Showing Appreciation to Fellow Teachers

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Teachers know better than anyone how nice it feels to receive gifts of appreciation.  Throughout each school year, teachers receive cards or gifts from students and their families; but how often do teachers show appreciation for one another?  The opportunities are certainly there.  It would seem that an environment in which team teachers and coworkers take these opportunities would actually be an environment where morale is high and productivity soars.

If you have worked with, or continually work with, any teacher or even office staff that goes out of their way to provide assistance to you, your students, or other people, you have the opportunity to show appreciation.  And hence, you have the opportunity to encourage this person and brighten their day.  Here are a few ways you can show that you appreciate the job someone else is doing.

  • ID badge lanyards are highly used in school settings, and therefore make ideal gifts for any teacher or school employee.  Most of the time, teachers wear ID badge lanyards that were either given to them by the school office or that they picked up at an educational conference.  This means they probably lack that certain panache that adds polish to work attire.

When you want to offer a special gift to someone at your school, consider the lanyard.  Today, ID badge lanyards are available in many different styles and themes that teachers love.  Providing all the same convenience for carrying keys or badges, lanyards today can also look very polished and professional.

  • When you work closely with someone, you can get to know their likes and dislikes.  Perhaps you know of a special hobby or interest a fellow teacher has.  This makes giving them a small gift easier; as you can tailor it to their personal interests.
  • Teachers can always use helping hands, as you are well aware.  Showing appreciation for a fellow teacher doesn’t have to be done with gifts that you purchase; it could be done by helping them where you can.   Perhaps you can take their lunch duty for a day to give them time away.  Acts of service are kind and thoughtful.  There are many ways you can provide service to a fellow teacher that won’t interfere with your own duties.  This is a gift that costs nothing and leaves you both feeling great.
  • Another gift that costs nothing is that of a note.  Teachers like to hear that they have done well at something; we all do.  If you know another teacher who has gone out of their way, taught you something, inspired you or somehow helped you, tell them.  It doesn’t get any simpler than that!  Keep blank note cards in your desk so you can write notes to others when the opportunity arises.  It pays to just say thanks.

Receiving accolades from peers is a high honor that professionals love to be treated to.  In the school setting, there is no need to leave the praise to students and families.  Teachers can and should take it upon themselves to continually life one another up and encourage those around them.  Doing so can only result in a more positive environment.


Plan Ahead to Successfully Host a Substitute Teacher

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Most teachers know what it feels like to substitute in a classroom in which they are unfamiliar.  To add a little excitement into the mix of a sub day, kids, when they realize their regular teacher is not present, may be under the impression that their workload will be light and they will not have to pay attention.  There are several steps you can take to ensure any substitute teacher that enters into your classroom is left with a good impression of your class and a good feeling about your direction.

  1. Planning ahead makes everything about an absence run more smoothly.   One part of planning ahead is to simply have an organized classroom.  This is something that will benefit you and your students every day; and provide a good experience for a substitute.  Have places for all tools and papers; and prepare lesson plans in advance so neither you nor your sub will have to scramble when you need to be out for a day or longer.
  2. Preparing your students with expectations of how they should behave in your absence will ensure that they do not assume they can “get away” with less than respectful behavior while you are away.  Talk to students well in advance about how they are to behave in the classroom; and take the opportunity to point out to them that they are to behave this way regardless of whether you are teaching them or they are taking instruction from another teacher.  Explaining to students that they need to make a good impression of who they are and how they have been taught by you is a good way to hand them responsibility for their actions in the classroom.
  3. Ribbon lanyards come in handy in any classroom and provide convenience for teachers and students.  The way ribbon lanyards can help in the instance of a substitute teaching situation is that classroom keys can be easily seen and kept track of.  Additionally, when bathroom passes or keys are kept on ribbon lanyards at all times, both teachers and students can easily find these items quickly and without interrupting valuable time.  You could even leave an extra decorative lanyard on your desk for your substitute teacher as a thank you gift for handling your class so well.  A little appreciation can make a teacher’s day!
  4. Giving substitute teachers a head’s up as to what can be expected will help their day run more smoothly – and help your students stay on track.  You know your students better than any other school personnel.  Leave a note for a substitute with the name of a student or students they can call on for extra help throughout the day.  If there are particular students who require extra guidance or management, place their names on the list and what usually works with these students.  Also put the name of a nearby teacher who can be called upon for help if needed.  This should be prearranged with that teacher.

The better prepared a substitute is to fill in for you; the better everyone’s day goes.  The amount of success they experience is largely due to the information you leave for them.  By preparing as much information ahead of time as possible, you can ensure a successful substitute day.

Teachers Don’t Have To Look Like Plain Jane’s At Work

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The old days of teachers wearing sweaters pulled up to their neck and having a face as plain as a sheet of paper in front of an exam student who didn’t study should be long gone. Yet, there are still teachers who dress like Puritans and with the huge amount of fashionable yet professional clothing available, there really is no excuse. Women will tell you that they live and die by make up, so don’t let the classroom restrict your use of the beauty brush. While you are there to educate children, there is no reason why you should have to sacrifice your appearance to do so.

This is not to say that you should be clad in layers of ‘war paint’ like you’re about to hit the nightclub, but you are allowed to cover any imperfections in your skin whilst accentuating your good facial areas. There is no real need to waste time and effort with foundation and you should move straight onto moisturizing. Tinted moisturizer should be your weapon of choice against the elements but should only be applied sparingly. Remember, you are trying to bring out your best features, not producing a passable Marcel Marceau impersonation.

Once you have taken care of the base the time comes to deal with your eyes and lips. It is a tricky task to apply just the right amount of lipstick and mascara to show off your ocean blue eyes or perfect pouting lips without looking like a showgirl. Avoid using any crazy colors when it comes to mascara. You should stick to gold or brown depending on which suits your skin and eyes best and it is unnecessary to apply anymore than two layers. Anything extra is overkill. As far as your lips are concerned, pick a shade that compliments your outfit if you can. Like with the mascara, excess application is to be avoided as is lipstick that gives off too much of a shine.

The great thing about teaching is that generally, you don’t have to wear the formal attire required of someone who works in say, a legal firm. You can ignore the frumpy suits that is the preserve of that profession and choose something a little more comfortable and elegant. It really depends on what age group you are teaching. If you’re dealing with young kids, it may be a good idea to avoid wearing anything expensive whereas if you teach in a college, you almost have carte blanche to wear what you like. So embrace this freedom and teach in style, so long as it is appropriate of course.

Fusing Professionalism, Style And Comfort Is Not Mission Impossible For Teachers

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All teachers were once students and you probably recollect at least a few teachers with horrific dress sense. As a kid, you laughed at them believing that they were clad in such dull outfits on purpose because they had no personality. Now, as a teacher yourself, you realize that certain conventions must be followed and a shriek of anguish emanates from you as you see that the person staring back at you in the mirror is dressed almost exactly like the people you once mocked. Your old teachers didn’t know it back then, but there are ways to look good but still obey the dress code set by the educational authorities.

Unless you are teaching in a private school, you are not bound to wear a dull, bland outfit that makes you look like someone from the 1950s. Most schools are pretty reasonable about what you wear so long as it is tasteful and not outside the bounds of decency. As an adult, you really have no excuse not to be able to distinguish between what is worn at the weekends and was is appropriate for work. Remember, you are the authority figure for a group of children as well as being a role model of sorts. It’s worth mentioning the fact that you’re not a teenager anymore so don’t go following the latest trends like your class.

Your primary function is to educate the children so with this in mind, don’t wear outfits that could potentially distract them. If they are focusing more on your revealed chest or on your derriere that is visible due to the tightness of your clothes then you are failing your class. Distractions also include the amount of make up your wear. If you come into school wearing as much make up as a drag queen then you will automatically lose the respect of those you teach. Also, you need to be appropriately dressed when the time comes for parent/teachers meetings.

The one thing that is most important though is comfort. The school day can be long and wearing an uncomfortable outfit is a big mistake. While you don’t want to be wearing unflattering baggy clothes, you should have well-tailored outfits that are elegant as well as being comfortable. The same rule applies for shoes. There is nothing worse than tottering around on high heels all day. These play havoc on your ankles and are not conducive to a pleasant teaching day. A pair of stylish flats are the only way to go in this instance.

So you don’t have to dress in the same way as those teachers you mocked all those years ago. You have many more choices than they had and better advice on what to wear. Fusing style with comfort is not as difficult as you think because there are so many different options available for you in any store. Your students will also respond better to your lessons if they see that you have a sense of professionalism and style.

Teacher Fashion: Avoid the ‘hot teacher’ Look

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In terms of fashion and style, female teachers are in an invidious position. Women like to look good but as an authority figure, you have to balance a fine line between looking like a stripper and a character from a Bronte sister’s novel. While the weekend look will not go down well with your department, dressing like Jane Eyre will do your confidence no good whatsoever. You gaze enviously at your male counterparts who can get away with the trousers and casual shirt/sweater combination, if only it was so easy for the girls!

So how do you balance style with professionalism? You don’t have to turn up to class looking like a stern lawyer in a trouser suit you know! Wearing jeans with a stylish top is allowable, so long as it is not too low cut. A good item of clothing to have in your closet is a pair of black pants. These provide what is known as a ‘neutral’ look and are also very comfortable to wear. However, you need to ensure that what you’re wearing is neither too tight nor revealing. The last thing you need is to encourage a schoolboy crush and there is little more embarrassing than being cautioned for wearing ‘inappropriate’ clothing.

This leads to the dangers of trying to be the ‘hot teacher’. First of all, this is just plain wrong and secondly, it can be an absolute disaster. All over the country you see teachers trying to look sexy and all they manage to do is look like mutton dressed as lamb. The aforementioned tight outfits and cleavage-revealing tops leave little to the imagination and worst of all, such outfits only serve to undermine whatever authority you may have. If your class see you as some sad middle-aged woman dressed as a pole dancer, they are not very likely to give you due respect. At the end of the day, you are there to educate them, not to show off your sexy body. And once you have gained this reputation, it becomes very hard to shake it off and it could also affect chances of promotion.

Even if your school has some sort of strict dress code, this doesn’t mean that you cannot add a little sparkle to your outfit with the aid of accessories. Unless you work in a convent or your jewelry has some sort of offensive design, there is nothing to stop you adding a necklace or bracelet to your get up. Just try to avoid looking like Mr. T and you should be fine!

It isn’t easy trying to dress well and in a professional manner at the same time but it can be done with a bit of effort. There are a myriad of options out there that will make you look attractive yet classy. Never try and pull off the hot teacher look and don’t be afraid to use your jewelry collection to make an impression. After all, isn’t that why you bought them in the first place?