A Day Made Better {A Special Giveaway!}

Update!! Winner is comment #3 – Karen!! Congrats to Karen AND her lucky teacher!! I’ll be in touch for her address. Thank you everyone for entering! 

Teachers aren’t paid enough.

We all know that, right?

They stay long past the last bell rings, grade papers after dinner, and do a majority of their lesson planning on Sunday afternoons when the rest of us are spending time with our families.

My boys are lucky enough to have some amazing teachers and I try to show them how appreciated they are as much as I can. It’s all about the little things. You know that, right? You may not be able to give your favorite teacher a raise, but you can give them a smile.

See, I work in a school. That means that I get the inside scoop on some of the thoughtful things that people do to show their appreciation, and I’m excited to share some of my favorites with you!

5 {low or no budget} Ways To Show Your Appreciation To A Teacher

-Talk Like A Pirate day was a few weeks ago and a friend of mine received a bag of Pirate’s Booty popcorn with a “Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day” note attached.

– Fruit and healthy snacks are always welcome. Apples for the teacher, homemade personal size fruit salads, or healthy granola bars are all teacher favorites (I have tested the granola bars- teachers love them!).

– Teachers appreciate any time that you can give them. You may think that your free hour isn’t enough time to make a difference, but given notice, I’m sure any teacher would be happy to set aside a stack of projects to assemble or papers to grade. No time during the day? Ask for the teacher to send home something that you can help with!

– Talk about easy. How about a handwritten note? A note card, piece of paper, or a post-it note stuck to a little ones’ binder. How would you feel if you had a nice note waiting for you first thing in the morning?

– I’m a big fan of baked goods. I love to bake, but don’t want the food in the house. Right before our fall break, I made individual apple crisps for the boys’ teachers. I modified Tidy Mom’s Pie In A Jar recipe a bit, and the boys and I had a lot of fun making them.

The point is, you don’t need a lot of extra time or money to make your child’s teacher feel appreciated.

Office Max and Adopt-A-Classroom are helping to make teachers feel appreciated by working to erase teacher funded classrooms. This week, 100 U.S. teachers were each surprised with $1,000 in school supplies as part of Office Max and Adopt-A-Classroom’s A Day Made Better campaign.

Plus… I get to surprise a teacher with an A Day Made Better box of supplies (valued at $100!) when we get back from break! Remember when I did this last year? So much fun!

As a participant, I also get to host a mini Day Made Better celebration here on my blog! I’m giving away a $50 Office Max gift card and a mini A Day Made Better box to a deserving teacher!

To enter your favorite teacher to win this giveaway, tell me about him or her. What do you love about them? How do they go above and beyond every day?

I’d love for you to profess your love for a teacher you know, and then send them the link to this post so they know how much you appreciate them (that’s the part that makes them smile). On October 17, the same day that I surprise a local teacher, I’ll randomly choose a winner to win a $50 Office Max gift card and a mini A Day Made Better box for their teacher from Office Max and Adopt-A-Classroom!

Ready? Set? Go!

I am working with Office Max and Adopt-A-Classroom to spread the word about the A Day Made Better program. I was not compensated for this post, but provided with a box of supplies to give to a deserving teacher.


  1. Mami2jcn says

    My son’s teacher, who I’m actually meeting with in less than an hour, is really great about communication with the parents. She’s very dedicated and invested in my son’s scholastic success.

  2. says

    My mom. She teachers in inner city Houston and is coming up on 40 years of teaching. She started a program to donate used homecoming dresses to students. She is the debate coach, the poetry professor and mom to thousands. It never fails when I am home for Christmas that someone comes running up to us to see how Mrs. Thompson is doing.

  3. karen says

    I have a friend that just started teaching middle science this year. I know she can use all the help she can get. She is always creating fun activities and labs to keep her students engaged but those things get pricey!!

  4. Henria O. says

    My daughter’s teacher is wonderful! She seems to have the perfect balance between teaching and nurturing. Sometimes teachers lack the ability to allow a child’s creativity to soar while also keeping the child academically engaged. She does both beautifully!

  5. Nikki Mitchell says

    Michelle Blake is one of the most loving teachers i have met in all the years my kids have been in school. She has been teaching for 9 years from High school on down. She is teaching kindergarten right now and she knows gow to get these precious kids very involved wanting to excell. She showed a side of herself at a recent trip to the pumpkin patch that had me laughing i wasn’t sure who had more fun Michelle or her kids. I never had any anxieties sending my last child to school because of how she comes across. She wants her kids to succeed to their fullest i wish you could meet her! The principal in our school took a different view than any of the other districts she choose to put the kids first help them to all feel confident in their academics that no matter what the outcome everyone has a chance to be successfull!

  6. says

    My son’s 3rd grade teacher is the best teacher we could wish for. She of course loves the kids, but she always goes that extra mile to make the kids feel special. She makes class fun and rewards the kids with fun little lunches with her in her room or extra fun activities (like getting to see a real plant cell or make one out of candy for doing well on their plant cell test). She cares enough to write little notes about how the kids (even mine who is doing fine) how she is proud of him and how she is pushing him to do better that she know he can do. I just love her passion to not only work with the kids that need the extra help, but to push the kids who are doing just fine to do even better. That in my opinion makes a good teacher a great teacher.

  7. kathi says

    My DIL, Kelly Denton, teaches children with hearing impairments. She does not travel the normal 10-20 miles from her home to school and back but an average of 250 miles a day. Sometimes she does not get home until 7pm for she teaches at a night high school. Work doesn’t only stop for her students but she has assisted me with finding an audiologist and purchasing a hearing aid. Through this step she found many areas where our insurance and state and federal laws do not assist the hearing impaired. I would like to make her day a little easier and enter her in the mini day made easier.

  8. says

    Bonnie Levine herds 20 or so English language learners through kindergarten with love, affection and personalized attention. With students from more than a dozen countries, speaking languages unknown to any grown-ups in the room, she has these little ones racing from station to station, working independently, and learning about eyebrows and the difference between an M and an N… not so easy when you’ve only seen ideographs for your first 5 years of life.

    She disciplines with a smile. She remembers vacation plans and elderly relatives’ names and the location of Nepal. I’ve never heard her raise her voice or show displeasure. Sometimes she looks concerned, and that seems to be enough.

    Her room has the basics, though her students often come without them. How great it would be to make her smile… to make her job just a little bit easier… to show her that she is valued and appreciated and LOVED.

  9. kathi says

    JD Denton is very devoted to music education. Right now he is completing his masters degree at the University of Arizona and is also a graduate teaching/research assistant there teaching a class to non-music majors on how to read music using the guitar and recorder. He also works part time as a barista and is a full time stay at home dad for his 2 year old son. His son also has music lessons taught by dad. How wonderful it would be for JD to make his job a little easier and know he is appreciated by someone outside his class room.

  10. Gramma Teetsie says

    I would like to nominate any teacher that my Grandson, Jack might have. Why? Because he is “JUST JACK” If you know him, you don’t have to ask ant questions.

  11. says

    You know I *could* nominate a bunch. Easy. But I’d have to nominate Mrs. Marko, my son’s third grade teacher. She really did go above and beyond to make the new kid in class, Thomas, feel welcome that year. I really don’t have words for how much it meant to me then–and how much her fondness for him even now warms this mother’s heart.

  12. Kelli says

    Is it wrong to nominate my husband. When we first started dating, I was impressed that he went out and bought a pair of football shoes for a boy in his high school who couldnt afford them. My husand is a history teacher in high school and the head football coach. Football is about a $5000 dollar job for three months but really he lives football year round for those boys. The school he teaches at is “lets say” high risk kids!!!! As in they may be in jail (please remove that part if you share this with others if we are a winner, hehe) but really they could be not at school the next day because they are in jail. He opens the weight room, from the time football ends in November to spring football in June. He has things for them to do all summer until August 1st when its against rules to do anything regarding football until it officially starts mid August. SO you see, its a year round job for an extra $5000 and he puts in way more than 5000 hours and money out of his own pocket. Hes a great history teacher as well and loves what he does. Even pulling him away from the history channel is tough sometimes.

  13. says

    I’d like to nominate my teaching parter, Paula Bloker! She is a fantastic teacher, the kids just adore her, she puts in countless hours and dollars of her own, stays late, gets in early, and is just plain superb!

  14. Vickie Jones says

    I’ll nominate Addie’s teacher Katie Swoger (not that Dave isn’t deserving either) she makes 3rd grade really interesting. She’s making current events fun and writing exciting. The kids are all reading off the charts thanks to her. And she get’s me my daughter, they are two blonds of a kind

  15. says

    I will be honest, my favorite teacher is my Uncle. I believe he is an awesome teacher and although I’ve never actually been in his classroom or seen him teach I do know that every student he teaches loves him. His name is Todd Ludwig, and I think he is very deserving of this award, he often goes out of his way to help his students and buys supplies for his classroom. He has a different approach to teaching, and really gets all the kids involved and interested! He teaches 5th grade right now in the Chandler/Tempe area. I bet you if you ask any of his current or former students they each could tell you something that they loved about his class. He stays in contact with many of his students and their families long after they leave his classroom. My Uncle would be a worthy winner of this prize!!

  16. Lyz P says

    My best friend, Amanda, is a kindergarten teacher. Not only is 50% of her class non-English speaking, but her class load often reaches 38 students at one time with NO AIDE! Many of her students come to her with special needs, lack of personal care and insufficent meals, and difficult home lives. Amanda goes out of her way to be sure that each child has his/her personal needs met before demanding the academic requirements of each day. Amanda has amazing patience and works diligently with each and every student to be sure that those little 5 and 6 year olds are all writing their names and counting to ten by the end of the 1st quarter. Each year as I volunteer in her classroom, I see her students blossom as happy and successful individuals. I’m so proud to have a best friend like Amanda but also glad there are people like her in this world who care so much about children.

  17. says

    Ooooh. I agree with Kendra, too. Paula is awesome. Amanda had her for 6th grade and LOVED her. Still remembers the trip to CIMI fondly. :)

  18. says

    So, it’s taken me a while to enter someone in this contest. The one person I can think of that goes above and beyond as a parent for their teachers and as an educator is ineligible for this contest. ;-) It didn’t even occur to me until my MIL posted to enter my hubby. Not only does this guy wear so many hats at home he is a phenomenal educator. I have always been jealous of his natural teaching ability. He has been teaching since before graduating high school. His students and schools measure up their with his family. He always goes the extra mile in bringing the best resources to them. He has applied for grants to bring new instruments to his low-income schools, put in extra time to prepare a student for auditioning for ensembles and getting into a college program, he stays on top of the most current music ed. research and even does some himself. He’s a one of a kind guy. He even teaches our son at home. They love doing musical exploration together.

  19. Lara says

    I would love to nominate my neighbor, Renee Miranda. She’s not my daughter’s teachers, but I wish she was! She dedicates SO much of her time, effort, and money getting ready for her students. She spends her vacations doing something, going that extra mile to make sure she has everything ready and special for her students. Over the summer, I saw her at our community splash park, with a number of her students who had a fantastic year and had earned a special celebratory trip to the splash park with her. What a great way to recognize and appreciate herr students! A few weeks ago, one of her students passed away, and she spent her fall break planning a school celebration of life for him. She had beautiful cards made and released balloons with handwritten notes from the students at the celebration. To me, she goes above and beyond what most teachers do. She really cares. And who wouldn’t want a teacher like that? That’s why I believe she deserves to be recognized and appreciated. Thanks so much for offering this opportunity to celebrate teachers!!

  20. Lara says

    Can I nominate two people? I want to nominate Kelly Denton as well. My other teacher neighbor! Kelly goes above and beyond every single day. Not only does she drive about 250 miles every day, she’s doing it because she loves her job. She loves helping deaf and hearing-impaired students learn and adapt. Isn’t that why a person becomes a teacher anyway? There are nights when I look over and don’t see her car there, and I know she’s had a long day at work and is still driving home to her husband and young son. I’m a firm believer that teachers need to be celebrated and appreciated more — and I think this would be the perfect way to help make Kelly’s day!! Thanks again for offering this opportunity to recognize our teachers!

  21. says

    Okay if we can do 2 I’m seconding (is that even a word) Lara’s nomination. Ditto on all the things she does to go above and beyond. Saw a picture once of her desk just littered with gifts, lots of handmade cards. Now if that isn’t a reflection of how much her students and parents appreciate her.

  22. Liz M. says

    My friend who teaches 8th grade is committed to making sure every student is being served, from reporting bullying to administrators to taking extra time to come up with ways of reaching students with different learning styles! I know she’d be able to do some good with this prize!

  23. Diane K says

    Mareena Boosamra Ball has been the music teacher for all three of our kids. She goes above and beyond to help them compete, get to NYC. They recently were awarded a superior with distinction rating. She was one of the great ones rehired in the Rincon complete staff firing school turn-around last year. Would love to see her surprised and blessed as she is such a blessing.

  24. Marge says

    I would like to tell you about Cheyenne Jennings Dallesandro she is a Special Education teacher in the Scotia Glenville school district in Scotia NY. She works very hard (as all teachers do) and she is very dedicated to her students. She also has a therapy dog who is golden retriever named Sunnny who goes to school with her to help her students read. I could go on and on but just want to let you know about one very special teacher.

  25. says

    I’m not sure if I’m making the deadline here but it’s worth a shot! As the wife of an educator, and the daughter of many educators I feel like I know firsthand (ok, maybe second!) how hard this crowd works. I say “educator” because I have seen that the teachers in our lives often wear so many hats over the course of a career. In our family they have been classroom teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, reading specialists, crisis counselors, coaches, and special ed coordinators.
    After much discussion with my husband, we would like to nominate Jack Erickson. He is a science teacher at Cienega High School. He is an exceptional teacher, a man of great integrity, an amazing father to three girls, and the truest of friends. He loves his students, the school and district, and his subject matter.

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