Last weekend, I spent an absolutely FABULOUS time with over 100 bloggers, TpT sellers, and teachers! The weekend was organized by the amazing Holly from Mrs. Ehle’s Kindergarten Connections. We spent a weekend at the beautiful French Lick Resort in Indiana! We will all be blogging about our whole weekend NEXT week, but this week, we want to share a special activity that we did with you! It was called the Teacher Tool Gift Exchange!
We want to share our gifts with you through a linky party because the gifts and IDEAS that we received from this activity were so AWESOME that we thought it might give you lots of tools and gift ideas, as well! 🙂
For the Teacher Tool Gift Exchange, we each wrapped and brought our favorite teaching “tool” to the meet-up! Since the meet-up was HUGE this year, we split up into four different groups to do our gift exchange: Kindergarten, First Grade, Grades 2/3, and Upper Grades.
We played a fun “swap” game that was led by the adorable Mrs. Pauley from Mrs. Pauley’s Kindergarten. We switched our gifts to the left and the right quite a few times until we ended up with someone else’s gift! My gift was from the amazing Megan Wheeler from Mrs. Wheeler’s First Grade! (Side-note: She is hilarious, sweet, and super fun! I had a blast getting to know her over the weekend!!)
Megan gave me this really FUN game called TENZI. It is SO fun! I had my kiddos play it this week as a math center and they had a blast! It makes for a great strategy game for math bins, a recess game, Fun Friday activity, or even a Fast Finisher center! Thank you SO much Mrs. Wheeler!
You can find the game on Amazon below:
So…confession. I also received a delicious baggie of dark chocolate DOVE chocolates from Megan! BUT….I *may* have brought them to school, ate a few, and then forgot to take a picture of them! Oops haha! I do have this picture from when I ate a piece of chocolate after a rough day at school:
A piece of dark chocolate after a bad day truly IS a teacher tool haha!
I would also LOVE to show and share with you the gift I brought to the gift exchange!
There were two parts of my gift, but I am only going to share one of the tools on my blog. You can read more about my gift on Stacey Hemphill’s blog, Teaching Ever After. She was the recipient of my gift!
There is a story behind my gift.
When I was in college, during my senior year, my professor gave us an assignment.
We made an It’s Worth It! Box.
This was not just any box. It was a special box that we were to place notes from parents, encouraging items from administrators, and most importantly, those precious pictures, letters, and notes from students over our teaching years that just make us smile and warm our hearts!
We were to take the box out and look through the items on those especially hard days at school. You know the ones. Those days when it seems easier to just give up or throw in the towel. We all have those days. We’re human! But taking out my own It’s Worth It box on these days reminds me exactly why I do what I do. It is a box of light and encouragement that always, always makes me smile and forget what I was stressed about in the first place.
(I grabbed this photo from Stacey’s IG because of course, I forgot to take a picture of the gift I gave her!)
I wrote a poem about this box and found a pretty box to pass on to another teacher, in hopes he or she would fill their own box with “light” and “love” to remind them that what we do every day as teachers “Is Worth It!”
I would love to share this poem with you in case you would like to make your own “It’s Worth It” box for your teaching journey. It doesn’t have to be a fancy box. It just has to be a special box within easy reach that you can grab and look through when teaching times are tough.
You can download your copy of this poem by clicking HERE or on the picture below.
I hope you enjoy the poem and this teacher tool idea!
If you have a student teacher or know a NEW teacher to our career, I hope you will think about passing on this gift to him or her for a little inspiration and a way to lift them up! 🙂
THANK YOU for what you do for your kids and their families every day!
Thanks for stopping by my blog today! I hope you will take a look at everyone else’s teacher tool gifts to get even more ideas and inspiration! Take a look at the linky below to jump from blog to blog or hop around and check out the other items! 🙂
I LOVE this idea! I've been wanting to make one for a while, but never got around to it. I am going to use your poem and get myself a fun box to put them all in. Looks like your meet-up was so much fun!
The Colorful Apple
Thank you so much for setting this all up! You are THE BEST!!
Oh.my.goodness that note totally made me tear up!! So sweet and touching and perfect! I absolutely LOVE the idea of the "It's Worth It" box! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful idea!
TENZI sounds like a fun game! I'll have to check it our! I enjoyed meeting you last weekend and thank you for setting this linky up! You're the best!
Flipping for First
I am glad I got to meet you last weekend. Thanks for setting up the linky. I loved your "It's Worth It" box!
I love that "It's Worth it" box I keep all my kids notes and things I get in a binder, but the box is such a great idea for things that aren't paper too!
Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten
I have actually had an "It's Worth it" bag – I just didn't call it that – but a box is much better! I just recently took mine out and it honestly brought tears to my eyes. It helps me hang on through the loooonnngggg testing times.
Mrs. Spangler in the Middle
Such a great idea to remember why you started this all along. I kept odds and ends but never in the same place. What a great solution and a great thing to document/scrapbook over the course of a career.
Sara J Creations
I am so happy to hear about this blogger meet up. I live in Michigan and can GET to Indiana! I'm coming next time. Sounds like you had a blast and I love your linky. Kathleen
Great idea on the "It's Worth It Box"! It was so great to meet you!!
So glad your kids love Tenzi! Loved meeting you! We gotta represent Ohio!
I am going to have to check out what Tenzil is all about! Sounds like a lot of fun! Great idea for the "It's worth it box". I think I may do this for my principals as their end of the year gift!
While reading your post I couldn't help but be uplifted by our amazing idea for the "it's worth it box!" These past few months have been rough to say the least with all the days off from snow my kiddos have turned into animals. It has been very hard to get back into our routine and it is exhausting. However it would be so wonderful to have an "it's worth it box" to quickly look through in days and weeks like these to remind myself why I went into teaching. I love touching the lives of my students and seeing their understanding take place and being able to have a quick little reminder of that is priceless!! Put this on my to do list for my next craft nelight!! Thank you for the great and inspired idea!!
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I have 18 years worth of cards, notes, and drawings from my precious past students. I haven't put them in a special box, but I think that is a GREAT idea!! I will have to take them out of the worn manila envelope they sit in.. they really do make a difference when you aren't quite sure you continue to drive yourself into exhaustion! Love the poem! Sounds like a blast of a weekend!
This is terrific. As a teacher, I know I would appreciate ANY of those gifts. Well done.
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I love that I came across this on Pinterest! It is a beautiful poem and perfect for a young co-worker of mine who is going to be a spectacular teacher when she gets her first place as a teacher 💖 I say place because being a teacher is more than just a job, it’s a passion.