About Jake Miller

Mr. Jake Miller is the 2016 National History Day Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year, a 2017 NEA Global Fellow to China, and a former candidate for county-wide office. Miller has written more than 500 articles, most of which have appeared on The Educator's Room. He's the opening contributor to TER's book When the Fire Is Gone. Learn more about Jake at www.MrJakeMiller.com

Ah, Teacher Appreciation Week. When we reach this time of the year, I often glance at this limerick I wrote my first year of teaching:

Oh my, it’s been quite the year
I’ve been tested ear-to-ear
Daily by these students
Who tried my patience
At least school year’s end is near!

While I wrote it mostly in jest, it helps me to get through what I call “the itchy time.” What is this “time,” one might ask? 

This is the point of the year where educators are annoyed by the students, and the students are equally annoyed by the teachers Click To Tweet

This is the point of the year where educators are annoyed by the students, and the students are equally annoyed by the teachers. You know what I’m talking about. You seem to somehow participate in more lectures about how to “be mature,” and you catch kids doing things to stretch their boundaries, like when I caught 2 students hanging out in a classroom by themselves, door closed, lights off, dancing, and breaking several other school rules. Or when I just generally leave the classroom on Friday, shaking my head, and looking forward to a fresh pint of beer.

Needless to say, Teacher Appreciation Week, held the first full week of May every year, is perfectly timed.

Believe it or not, most countries have a National Teacher Appreciation Day, cementing the profession’s importance in communities around the world.

In the United States, it’s a bit of a mystery and debate as to how Teacher Appreciation Week came into existence, but the National Education Association (teacher’s union) adopted it formally during its 1985 Representative Assembly. They also voted that the Tuesday of that week would be National Teacher Appreciation Day.

The NEA also recently released this infographic as to why communities should celebrate teacher appreciation, and it’s little more than partial science and partial common sense: when teachers and families work on the same page, students are bound to be much more engaged and successful not just in school, but in life.

However, 2019 seems to be a tricky year for honoring teachers. The first full week (including Sunday) as recognized by the NEA is May 6-13/10.

So how can you, the educator, make the most of Teacher Appreciation Week? Well, as you may have guessed in our democratic, capitalist society, businesses are willing to bend your way this week, including the following national chains (just make sure to bring your school ID and check which Teacher Appreciation Week they’re honoring):

  • Adobe – get 60% off a Creative Cloud Purchase
  • Banana Republic – 15% off full-priced, in-store purchases
  • Chick-fil-A – select stores offering free sandwhich on Teacher Appreciation Day
  • Chipotle – all stores offering free item after school on Teacher Appreciation Day
  • Dollar Tree – stock up on your goodies for next year with a 10% discount
  • Einstein Brothers Bagels – a variety of coupons for teachers (check local stores)
  • FedEx Office – 15% nearly all products & services at participating locations
  • Food Lion – teachers get 5% off total purchase on Teacher Appreciation Day
  • Gel Pro – 25% gel mat purchases
  • J.Crew – 15% off in store purchases
  • Jo-Anne Fabric – 15% off purchases in-store and online
  • Kate Spade – 15% off
  • Karen Kane – 20% (it’s said it will be extended indefinitely thereafter)
  • Kennedy Space Center – free admission during Teacher Appreciation Week
  • Lakeshore Learning – 20% off items
  • Loft – 15% off items (and it will also be extended year-round)
  • McDonald’s – select locations offering free breakfast/lunch during Teacher Appreciation week
  • Michaels – 15% off in-store purchases
  • Old Navy – 20% off items
  • Roxy – 15% off all items indefinitely
  • Summitsoft – 50% off all products
  • Scholastic Store – get 100 free printables and 5 free posters
  • Talbot’s – 15% off in-store purchases
  • World of Beer – educators get a free pint of Sam Adams Nitro White or Angry Orchard Apple Cider

In that case, it seems like my limerick could use an update:

Oh my, it’s been quite the year
I’ve been tested ear-to-ear
Yet it’s beyond nice
To be honored twice
When there are free pints of Beer!

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