now that I have a Keurig I haven't gone as much this year.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Amber. I love your indulgences! It's amazing how cute stuff makes everything just a little better! :)

      Happy Sunday!

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