For Teacher Appreciation Week this year, we asked our community of educators to share their insights about what makes them feel most appreciated—and what they appreciate most about what they do.
Whether they’ve been in the classroom for 5 years or 30, here’s what they shared.
The Most Rewarding Part of Teaching
1. Seeing the moment when things just click.
- When a student has that “aha!” moment and you can see the lightbulb go off in their head! – Chris Zuccaro
- Seeing the proverbial lightbulb illuminate a student’s face when they grasp a concept. This is especially rewarding when a student has been struggling and I’ve found a way to teach the targeted concept in a way that they understand. – Deanne King
- When you see that “aha” moment with a student when they finally get a concept. When you see them really learning and engaged in what is happening—and especially when they take ownership of their learning. – Crystal DeLong
2. Watching students grow.
- Watching kids grow and develop as individuals. I love to see them learn how to think critically and apply it to both math class as well as other parts of their lives. – Rachel Jackson
- Seeing the kids grow academically, physically, and mentally over the years. – Steve Durant
- Seeing the growth in my students. Even when students “fail,” you can see them pick themselves up and work to improve themselves. When they achieve that “aha” moment, it makes the hard work and struggles worth every minute. – Kyle Anderson
3. Enjoying the company of their students.
- Getting to know my students as the wonderful people they are and watching them learn and blossom. – Lisa Newton
- Earning students’ trust and in turn being able to TRULY teach them. It is an amazing thing to grow and learn with my students. Also, laughing. We laugh a lot in my class. – Sarah Kistler
- Creating bonds with students that go beyond one year. Walking into my building, I feel like a rockstar when students yell my name and run to hug me. I can tell that I’m making a meaningful impact in their lives. – Lindsay Bernstein
The Best Thing About Their Colleagues
4. Their commitment to collaboration and professional growth.
- Their enthusiasm and ability to find solutions to things that need tweaking. – Nicole Ward
- The ability to collaborate in our different subject areas and share best practices with each other in a supportive environment. – Jackie Valadez
- The teachers I work with are some of the most intelligent, hard-working, instructionally strong instructors I’ve ever known, and yet every one of them works tirelessly to continue improving. – Kurt Vonnahme
5. Their love of what they do.
- That they are genuinely invested in the success of each child. – Craig Yen
- Their dedication and passion to helping students be successful in every aspect of their lives. – Laurie Guerra
- Their love of the profession and passion for educating children. Their compassion and support keep me going when I’m struggling. – Donna Stuk
6. The fact that they’re just great people.
- Many of the teachers I work with are not only the best in the business, they’re engaging and interesting people who bring a unique perspective to what we do! – Rachel Kannady
- I work with some pretty fabulous teachers! I appreciate them for their ideas, willingness to share, their abilities to laugh it off, and their true love of teaching. – Lyssa Sahadevan
- The teachers I work with are basically great human beings who jump in when help is needed, support one another in good times and bad, are open to new ideas, and make me feel like family. – Kathie Belli
What Makes Them Feel Appreciated
7. A few simple words.
- Simply being told. – Danesa Menge
- Since every day for a teacher is mixed bag of good and bad, it’s the little things that make a difference. Appreciation can be shown in the smallest of ways. Even a few nice words make such a difference. – Kaitlin Morgan
- Teachers feel most appreciated when they are told how much students and parents care. Often, teaching involves long hours with little to no thanks. That simple thank-you goes such a long way! – Heather Barton
8. The support of parents and administrators.
- From my perspective as a former school principal, I’ve found that teachers feel appreciated when they are given the gift of time and resources. Time to plan, work in their rooms, visit with colleagues, attend conferences, and purchase much-needed materials for their work with students. – Lisa Dabbs
- When parents or the community give back to the schools either through recognition or help with supplies or projects. Giving back shows you care about our teachers and our students. – Mary-Owen Holmes
- When parents tell me thank you or how much I’ve helped them. I’d love it if they would tell my principal. – Laura Stites
9. Knowing they’ve made an impact that lasts.
- When former students see you in public—and, no matter their age, gasp with excitement, throw their arms around you, and hug you like you are one of the most important people in their lives. – Kim Howell
- Feeling like it matters. When the teens tell you you’re their favorite, or how much they appreciate your efforts, or when their class discussion just goes on a tangent and it’s totally organic and it flows so well you just KNOW they get it. – Jessi Courtright
- Because of my role as an advanced science teacher, I write so many letters of recommendation that I’m exhausted and cranky. But when your letter was instrumental in a hardworking student receiving a $64,000 local scholarship and he comes barreling in to tell you, bursts into tears, and gives you a hug, you know you are appreciated. – Kelly Dunigan
Teachers work tirelessly to change the lives of the people around them. In fact, they do so much that it’s can be hard to express how much we value everything they do.
This year, our team’s starting with a heartfelt “Thank you” to the teachers who changed our lives, the teachers in the Remind community, and every teacher who reads this. We appreciate you.