Teacher Appreciation – Top 7 Amazing Teacher Skills

Teacher Appreciation Reasons

Teacher appreciation should be held once per month, not just one day or week out of the year!  It’s truly amazing the amount of skills that teachers possess.  They need so much more recognition for their hard work and dedication. 

My appreciation for teachers started when I was a young child. 

I have vivid memories of many, many teachers who left imprints on my mind and on my heart.

Many of their catchphrases still pop into my mind!

“Reach for excellence.”

“Strive to be your best.”

Me: “Can I please go to the bathroom?” Teacher with a smirk:  “I don’t know, can you?!” “Oh… May I please go to the bathroom?”  (Still working on this with my own children!)

My favorite memories are the stories that my teachers shared. 

Stories from amazing human beings that helped inspire me and make me want to be a better person. 

So many were extra creative and fun with their teaching style. 

My admiration for teachers has continued as I’ve worked along side them in preschools and schools.  I’ve gotten to know them well in their busy world of teaching. 

Many of the teachers who truly amaze me are my co-workers, friends, and relatives… and of course, my husband!

Let’s celebrate teacher appreciation every month, maybe even every day!

Why I Didn’t Become a Teacher (Hint: I Don’t Have the Skills… and It Makes Me Appreciate Teachers Even More!)

After grad school, I was made aware that my hometown was in need of substitute teachers. 

Even though I didn’t have a teaching certificate, with my degree, my state permitted me to sub in elementary and high schools. 

I was told that subbing would be easy.  Teachers would post assignments and I could sit and study for my national board certification test as the students completed their work. 

Sounds like a great deal. 

It wasn’t! One experience in particular stands out: a kindergarten classroom.  

I was given a heads up that they were a challenging group of kiddos!

They didn’t really listen that well… They were kind of loud… etc

Okay, no problem.  Kids love me.  They’ll listen.  All good.

Wrong again!

Those little five-year-olds ate me alive!  They took full advantage of this sub!

I can’t even begin to tell you how exhausting the day was!  

Highlights from my attempt at substitute teaching:

  • Introduce myself, dodge a paper ball, introduce myself again (’cause I couldn’t hear myself the first time)
  • Redirect the kids as I pass out papers, read directions, oops, time for specials.  Hold that thought kiddos, we’ll do this when we return.
  • Return. No time for the worksheet. Next lesson. 
  • Cutting activity for language arts.  Paper scraps falling everywhere.  “No, scissors are for paper (not your hair.)”  “Cut here (not your nametag.)”
  • Attempt to begin another lesson, check the clock… whoa! time for the NEXT lesson! Already!?!
  • Late for lunch.
  • Didn’t use the bathroom all day.  Sipped water. Ate part of my packed lunch.
  • Afternoon lesson – if you would have walked by, you would have seen me standing on a chair, trying to get their attention. 

It really could have been a scene in a movie. 

I couldn’t believe how fast the clock was ticking and moving… I couldn’t keep up with it!  And I thought I’d be able to study for my board exam! Ha!

The experience made me realize that I wasn’t cut out to handle a whole classroom of kiddos!  I did not have the skills to be a teacher.

My skills are only meant for my one on one occupational therapy sessions… Or small group sessions at most! 

So, hats off to YOU and all of your co-workers!  YOU’RE ALL AMAZING and very appreciated!  I’m always impressed!

Teacher Appreciation and Awe! Top 7 Teacher Skills That Amaze Me

1. Classroom Management

The organization, planning and preparation required to manage an entire room of children is a challenging task.  You handle it so well and so seamlessly! 

Not many people are cut out for this. 

It’s really admirable!

You keep all students on task.  Each and every kiddo, with their different personalities and needs.  Doing what they’re supposed to while learning.

You even plan for surprises and disruptions in your day!

Classroom management is a constant juggle: you manage the schedule, the planning, the academics, the learning, the time, the personalities, the behaviors.  And then you assess, re-assess and make changes as needed.

The time management involved is additionally impressive… that clock can tick so quickly some days.  But you tick right along with it!

2. Behavior Management

You gain respect from your students. They learn and follow your rules. 

It’s admirable how an entire room of children behave well for you.  An entire group.  All at once!

They begin to manage their behavior and strive to please you.  Because that’s the standard you set. 

Not only are you teaching academics, but you’re also teaching kids how to be good people!  To be the best version of themselves.

Embedded into your day are ways that they can be kind to each other.  What’s acceptable and not acceptable. 

You listen.  And then respond.  You’re directing personalities and guiding them to all function as best as they can together.  With their differences, in your room, as a group.

Life lessons!

In addition to behaving and following rules, your students often have individual needs. 

They may have challenging behaviors that require extra attention.  Extra attention that you’re able to add into an already busy day!

3. Organizational Skills

This is an extra special skill, in addition to your classroom management!

There’s so much classroom organization required before you even start your year.  I’ve always felt that teachers cram 12 months of work into 10!

You set up an entire room for a year, maybe after finding out that you’re being relocated.

Or, you’re now an inclusion classroom.  So you re-organize your space to invite another teacher in to share it with you.

Or, maybe a pandemic hit.  And you have to now carry all of your belongings with you from class to class!

Staying organized throughout the entire year is crucial to the success of keeping everything running smoothly.  Especially to race the clock every day!

Copying papers.  Grading tests.  Returning papers. Entering grades.  Progress reports.  Report cards.  Communicating with parents. 

You have many “systems” for each lesson.  Every nook and cranny is organized with needed materials.

You don’t even think about this as a skill.  It’s just a natural part of what you do.

4. Creativity

You come up with so many cool activities for your lessons!  The kids enjoy their time with you!

You can make any lesson into a game… kids don’t even realize they’re learning!

Maybe you’ve had consecutive years when you teach the same thing.  But it’s not the same to you.  Because you find ways to present it differently to a new group of kids.

You think outside the box.  Learning happens outside, with movement, during brain break exercises, or in your classroom centers.

Your creative teaching helps your students apply the concepts in life, not just for the tests!

The activities are unique and you change them up so the kids (or you) don’t get bored.

And if you’re in a rut, you spend so much of your own time after school searching Pinterest or Google for other creative ideas!

Teacher Skills Appreciated

5. Patience

Any parent who’s ever had a sleepover probably can admire the patience needed for a group of kids.  And that’s just for a small group! 

As a teacher, your patience is required for an entire group of kids!  All day, every day!

It’s really draining some days… and your patience is tested often. I’ve see it.

But you continue to be patient and kind.  Because you’re the leader in the room.  Setting the example for your students. 

You’re patient with the children.  Patient with changes.  You listen to the parents and you’re patient with them. 

When teaching, you wait out those kiddos who are struggling a little.  The ones who just can’t seem to grasp the concept.  You try again, and make sure they truly understand before you move on. 

You’ll never give up… because you’re there for them.   You take this responsibility seriously. 

6. Adaptability

The one thing that stands so true in education: 

Change is the only constant.

As a teacher, you’re always adapting to the never-ending changes. 

Changes from the state or from the district school board.  Different rules from a new administrator. 

You adjust to a new curriculum.  Or to a new teaching model. 

You adapt to staff changes.  Different personalities.

Maybe you have to learn a new computer system.  So now entering grades and filling report cards takes more time.  It challenges a part of your brain (that you don’t have time to challenge!)

Now you know that you can adapt to a pandemic!  Hybrid learning.  Remote learning.  Parents listening to every word during your school day.

You created another organizational system in response to this unprecedented teaching model!

Creating an online classroom!  You never thought you’d have to become so tech savvy!  All with such short notice.  But you did!

7. Engaging Energy

The most impressive skill that I see in you as a teacher is how engaging you are!  Your students look forward to seeing you every day.

The energy that consistently comes out of you (for them) is amazing.  Even with all of the pressure around you and the changes and challenges, you capture the attention of your students.

As a professional, you rise to the occasion and always focus on your kiddos.  They’re the reason you’re there.  You make learning fun for them (which enhances memory!)

You’re teaching kids to love learning.  Not just for you, but for them… for the rest of their lives.

Your enthusiasm promotes life-long learning!

You connect with kids.  Engage them in many ways. And you make learning fun! 

You’re the inspiration to our youth.

THANK YOU.  You’re appreciated and admired! 

Share this with all of the teachers you know that possess these amazing skills… and probably more!

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School-Based OT

Amy Hathaway MOT, OTR/L, CIMI-2 is a licensed and registered occupational therapist.  She is the founder of Develop Learn Grow. 

Amy has 21 years of experience as a pediatric occupational therapist.   She enjoys collaborating with teachers, parents, therapists, administrators, and support staff in preschools & schools, as well as coaching and guiding parents of infants and toddlers in their homes.

She is married and has three children.  Click to read Amy’s bio.  

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