Well, here I am. Tired. Teacher tired. The kids are done, the teachers are done, and even the classroom across the hall is done (there was a leak and a ceiling tile fell out). Don’t worry all children were out of the room and no one was hurt!

As the end of the school year approaches, I realize that many students are rushing to accomplish goals and show their awesome math strategies at work! They all want a piece of the pie! The glorious chance to pick a prize from the treasure box before the end of the school year.

I teach elementary school and the treasure box is just one tool I use to motivate students. Some students are just naturally driven to always perform at their best and work hard. Others only need encouragement and praise. Then there are some that only bend to the bribe. In almost all instances the treasure box is enough to make even the least interested student work hard enough to gain access to it. The treasure box is a year-long friend of mine.

Now it is May, and as I take inventory of my box, I realize it’s not the wonderful place it was at the beginning of the year. It’s bare. It’s tired. It’s like me in a way. At the beginning of the year, it’s full of life, new treasures with a new beginning, and new students to captivate. As the year goes on it empties little by little, losing its luster and excitement.

Then it hits me that I can’t end the year like this. Not me, not this box. The treasure box, as well as myself, need to be revived if we’re going to survive these last few weeks. After school, I head to a teacher’s playground, a dollar store! I find cheap and wonderful things to add to the box and while doing so I found myself excited again. Sure it costs a little, but knowing how much the students would love the little treasures brought me back. It brought me back enough to know I can finish strong with the excitement of my students.

If you are a teacher, I want to say thank you. I appreciate you and all your hard work. Teaching isn’t always easy and some days we have to really dig deep to keep going but it’s always worth the relationships we build with these kids. There is no greater satisfaction than watching students reach their goals and knowing you played a part in it. So to all the dwindling treasure boxes and tired teachers, Happy Teacher Appreciation Week. It’s almost summer and we got this!

May 05, 2022 — Christy Taylor