Meet Kim M. The Winner of the All About Writing! Gift Set

It was a privilege to invite Kim M., the winner of the Teacher Peach All About Writing Gift Set in our recent holiday contest, to answer a few questions about what makes her tick and thrive as a teacher. One of our two contest winners, Kim’s name was chosen at random to receive this gift set. Congratulations, Kim! Here are some of Kim’s thoughts. We hope they spark you to comment and continue a dialog about what you love about teaching.

   KimM_Teacher_Peach_Contest_Winner   All About Writing Gift Set

TP: Kim, tell us a bit about you, how long you’ve been teaching, what grades, etc.
KM: This is my 19th year of teaching. I have taught one year in second grade, six years in kindergarten, and twelve years in first grade. I have also been married for 19 years and we have two sons.

TP: What made you enter the contest?
KM: I follow Teacher Peach on Facebook and I was really interested in the gift sets that Teacher Peach was giving away in the contest. Both gift sets had lots of colorful things in them that I knew I’d use.

TP: Why did you want to win the prize and how do you plan to use it?
KM: I wanted to win the prize because I really liked the bag! 🙂 I also liked the notecards that can be sent home as a way of communication with classroom families; that’s really important to how I work as a teacher. That kind of connection is a big part of how students perform. We’re one team, families and teachers, all working to help the kids. I am also very excited to use the teacher journal and little black book. It’s important for all teachers, new and seasoned, to collect their thoughts, reflect on what is working and what can go better the next time. Even after nineteen years, or especially after nineteen years, I know that even just a few minutes of reflection can inspire a new idea to try the next day, help teachers see a pattern, or remind teachers that “we’ve been here before.” We tell even first graders to journal and express their thoughts. It’s a big part of being a good teacher, too. It’s good to look back because it is easy to forget that kids grow at different times and in different ways. Sometimes, an idea that didn’t work in November is perfect for that same student, come March. Journaling can help teachers see and recall that idea at the right time.

TP: What are the three biggest rewards for you as a teacher?
KM: Seeing the growth that my students make through the year, seeing their faces light up when they accomplish something they were not sure that they could do, and just the joy of being able to teach these students are the biggest rewards. Being a teacher is kind of like being a conductor of an orchestra. Every student plays a different instrument in his or her own way, and in many different keys, often all at once! As teachers, we do not play their instruments for them; we guide, we help them find the beat, and we hope they’ll hit their high notes when they are ready. When I see a face light up with pride, when my students discover they can do something new, that’s what’s music to my ears!

TP: What are the three biggest challenges you face as a teacher?
KM: While assessment is important for so many reasons, it can be tough to manage and prepare the little ones for so much assessment these days. The amount of assessing that is expected for elementary students is significant and it needs to be a part of lesson plans, strategy, and every teacher’s priorities. But if we use the results right and we are good teachers with the kids’ needs at the forefront, we can use this information as another data point in creating the right solutions for the students. It is also very challenging when families are not involved in their child’s education. Many families do the very best they can; others just seem not to be connected and as teachers, we do not always know why. But we always see the difference it makes in the education of that student when a family cannot or is not involved. Whatever the reason, the results are the same—tough for the child. Believe me, they know the difference—we all do. Lastly, as a teacher, you always want to reach every child. Every child is different and as teachers we need to focus on meeting all the needs of many diverse learners—all at once. That can be a challenge for any teacher.

TP: What advice would you have for other teachers?
KM: This advice is going to sound easy, and be much easier to read than to enact each day. That said, these three pieces of advice have helped me a great deal. The first is always be prepared. The second is always listen to your students. Finally, always have a positive attitude. The first, always be prepared, is actually the easiest because it rests squarely on the teacher’s shoulders. By preparing for the week ahead, teachers are ready to contend with the many surprises we encounter all week long. Without that plan, we’d be constantly reacting. With preparation, it’s much easier to respond on a dime to what the kids need. You can’t REgroup without a group of plans to begin with! Second, listening to your students sounds so simple, but it is actually quite difficult to do sometimes. The classroom is a place of great activity and it is easy to get distracted. Also, some kids just don’t want to be heard—or perhaps they aren’t ready. Kids can also speak in a code that teachers need to crack. A mumbled “I don’t know,” the quiet shrug of a shoulder, or a downward glance often means something more. As teachers, we need to listen to what is said—and what isn’t. Lastly, as for having a positive attitude? That comes from loving what you do, even on a day filled with challenges. As teachers of young elementary students, it’s important to remember that kids will definitely sense your moods, your reactions, and will generally take their cues from you. If you’re positive, then I’m positive that you’ll stand the best chance of getting positive responses from your students.

Kim’s thoughts on teaching and her suggestions come from the heart—and from nineteen years in the classroom. Kim’s All About Writing Gift Set is en route to her. When she opens her package, she’s promised to reconnect with Teacher Peach so stay tuned for Kim’s next installment. What would you add to Kim’s thoughts? When do you feel most rewarded as a teacher? What advice would you like to share? We’d all love to hear about a few of your favorite moments as a teacher.

Meet Sharon B. the Winner of the Words to Grow By! Gift Set

It was a privilege to interview Sharon B., the winner of the Words to Grow By Gift Set in our recent holiday contest. Sharon’s name was chosen at random. Congratulations, Sharon. Here are some excerpts from our interview.

SharonB_Teacher_Peach_Contest_Winner  Words to Grow By Gift Set

TP: Sharon, tell us a bit about you, how long you’ve been teaching, what grades, etc.
SB: I’ve been teaching for 24 years. Now I’m teaching fifth grade, ELA and Social Studies. I’ve taught students from second through eighth grade over the years.

TP: What sparked you to enter this Teacher Peach contest?
SB: I like your page on FB. I love the products, especially the tote bag. I also enjoy the different quotes and share them with my kids, too.

TP: What makes you come back to Teacher Peach?
SB: You get teachers. Teaching is my passion; it is not a career. It is my passion to help my students. When I help students with reading and literacy, I’m doing work that’s right for me—and for them. Many times, students are reading two grades below level. My passion helps me put myself in their shoes. I keep in perspective exactly where each child is and I tell my students I know they can succeed. I encourage every different student to brush off the struggles and frustrations and keep moving forward. Teacher Peach shares my passion for teaching, teachers, and kids. I like that.

TP: What are the three biggest rewards for you as a teacher?
SB: When I started teaching, thought I’d change the world. I quickly learned that would take longer than I’d thought. Now, I see I’ve made differences—one student at a time. It’s the greatest feeling to discover what former students have achieved. It reminds both of us of the difference we made together. Middle school may have been a long time ago, but they remember and so do I. It can take years to know you were a part of their success, but it is worth the wait. I’ve even had the chance to teach the children of former students. Finally, when I worked as a special needs teaching assistant, I found different rewards than I ever imagined. To see those children, so eager to learn and discover what they can do, was big. They didn’t judge, they were open to doing their best, and when I would spot their determination, when I could spark that smile on a child’s face, it was wonderful. All kids can do so much if we encourage them. When they can trust you as a teacher, it is very rewarding.

TP: What are your three biggest challenges?
SB: Every teacher knows that there are just some days you don’t feel you’re getting through to your kids. I stop myself and wonder what those children deal with before and after they are in my classroom. I remind myself that we have no idea what they struggle with at home. As an English teacher, I see students who don’t like to write. I need to figure out other ways to reach them. Getting enough support is a challenge, too. Teaching assistants work so much harder than many teachers see. I was a TA and that experience opened my eyes. As teachers, we need to appreciate all the support teams around us.

TP: You have such an incredible attitude and approach to teaching. What advice would you have for other teachers?
SB: First, put yourself out there and be confident in yourself. Failures do help to build confidence; don’t be afraid of that. Second, smile and keep a positive attitude. I always tell my kids, “Your day always turns out the way the corners of your mouth turn.” That’s good advice for anyone to follow. Finally, have teaching passion. If you are passionate, then teachers teach and learn. We learn from our students—every day. I take what I learn from my kids and try my very best to share learning right back.

TP: What would you tell new teachers and college students considering teaching?
SB: Again, you need a passion to teach. “It’s all in or go home!” Realize you’re never done learning; graduating is the beginning of your next learning opportunity. Keep learning. Seek out PD; I do. I think new teachers think success is about big things, but it isn’t. Teaching with passion shows you that the little things are really big things when they help a student grow and learn! Use numbers wisely, too. Test scores measure progress, but remember the number one, too—one child at a time. Every single child is an individual. Help each do well in class and they’ll do well on standardized tests. Testing is a great measuring tool because you can see progress from starting scores to new ones. I’ve helped kids make a two-year leap in one school year, to jump 47 points in one year! That gain means we’re doing the right things. Data doesn’t lie. Don’t worry what level a student is when you begin; that’s a starting point. I tell my students that if they’ll work with me, I’ll do everything I can to work with them. Let your students know you’ll help and that you know they’ll do their best.

TP: Any other advice for other teachers?
SB: Remember to get down to the kids’ level—look at the world through their eyes if you can. Peer pressure is huge these days. You’ve got to have empathy. Jump in, put yourself out there, and you’ll learn and become an even better teacher.

TP: As you know, Teacher Peach strives to support and appreciate teachers. What makes you feel appreciated?
SB: My district is so amazing, and I’ve always felt appreciated here. Other teachers have told me they’re not so fortunate. From what I hear about other places, politics can sometimes overshadow being there for the kids. In my district, I’m supported for doing my best with and for my kids. I love it when families acknowledge the work I do. Cards and letters from my own principal mean a lot, too.

TP: Can you suggest products you’d like Teacher Peach to create to help support teachers?
SB: You’ve got lots of products of all sizes, which is good. I love the sticky notes, cards, stickers, pencils, clips, Sharpies®, and supplies we use all the time. I also love little pins and clips for lanyards. Personally, I love anything with a ladybug on it. I use LADYBUGS as acronym for what I do.

Sharon’s Ladybug: Learning Always Demonstrates that You’re Building an Understanding of Goals and Skills!

Sharon has certainly shared her understanding of the goals, skills—and passion—every teacher needs to thrive. Sharon’s Teacher Peach Words to Grow By Gift Set is en route to her. When she opens her package, she’s promised to reconnect with Teacher Peach, so stay tuned for Sharon’s next installment. We so hope Sharon’s words of wisdom and ideas inspire you the next time you go into your classroom. What would you add to Sharon’s messages? Do you have a teaching ACRONYM to share?

Showcase Your Profession with Pride with This Rainbow Black Tote

TeacherPeach_VDayLogo

With the Jumbo Rainbow Black Tote from Teacher Peach, proudly display how special it is to teach. In one simple, powerful expression, this stunning black tote bag reflects an incredible display of well-earned teacher pride in an awesome array of colors.

Jumbo Rainbow Black Tote Features

Teacher Peach Jumbo Rainbow Black Tote

  • Message reads: “Yes. I teach. So I inspire, manage, coach, engage, solve problems, listen, detect, explore, believe, care, worry, & always make time to laugh with my kids.”
  • The black, Denier polyester tote highlights the many invaluable roles of every teacher and sends a positive message about the actions teachers take each day.
  • This gift tote is big enough to hold any and all materials teachers need each day. It’s even big enough to add a purse, shoes, or lunch and strong enough to hold most laptops!
  • Organization is easy with the zippered inner and outer compartments.
  • The sturdy, 25-inch rolled shoulder straps add to the comfort.
  • Be sure to thank the many teachers in your life with this special, colorful teacher gift!

Teacher Peach Jumbo Rainbow Black Tote   Teacher Peach Jumbo Rainbow Black Tote

Teacher Peach Jumbo Rainbow Black Tote   Teacher Peach Jumbo Rainbow Black Tote

This tote is perfect for fitting all of your daily teaching materials. But that’s not all—this bag is all-purpose! It’s even big enough to store all of your workout gear. Carry it with you from your classroom, to the gym, home, and wherever else you might roam! This bag is perfect for all your on the go needs!

How would this tote help you carry your daily gear and send a strong, powerful message about your love of teaching? Comment below and let us know! Then check out the other great products to meet your needs at teacherpeach.com along with the many amazing Valentine’s Day gifts you might also want to pop onto your wishlist. Teacherpeach.com has it all!

5 Tips for a Great Winter Break from School!

Reset and Relaunch
As the holidays approach, there’s an excited energy in the air at school. There’s much to finish before the break and many extra events to weave into the mix. School life becomes hectic. While your main priority is keeping your students focused so this week isn’t “lost,” this is also a key week for you as a teacher. This week is the time to make even a sliver of time to reset and set up your own post-break relaunch. Doing this the week before winter break allows you to more effectively relax, recuperate, and recharge on your time away from school.

Before you depart for your well-deserved vacation, Teacher Peach has five quick tips to share. These tips will help lead you into winter break with a clearer mind. Just knowing that your re-entry in January will go more smoothly will make the time investment now worthwhile. (Add one more thing to my already-packed list? Are you kidding?) Just scan these tips. This blog post offers five tips best done early in the week before break. Our Thursday post will cover five more last-minute tips to have a smooth return after winter break.

5 Tips for the Last Week Before Winter Break

  1. Create and confirm plans for class plants and pets.
    If you have plants, pets, or ongoing projects that need care and attention over the break, secure your support teams early in the week, if you’ve not done so already. If you have lined up families willing to take home a plant or class pet over the break, be sure to confirm again this week. People tend to forget, and bringing home “Mortimer” might mean their child cannot take the bus home on Friday, causing a chain reaction on a day when everyone wants to leave on time.

Write up instructions and tape them to the pot, cage, or box itself. Sending via email is a great double-check, but having directions, food, and information in tangible proximity helps ensure a successful winter break experience all around. These instructions are a great opportunity to show families how organized you are and will help reduce their stress over the break.

  1. Purge, pack, and prepare learning centers and student materials.
    Recycle, send home, and share anything you’ll no longer need in January. Send home student work and clear out folders to be ready for the second half of the year. Early finishers can even reinforce their take-home folders. Recycle or share books, newspapers, handouts, magazines, etc., with other teachers. Does the art teacher need items for upcoming projects? The library will appreciate any books that aren’t being used, and perhaps other teachers can use extra handouts. Students make great messengers, delivering items to various locations within the school. If your class is going to host a holiday party, this early-in-the-week clean up also ensures your room sparkles when families join at the end of the week. They can even take home first semester work that day. Whip up a few labels so it’s clear to everyone what goes home and does not need to come back.
  1. Map out your lesson plans for the first two weeks of school after break.
    Doing this now can seem like an extra burden in an already busy week, but while you’re in school and teaching this week, your instructional priorities are top of mind. You won’t need to spend that last Sunday before school starts reconstructing or scratching your head to remember exactly where you left off on every small aspect of your teaching plan. Besides, this week is going to be filled with interruptions. If you refer back to the plan you made yesterday, you’ll likely forget the things you didn’t have time to cover exactly as you had planned. Just think of how happy you’ll be when you get ready to come back to school, knowing this work is done and waiting for you.

As an extra planning boost, early in the week, create a “Return” folder and place it on the corner of your desk. As the week progresses, tuck in this folder everything you’ll want to immediately put your hands on when you first return. You’ll be amazed at how many things you collect during the week and how on top of your game you’ll feel from this simple little “pay-it-forward” activity.

  1. Get ready to spruce up your classroom for next semester.
    Even if you don’t have time now to replace your room decorations for the new semester, take a few minutes to pull out materials and ruffle through them. Sometimes, you have less there than you think. By taking a quick inventory now, you’ll know what you need and may be able to find a few things on sale over the break. This is a great task for Tuesday morning; by Thursday, you probably won’t have time.
  1. Map out your photocopy needs for January.
    The week before break often means there are extra volunteers in the building who might be available to do your copy jobs. It’s also a time when others are not focused on this behemoth task. While there may be a line at the copier for those holiday word search puzzles, your meatier curricular materials are likely to get first dibs. At the very least, if you know what your copying needs are likely to be for January, you can reserve some paper ahead of time. This is true of bigger, third-quarter projects, too. If you know you’ll be doing a research project that has lots of handouts, pull your folder now. You’ll appreciate this later. Remember to write clear instructions if holiday volunteers are doing your work, though. The few extra minutes to clearly explain in writing can save time, paper, toner, and increase self-esteem for everyone involved.

Really Great Products for a Really Great Return to School
There’s still time to treat yourself to some just-for-you supplies to get your new semester off to a fresh and productive start. Once you’re rested, you’ll be ready to jump right in. These tools will help keep your own work organized.

Modern Desk Accessories
MCRDSJT5-2T   MCRDSKC5-2T Modern Desk Set Kids Colors  Modern Desk Set Jewel Tone

  • Want to spruce up you desk with new desk accessories after winter break? These desk sets are fantastic ways to spend a holiday gift card to treat yourself to gifts you’ll use each day.
  • Stapler, cup, tape dispenser, and supplies tray each come in two different colors.
  • Check out the two choices for those much-needed tissue box covers, too.
  • There are four different sets to choose from as well as color-coordinated product mixes with journals and more.
  • Each desk accessory is also sold separately.

Travel Kit for Teachers
Teacher Travel Kit

  • As a teacher, you’re always on the go. In today’s world, anywhere is your classroom! “From classroom to classroom, hallway to hallway, or school to school. . .” this Travel Kit For Teachers is packed with tools you’ll need.
  • This 7-in-1 kit includes a stapler, staples, sticky notes, paper clips, rubber bands, a hole puncher, and a tape dispenser.
  • The kit snaps tightly closed, making this a great commuter item, too.

Cool Teacher Pocket Folders
Pocket Folders

  • Start the new semester with a fresh set of teacher pocket folders. Keep your organization at peak level with these Cool Teacher Pocket Folders!
  • These versatile folders have many uses. Upcoming Events for announcements and flyers about school events; School Information for the info you need at your fingertips like fire drills, allergies, etc; Schedule and Memos for special event schedules; and Substitute Teacher for checklists and instructions that are always prepped so the substitute only needs to locate your lesson plan for the day; everything else is tucked in this folder.
  • Read the “Wordle” style designs of each folder for ideas and suggestions of relevant documents to include in each.

This Week’s List of Many Colors!
This week before winter break is bound to be action packed. Chances are, you’ll have more on your to-do list both at school and at home than you can possibly accomplish. Keep priorities in focus by highlighting your list in three colors: one for MUST DO activities with deadlines attached to them, another color for less urgent, yet important activities that will make a difference in the long run, and finally, a third color for those nice-to-accomplish-but-not-vital” actions.

Seeing your list in this way will help reduce your stress and keep you on target to achieve top results. This is a significant way to get your winter break off to a terrific start. By spending your time this week focused on the right work for now and the start of the next semester, you’ll kick off your break feeling proud and accomplished. Can you think of two better gifts to give to yourself and your students?

Be on the lookout for 5 MORE tips for the last day before break. Until then, what tips would you add to the tips listed in this post? What pre-break habits work for you? We want to hear from you.

5 Tips for Finding Meaningful and Appropriate Teacher Gifts

The holiday gift-giving season is the perfect time for teacher appreciation. However, many families struggle to find appropriate teacher gifts for teachers. Some schools designate room representatives to collect money on a voluntary basis for a class teacher gift. Other schools leave teacher appreciation gifts up to individuals. Some families give teacher gifts; others don’t.

To show your teachers that your family appreciates them this holiday season, this article will help you choose terrific teacher gifts. Teacher Peach knows what teachers like, so our five tips for finding meaningful and appropriate teacher gifts will help you choose special and meaningful teacher gifts for the range of teachers on your list.

Four Typical Teacher Gift Categories
Typical teacher appreciation gifts fall into four main types, each with PROs and CONs. Review these common options before delving into the five tips. Looking first at what doesn’t always work will help you select an option that does work for your teachers!

  1. The Generic Gift Card
    With collected money, classroom representatives often purchase generic gift cards from major credit card companies or chain stores.
    PROs: These cards are easy to find, easy to give, and easy for teachers to spend almost anywhere. You don’t need to know anything about the teachers to choose this gift option.
    CONs: A generic gift card is impersonal. Teachers often spend these gift cards immediately—on gifts for other people, not on themselves! Gift cards may offset holiday budget concerns, but they disappear quickly and teachers often end up with only receipts to remind them of your gesture.
  2. The Handmade Gift
    Pinterest boards brim with ideas for handmade holiday teacher gifts. Many involve ready-made office supplies or foods wrapped with clever wording to personalize them. “You’re one smart cookie!” might be the tag for cookies or “You’re a sharp teacher!” might top a set of Sharpie® markers.
    PROs: Making gifts can be fun for some. Cookies are popular handmade gifts. A handmade scarf might also be fun.
    CONs: Handmade gifts are often pricier than they seem. By the time you buy ingredients and supplies and make gifts, dollars and hours can expand—at an already busy time of year. Homemade gifts are often consumable and, as with the generic gift card, are often shared by teachers with family and friends. Some schools have no-food policies, too.
  3. A Teacher-Specific Trinket
    You’ll find what some consider humorous teacher trinkets and gifts. Many poke gentle fun at teaching. A T-shirt for math teachers might read, “I’ve got problems! I teach math!” Other items might include ornaments or mugs with apples, ABCs, or 123s, reading “World’s Best Teacher.” Some can be personalized: “Mr. Harris, World’s Best Teacher.”
    PROs: These gifts focus on the teacher’s profession and may be perceived as more thoughtful than generic gifts. They’re also inexpensive. If you know teachers well enough to know such gifts would entertain, they may be good options.
    CONs: Not every teacher appreciates this type of gift. Most teachers and schools strive to present highly professional and positive images. Some of these gifts might be seen as presenting the profession in a pejorative way. Others may appear too juvenile for teachers to display or carry. As one teacher said, “Just because I love teaching kindergarten doesn’t mean I want to ride the train with a bag covered in handprints and stick figures.” To personalize a gift often takes extra time so plan ahead; adding a teacher’s name makes the gift non-returnable and non-exchangeable.
  4. A Personal Item
    Sweet Sips Water BottlesIf you know what interests the teachers on your list, personal items can be great gestures. Scarves and gloves are great for dismissal and recess. A book about rock climbing shows an avid climber/teacher you respect his/her outside interests. Tote bags, water bottles, and tech gear appeal to many teachers. Some have positive messages about teaching, too. Sweet Sips™ water bottles keep drinks hot for 6 hours and cold for 12; reading: “I THIRST for knowledge.”
    PROs: These gifts signal you know the teachers in your world. Scarves fit most people. If you include a gift receipt, items may usually be returned.
    CONs: When teachers share their interests, many in the class know about it. You could end up giving your horse-loving teacher one of seven horse motif mugs! You’ll also need to know sizes for some personal items.

5 Tips for Finding More Meaningful and Appropriate Teacher Gifts
Now that you’ve reviewed the more typical gifts, consider these 5 tips for finding meaningful and appropriate teacher gifts. Gift givers want to find just the right gifts for the teachers who teach their children.

  1. Wish Lists Help Everyone!
    Both families and teachers love wish lists. Gift givers like buying from wish lists and teachers enjoy receiving gifts they really want. It means a lot to teachers to be asked to choose gifts that really appeal. It’s good to preview and provide links to one or two website wish lists to help teachers feel comfortable their choices are within your budget. Share work-related, not personal, wish list links like this link from teacherpeach.com, a great source for really great teacher gifts and accessories for really great teachers. This site helps you appropriately express your teacher appreciation this holiday season.

    Teacher Peach Wish List

    Check out the Wishlist link at the bottom of our website, teacherpeach.com. Use this private wishlist to select items that appeal to you. Once you have settled on your favorites, share them with friends, your family, and even with those student families that may ask what you’d like for the holiday. Because our wishlist is just for you, consider some of these options as ways to share out your finalists. It’s easy to make a Pinterest board of your favorites by clicking on the little red Pinterest graphic that appears on each product page or send screen shots or product links in an email. However you opt to do it, by making a few selections of your favorite gift ideas from Teacher Peach, you’ll set the stage for everyone to enjoy the holiday season—including you!

  1. Pool Resources for Bigger Gifts
    Get together with other families to pool resources and purchase a more robust teacher’s gift set. Some sets, like the ones shown below, contain products for teachers, students, and classrooms. These gifts send supportive messages, adding value to teachers and students.
    Teacher Peach Gift SetTeacher Gift Set
  1. Say the Word(s)!
    If your budget won’t permit purchased or handmade teacher gifts, use words to send great messages. Help kids make lists of adjectives to describe their teachers’ qualities. Make lists of 12 Compliments, one for each day of the holidays. Have kids write 26 words about teachers—A to Z. The right words can make meaningful teacher gifts.
  1. Be a Gift Detective
    Pop into class to scope out what’s missing on the teacher’s desk. Would a new stapler or “TEACH-CHOO!” tissue box spruce things up? How about an entire desk set?
    Teacher Peach Desk Set
    Do you notice color-coding? Do bulletin boards indicate a creative streak? Would Sharpie® marker sets and cool pocket folders be great additions?
    Teacher's Only Marker SetPocket Folders
    Do you spot a picture of a cat or recall your child sharing stories about his teacher’s big black lab? Gifts for a teacher’s furry friend is a great way to express thanks. The Real Teacher’s Pet™ products are just such a product line.
    Teacher Peach's Pet Products
    Watch teachers leaving school. Would a snazzy “I Teach.” Jumbo Tote complete her professional look? Totes make great teacher appreciation gifts.
    Teacher Peach JUMBO TOTETeacher Peach Jumbo Rainbow Black Tote
  1. Choose Teacher Gift Certificates from a Teacher-Centric Gift Store
    Choosing appropriate teacher gifts can be tough, but not impossible. What if you’ve reviewed teacher wish lists, chatted with other families, attempted thank-you lists, applied your best detective skills, and still can’t decide what teacher gift to choose for teachers who really matter? What if you’re just pressed for time? Choose gift certificates from a teacher-centric store to ensure the really great teachers in your world can make their own really great gift choices! Teacher Peach offers gift certificates in any dollar amounts for just such situations.
    Teacher Gift Certificate

Put a Bow On Teacher Appreciation Gifts
From wish lists to tote bags and other teacher accessories, there are many meaningful ways to show teacher appreciation with great teacher gifts this holiday season. By planning ahead to take advantage of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other holiday deals, you can explore terrific teacher gift options—and save money. No matter what approach you choose, you’re not only expressing teacher appreciation—you’re also showing your kids that teachers give great gifts to your family every day.

Have other ideas for teacher gifts? Share your teacher gift-giving strategies here.

Teacher Peach Freebies: Peer Review and Support

Growing with Peer Reviews
One of the best ways to grow as a teacher and prepare for your evaluations is to seek out peer reviews. The feedback received from your peers could be invaluable in making your classroom more effective and better preparing you for your formal evaluations. Invite a trusted peer into your classroom and work together to maximize the brainpower that goes into making your classroom the best that it can be.

Prepping for a Peer Observation
Before your peer observation, use this list of questions to help you prepare your lesson and to prepare your peer for what he or she is about to observe. When an observer has the answers to these questions, he or she will be able to make learned observations and provide more directed feedback. This kind of analytical preparation is key to the peer observation process.

A Proper Thank You
Teacher Peach's Partner Thank You Cards
When one of your peers has agreed to observe you and provide you with feedback, be sure to thank him or her for his or her efforts. A perfect way to say thank you is with Teacher Peach’s Partner Thank You Cards. Or if this person has provided you with a lot of help over the years, perhaps a stylish tote bag or a functional lunch accessory would be an even better thank-you gift.

Stay Tuned for More
In future blog posts, we’ll give you some more forms that will help you with a peer evaluation process. Check back often to make sure you don’t miss any of our freebies.