Spectacular article on why some brands are letting Amazon handle their e-commerce operations

Teacher Peach would like to take the time to thank Ginny Marvin for the lovely article about Teacher Peach and Amazon’s relationship. Ginny and Marketing Land did such a wonderful job explaining our reasoning for rethinking the role of our website and how we sell our products. Thank you for accurately explaining Teacher Peach’s methods to show others the benefits of letting Amazon handle e-commerce operations! If you want to check out the article, click here!

 

Chef Leigh’s Backpack of Blessings

Chef Leigh’s Backpack of Blessings
Meet Our FINAL High 5 Winner, Chef Leigh

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Teacher Peach is thrilled to present the 5th winner of Teacher Peach’s “Granting Teacher Goals!” High 5 Initiative, Chef Leigh!

Chef Leigh is gearing up to help those around her and her school who are less fortunate most specifically, those who find themselves presently homeless. This heartfelt High 5 Initiative reaches out into the community by developing a backpack project for those individuals and families who are currently homeless. Through charitable donations from local companies and organizations, Chef Leigh and her amazing and dedicated students gather materials and fill backpacks with useful items that truly matter—items many of us may take for granted. These thoughtful care kits not only help need some very basic needs, on a deeper level, these dignified gifts help remind people that there are people who care and want to help. This initiative helps increase student, neighborhood, and community awareness and sends a message that everyone can do something to help someone else! Teacher Peach is thrilled to help through our High 5 Initiative award, too.

LeeAndra Khan, who carefully judged all of the entries in Teacher Peach’s High 5 Initiative, explains why this project was chosen as the final winning entry. “Community Service projects not only teach students to collaborate and engage, this kind of project goes even further, teaching students the importance of having—and showing—empathy for others. Students participating in this project will also gain vital leadership skills that they will be able to apply in all of their future endeavors.”

Chef Leigh Says . . .
We had the privilege of interviewing Chef Leigh about her experiences in education and her goals for this particular project. She shared her thinking and views as follows—

TP: How long have you been teaching?
CL: All my life! I have always enjoyed sharing with others. About eight years ago, I was approached by a local technical college and asked to teach in the Culinary Arts Department. I really had a wonderful time there. Then, I was asked to consider teaching at the local high school. Having made it through high school once, I honestly was not all that eager to return, but return I did. I put on my dress uniform, my best smile, and did my best in the interview. It must have been right for all of us because I had a contract offer before I even got home. The rest, as they say, is history!

TP: Why did you become a teacher?
CL: Originally I starting teaching because I was looking for a job in the culinary field and a position opened up at the college level. It wasn’t until I began teaching high school that I realized that teaching was my “surprise destiny!”  Something just “clicked” for me when I started working with students at the high school level. My students really are eager to hear and be heard.  Once I really understood how to communicate with my students, and listen to what they have to say to me, I really began to hit my stride as an effective teacher. It takes both students and teachers to make any learning experience work.

TP: What are the most inspiring aspects of teaching for you?
CL: One of the most thrilling and inspiring aspects of teaching is being able to witness that true “aha” moment—when a student finally “gets it” and the light bulb goes on. That expression is one that can carry me for along time.Helping students engage and become hooked into what I am hoping to teach can be done so many ways and usually the kids will tell you what works best for them if you, as a teacher, are open to spotting it. I am so thankful to be on the faculty of a project-based-learning school. Here, I have the freedom to use many different avenues for instruction. I’m happy to report that it is never quite “status quo” in my classroom. On any given day, we typically have four or five different tasks going on, all of them relevant and filled with real-world connections. I know I do a lot to prepare, as any teacher should, but it’s like a stage: when the students arrive, I love seeing their individual progress and our group progress unfold in front of me.

TP: How do you think this project will impact your students and what outcomes are you hoping to achieve?
CL: Our Backpack Project is a leadership initiative through LEAD2FEED and this is the second semester we have worked through this program. It was written for high school students to allow them the opportunity to create and control a project that impacts our local community. Many of my students didn’t even realize that we had homeless students in our school, much less in the community. They had associated homelessness with downtown Atlanta where they knew there are people living under the bridges, and so forth, but not in our own community.

Through research and discussion, we were able to team up with a local church that serves the homeless population. We sponsored Candy Grams for Valentine’s Day and sold over 300! We used the proceeds to purchase items for the backpacks. Our BIG GOAL is 50 packs- 25 for local high school students and 25 to be passed out to those outside of school who may also need these items. To date, eight different clubs or teams at our school have joined in by donating needed items—and it continues to grow.

My students are now so much more aware that “societal” issues are applicable everywhere—including our own community. They have become much more civic minded, too. Hopefully, this knowledge will stick with them and will become a part of what they carry into adulthood. Having the chance to know that they are able to personally do something to make a difference to others is very powerful to learn at 15 and 16 years old. It means a lot to these kids—and to those they help.  

TP: What advice would you have for other teachers?
CL: Have confidence in your students! Our students are amazing people. Get to know that. Don’t just let them out of the traditional “box” of education—really invite them out. ANYTHING can be turned into an applicable lesson with a little forethought.  REALLY listen to what they have to say (even if it seems silly) and above all, be honest with them. My kids trust me more because I admit when I am wrong and when I admit I don’t know the answer. We all know it takes time to build relationships; take that time because it is worth it.  Sometimes the best thing you can do as a teacher is to just stop and really listen. When your students trust you—and you believe in them—you will be amazed at what can happen!

Sparked by Chef Leigh?
Chef Leigh’s advice is inspiring and motivating! Teacher Peach is proud to help Chef Leigh and her students as they continue to work to help the homeless and grow to be more engaged and involved in their community. In addition to the $100 award, Teacher Peach is also sharing some awesome products with Chef Leigh and her students.

Check out these Teacher Peach products Chef Leigh will use in both the backpacks and in her classroom …

Stick’R Treat Mega Stickers Collection
Little Black Books
What ideas does Chef Leigh’s project spark for you? How could you create or adapt a project like this for your students? What spaces surround your classroom that could be enlivened by the creativity of your kids?

Cynthia C. Goes Overseas!

Meet a Winner in Writing, Cynthia C.

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Teacher Peach is pleased to introduce the second winner of Teacher Peach’s “Granting Teacher Goals!” High 5 Initiative!  Cynthia C. engages her 6th grade students by “taking them overseas!” Her innovative High 5 Initiative blends authentic writing assignments with patriotism as her students “adopt” deployed US service personnel. Her educational project not only builds and sharpens the writing skills of her students, it also makes a powerful difference to the dedicated and brave individuals who go to incredible lengths to help keep us safe.

Our esteemed judge, LeeAndra Khan, explains why this project was a clear winner.  “This project helps to increase writing skills as well as gets students to become more globally minded. Students also learn about the locations where the service personnel are stationed. This activity helps students to develop empathy as well as understand and express their appreciation for patriotism and service.”

Cynthia Says . . .
We had the privilege of interviewing Cynthia about her experiences in education and goals for her project. Here’s what she had to say . . .

TP: Please, tell us a bit about you, how long you’ve been teaching, what grades, etc.
CC: I have been teaching since 1983, with maternity leaves, for a total of 21 years of actual time in the classroom. I have taught in several grade levels, from elementary through high school.

TP: What made you decide to become a teacher?
CC: I became a teacher because I love working with children and young adults. I achieve a personal “high” when I see them experience an “aha” moment, regardless of the content area.

TP: What have been the most inspiring aspects of teaching for you?
CC: The most inspiring aspects of teaching for me are watching my students mature in their personal, social, and academic skills. When they suddenly understand the power that they have as individuals and as a cohesive team to make change in their own lives, the school environment, and the larger community, it is a wonderful sight to see.

TP: How does (did) this project impact your students and what outcomes are you hoping to achieve?
CC: This pen pal project, sending letters and care packages to service personnel stationed overseas, has impacted my students by awakening in them a sense of patriotism; they begin to understand that the United States has a multi-faceted mission, one that protects US interests abroad, and also the interests of innocent people caught in hopeless and difficult situations caused by war. They realize that we are not only on military missions—we are also on humanitarian missions. I have been doing this project for the last nine years and this experience has impacted not only my current students, but their parents, and especially younger sibling and friends who ask, on their first day of school, “When do WE get to start the pen pal project?” That’s a powerful reach. With this additional financial support, we hope to reach even further.

TP: What advice would you have for other teachers?
CC: My advice to other teachers is to think big! Create projects that will impact your students AND a larger community. Reach out to forge partnerships in the community to enlarge the audience that becomes a part of your lesson. You’d be amazed at how community leaders are usually willing to participate; you just have to take a risk and ASK!

Inspired by Cynthia?

Cynthia’s lesson is certain to influence and inspire the lives of all of those involved—both today and long into the future. As Cynthia’s interview confirms, many of her former students and their families are already “veterans” of this activity and it has become a tradition that everyone is proud to continue. Teacher Peach is proud to help Cynthia to further enrich this project going forward. In addition to the $100 award, Teacher Peach is also sharing some awesome products with Cynthia and her students.

Check out these Teacher Peach products. Cynthia will use them to connect her students to soldiers and to keep her classroom organized all along the way!

“WRITE.” MECHANICAL PENCILS

COOL TEACHER POCKET FOLDERS: UPCOMING EVENTS

 

What ideas does Cynthia’s project spark for you? How could you create or adapt a project like this for your students?

Magnificent Murals Winner!

Meet Our First Winner of the High 5 Initiative, Amanda T.
Art and Exceptional Education Teacher

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The big moment is here! Teacher Peach is pleased to introduce the first of five visionary and talented teachers whose engaging school projects are true winners! These teachers and their projects add incredible value to their school communities. The winners of this initiative are dedicated educators and we believe their work will inspire students and colleagues alike—that’s why they were selected by principal and thought leader, LeeAndrea Khan, to receive a $100 Teacher Peach award to fuel their educational project as part of Teacher Peach’s “Granting Teacher Goals!” High 5 Initiative!

Amanda Transforms Blank Spaces into Celebrations of Art—and Life!

Amanda T. encourages her students to look at blank walls, doors, and bulletin boards and envision the colorful and informative possibilities! This heartwarming High 5 Initiative includes the beautification of her Floridian middle school and improvement of the community image of the school. With this grant, her art class will now have the freedom to continue to paint beautiful, artistic murals around the school, helping to make their school environment even more inviting for the community. Amanda’s educational project goes beyond aesthetics, giving students a unique sense of pride when they see their original works publicly displayed. It also help students to connect visual expression to some very important life lessons that serve us all well to remember.

Our esteemed judge, LeeAndra Khan, explains why this project was a “picture” perfect choice as one of the winning entries. “Getting students to be part of keeping their own community beautiful only enhances their learning experiences. It is important for students to have voice and choice in their school. This increases engagement and ultimately impacts success. When they feel like they belong there, they act like it.”

Amanda Says . . .

We had the privilege of interviewing Amanda about her experiences in education and her goals for her project. Here’s what she had to say . . .

TP: How long have you been teaching?
AT: I have been teaching for 10 years.

TP: Why did you become a teacher?
AT: I became a teacher in the field of Special Education/Art to help students who learn differently become confident in their personal learning styles—and to keep learning in their own special ways. This applies to all students, of course.

TP: What are the most inspiring aspects of teaching for you?
AT: The most inspiring aspect of teaching is to watch students become interested in and eager to participate in the learning process, enough to want to show off what they know.

TP: How do you think this project will impact your students and what outcomes are you hoping to achieve?
AT: The “Beautify the Door” Contest involves my students in my art classes. The students use perspective in the literal way with drawing buildings and then they add a written component with sayings about how we look at life—learning and behaving, for example. They’re able to see the significance in how art can impact people in a variety of ways. (We’ve included a short video illustrating her “Beautify the Door” Contest below!)

TP: What advice would you have for other teachers?
AT: My best advice to other teachers, especially new teachers, is to stay on your toes and be creative! Also, be on the lookout for where your kids are and what they bring to the table. Students drive the lesson forward by what they bring with them from their own life experiences. What they have inside and are willing to share with us can teach us, as teachers, in the process. Then we can connect the lessons to their realities in ways we wouldn’t have imagined would be possible. Just by listening, we learn, too.

Sparked by Amanda?

Amanda’s colorful concept will have a BIG impact on both her students and the community as a whole. By creating an inviting and expressive academic environment, she is inviting her students to express themselves, enhance their environment, AND she’s also reminding her students that there are people who care for them, about them, and are willing to support their successes. Teacher Peach is proud to help Amanda create these vivid, fun, and creative displays that will spark students’ creativity and curiosity—and those of the school’s faculty, too. In addition to the $100 award, Teacher Peach is also sharing some awesome products with Amanda and her students.

 

Check out just a few of these Teacher Peach products Amanda will use to help her students beautify their learning space!

Keep It Together Portfolio Case

The Box! Totefolio

Take a Peek!
Amanda shared a quick video of some of the work her students have done so far. In under a minute, she’ll give you a fast tour of how these amazing students express themselves and make connections that will inspire all of us! Go, Amanda!

 

What ideas does Amanda’s project spark for you? How could you create or adapt a project like this for your students? What spaces surround your classroom that could be enlivened by the creativity of your kids?

 

Back-to-School Ideas for Teachers to Involve Families, Part 1

Teacher-Family Partnerships Work
The partnership between teachers and families is critical to ensuring academic success for your students. It is also a significant factor in your own success as a teacher. The families of the students in your class can be your biggest champions and supporters. As a teacher, you have likely developed a well-honed ability to connect with your students. Leveraging this skill set to families can do wonders for your classroom—and students. When you consider the families of your students as an extended facet of your classroom community, you will be able to forge powerful partnerships.

This partnership, like any, could have its ups and downs. The back-to-school ideas listed below can help you involve families and create great partnerships will add value to your classroom all year long. Get your year off to a terrific start by reaching out to families in many different ways. Explore these options and see what works best for you. Continue reading “Back-to-School Ideas for Teachers to Involve Families, Part 1”

Teachers Know It’s All About the Kids. . .

Teacher Peach knows that it IS all about the kids and that teachers underscore this belief every time they step into their classrooms. That’s why we’re committed to supporting what teachers believe and inspiring them to champion their students by creating awesome accessory products—just for teachers.

HOW We Create Teacher Gift Products
Even though summer is a quieter time for teachers, Teacher Peach is anything but. We’re in product-creation mode, big time. What teachers think matters to us—from the moment we shape an initial idea until we put each product into its shipping box. Each time we release a new product collection, we’ll take our blog readers behind the scenes to share the thinking, care, energy, research, and focus we put into the unique teacher accessories we create.

WHY This Teacher Gift Product Collection Is So Special
I’m very excited to personally describe our newest collection, Because it’s all about the kids. . .”. In today’s difficult times, teachers have to Continue reading “Teachers Know It’s All About the Kids. . .”