A Teacher’s Appreciation to remember…
We are celebrating Teacher Appreciation week one week early at my school. Our state standardized testing falls on the official week (May 8th-12th). I am grateful they moved it so that we could enjoy it and not feel anxious or stressed over all that comes with state testing!
It also allows me to give you lots of ideas for how you can show your colleagues gratitude and appreciation this year! Which by the way is simultaneously modeling this for your students! It is SO important for them to see and learn now, and something that they’ll (hopefully) carry with them into their own professional lives one day!
10 Appreciation Gifts
In episode 42 of the Teaching La Vida Loca podcast, I share 10 super fun, affordable (cheap or free) ideas for appreciation gifts to give your teacher colleagues and friends! Some will take just a couple of minutes, while others will take a little planning. However, I guarantee ALL will bring YOU and someone you care about in your building, some much needed JOY!
This week, I want to share in more detail about ONE of the ideas I mentioned in my podcast. It is something I’ve done for 3 different teacher groups I’ve worked with. It all started with a gift I received from my administrator in my second year of teaching back when I taught at Skinner Middle School in Denver, Colorado!
Word Cloud Appreciation
Check it out! I received this word cloud, and my assistant principal explained to me that the bigger the word, the more times people in my building had said it as an adjective that describes me.
So, this amazing gift gave me the inspiration to have STUDENTS do this for TEACHERS! They help me with the adjectives, and I create the word clouds and frame them! Here’s a few from this year:
How to Make a Word Cloud
Here’s my process:
First, gather the adjectives from your students. You can do this in two different ways: using paper (I prefer this even though I had access to computers) or Google forms!
Next, write the teacher’s name at the top of the paper or as a question on a form requiring a short form answer. Have students write or type ONE positive adjective for each teacher.
The reason I prefer paper is two-fold. First, students who struggle to think of a variety of positive adjectives get inspired when they read other’s ideas, AND paper allows students to star or put a check mark next to any other words (one or two max) that they agree with. For example if Tahj writes “loving” on Dr. J’s poster, he can then star “caring” and “funny” which were written by Journee and Trinity.
Spelling doesn’t matter as much because you’re the one typing them into the word clouds later.
Next, go to www.wordart.com or ANY site that is a free wordcloud generator. There’s loads of them! I prefer word art because it lets me do loads of awesome shapes and colors. I made a reel of how to use it two years ago and you can watch that here.
A Video How-To
The most important steps are outlined below:
Click import and add your words… the more times you list a word the bigger it will be. Make sure you unclick the box that says “remove common words”!
Watch this 2 minute Loom video for a how-to!
I really like to screen grab the word clouds and save them into a document that I can print out easily. I think if you have an account on word art, it is easy enough to download them! Whatever works for you!
Next, head to the dollar store, and buy some frames! You can cut the visuals into 5”x7” squares, write the teacher’s name on the front, and put it in the frame! Put these in a teacher work space or in your classroom and invite teachers to come and collect them. This brings students joy too, to see teachers receiving these throughout the day and feeling so appreciated!
It is really fun to see them lined up next to each other because you can see how unique and special each teacher is and how the adjectives used really do set them apart!
Share the Appreciation
If you do this for your colleagues, send me some photos in an email or tag me on social media! I would LOVE to see! I can’t wait to hear how this idea and the others in my podcast spread love and JOY to educators everywhere!
REMEMBER, if this feels like a LOT to manage right now, go listen to episode 42 of Teaching La Vida Loca for more ideas for Teacher Appreciation week! Ideas range from short, simple, and free to a little bit more complex but not as involved as this one. I am so grateful for you and all you do!
La Maestra Loca