Teacher Appreciation Week is around the corner! As the world celebrates the impact that teachers like you make every day with your work, it’s also a time for you to reflect on your journey as an educator with pride and appreciate all the moments that are worth celebrating.
We asked educators in the TpT community to look back on some of the standout moments of their careers — those times when they reached a student who was struggling, had a fellow teacher make their day, or saw the fruits of their labor come to life.
So many of you told us about the special moments that have meant a lot to you, and we gathered some of our favorites to share here on the blog! If you want to see more, search the hashtag #TpTCelebratesYou on Instagram and Facebook and share your favorite stories using the same hashtag.
1. Teachers Make a Lasting Impact
“This year, a parent of a student I taught in 3rd grade contacted me. The student is graduating this year and is signing a baseball scholarship for college. They asked him who he’d like to attend the ceremony and he told them he wanted his 3rd grade teacher there! Times like this make me realize all of my hard work, tears, and sacrifices have been worth every minute.” – Julie J.
2. Teachers Support Each Other
“On my very first official day of teaching ever, a teacher on my team greeted me with a fresh bunch of flowers because ‘every new teacher should start out with a beautiful bouquet of flowers on the desk.’ It has been so fun to carry on that tradition to every new teacher that I have encountered.” — Cyndie D.
3. Teachers Believe in Their Students
“One year, when I was teaching 1st grade in an inner city school, I had a parent come to me to thank me for believing in her son. She fought me all year on what I thought he could push himself to do. When he won a prestigious academic award at the end of the year, she was crying tears of happiness. That’s when I knew I was doing what I was supposed to do. I wasn’t sure before that.” – Joanne H.
4. Teachers Witness the Most Beautiful Moments
“I had a non-verbal student ask another non-verbal student to prom with a communication board two weeks ago! A first! It was heartwarming!” – Mandi S.
5. Teachers Inspire the Next Generation of Teachers
“A former student of mine — from my 5th grade class — who had struggled in class due to a family situation, contacted me via Facebook recently. He let me know that he had graduated from both high school and college, and was now an elementary school teacher. I used to tell him that ‘failure is not an option for you.’ He said he believed me.” – Tonya K.
6. Teachers Introduce Lifelong Habits
“I was ending the day with my 4th grade class one day in early June. A young man appeared at the door who had been one of my 3rd grade students nine years earlier. He said, ‘Hi Mrs. London! It’s me, Mike! Today was my last day of high school. Here’s my 3rd grade journal, and here’s my journal from this year. I just wanted to say thanks for teaching me how important it is to write every day!’ I’ve been so fortunate to have so many happy moments in my career, but that was one that has stayed with me over many years.” — Retta L.
7. Teachers Fight for Their Students
“That moment when you’re sitting in the audience watching your student — a student who everyone else had written off as a class clown, but you fought hard to get them into the gifted program because you just knew — receive an academic achievement award. That moment makes all of the hardships of teaching worth it.” – Shelley H.
8. Teachers Learn from Their Students
“When we moved to a brand new town a while ago, I felt insecure about my personal power. I was getting older and was worried I didn’t have the ‘x’ factor anymore that appealed to kids. I’d always just been myself, but now ‘myself’ was a bit more worn and weathered. I plowed ahead, though, throwing together a new ‘Lessia’s Crew,’ full of tweens who loved to sing. Two months in, one of the girls in the group asked if she could interview me for a hero project. Most kids in her class were choosing family members as their heroes, but she’d chosen me — a person she’d only known for two months! Her reasoning was: ‘Your songs have opened up my entire world — made me see life differently.’ And here I’d been wondering if I was too scruffy around the edges to keep going! This sweet girl did an entire presentation for her class with yours truly and my songs as her focus. I have never been so humbled or so honored. This experience taught me that Yoda doesn’t need to be young; she just needs to be helpful. – Lessia B.