Teachers around the world — including those in the Department of Defense Education Activity — were honored May 2-8 during National Teacher Appreciation Week.
While the worldwide theme for the week was “Great Teachers Make Great Public Schools,” parents and students in U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart added their own personal touches to the celebrations.
“They give to us all year long and beyond nine to five,” said Tamyla Abraham, Parent Teacher Student Association president for Robinson Barracks Elementary/Middle School. “This is one week to show our appreciation.”
The PTSA provided themed meals, after-school snacks — including a chocolate fountain — and restocked the teachers’ lounge with paper goods.
Children at RBEMS brought their teachers different tokens of appreciation each day, such as sweets or a handwritten card.
RBEMS and Böblingen Elementary/Middle School also honored staff members during the week.
“We want to recognize the women who work in the cafeteria, the nurse, and all those who really complete our programs,” Abraham said.
Staff members at BEMS joined teachers for a fiesta lunch on May 6, and entered a raffle to win Mexican-style baskets and giant pinatas provided by the school Parent Teacher Association and classroom parents.
The fiesta theme was one way to give back to all school employees, said Dale Moore, BEMS principal. “Even though you may not have an official title of ‘teacher,’ if you work in a school and you work with kids, you’re teaching them,” he said.
Another parent lent a massage chair to the school.
“It’s a nice way of getting community members and kids [in] the spirit of giving,” said Diana Fey, a fifth-grade teacher at BEMS, after spending a few minutes in the massage chair.
One day, BEMS students brought flowers to school for their teachers.
“The kids were so excited with bunches of flowers outside, that I didn’t hear the [school] bell ring,” Moore said.
At Patch High School, National Honor Society students baked cookies for teachers, and members of the Parent Teacher Organization donated gift baskets and goody bags.
“They’re our teachers; they do so much for us,” said Holly Martin, 16, who baked brownies for the occasion. “It’s important to show them how much we appreciate their work.”
Patch Elementary School students also brought their own unique gifts.
“I got an apple and a string cheese stick,” said first-grade teacher Melody Gershkoff. “They’ve been drawing pictures, saying nice compliments, saying ‘thank you.’ It makes me feel good.”
Parents also had the chance to express their thanks by writing personal messages to teachers on a trifold display.
“It’s really an opportunity to pause and remember the extra mile that a great majority of our teachers go to deliver quality education programs to our children,” said Bob Allen, PES principal.
PES teachers enjoyed free lunches throughout the week, courtesy of the PTA. However, students provided the desserts.
Fifth-graders Jennifer Bauer and Joe McGuire both made their teacher, Sarah Leger, some homemade goodies.
“Me and my mom made banana bread with chocolate chips and nuts. I gave pieces to Miss Leger to tell her that she’s a great teacher,” said Bauer, 11.
“When you don’t understand something … she uses her time to help you understand it,” Bauer added. “She helped me understand fractions.”
McGuire, 11, appreciates Leger for incorporating hands-on projects in class. “She lets us have fun stuff,” he said.
So, he gave a little fun back to her in a bag of chocolate peanut butter candy.
“It makes me feel good to make people feel better,” McGuire said.