M. Colleen Cruz

Writer, Educator, Consultant

Day Three - Teacher Appreciation Stories

May 6, 2015

Tags: items, stories, money, need

Today’s teacher appreciation post is not one story in particular, but rather a story told through things. Each item on the list below are things purchased by teachers I know for their students and their classrooms. Things purchased with their own money.

When you look at each item you can imagine the story that surrounds it – the reasons why a teacher might purchase that item. Some of the items on this list are surprising to outsiders (wouldn’t that be provided by the school?!) and others are sad or inspiring because you know it was purchased for an individual student in need.

I have little doubt that if you are a teacher, you have either personally purchased one of these items or know someone who has. I also know you likely have a few to add that are missing from this list:

1. Field trip
2. Paper
3. Whiteboard markers
4. Refrigerator
5. Books for summer reading
6. Rug
7. Chair
8. Yoga ball
9. Basketball
10. Blocks (for an upper grade class)
11. Soap
12. Toilet paper
13. Hand sanitizer
14. Backpack & lunchbox
15. Coat
16. Underwear
17. Shoes
18. Scarf
19. Granola bars
20. Cereal
21. Dinner
22. Theater tickets (given to students through a ‘raffle’)
23. Baseball game tickets
24. Guinea pig food
25. Air freshener

Thank you for spending your hard earned items on these things. Your classroom and students are better for it and appreciate not only that you purchased these items, but that you saw that they would make a difference.

If you’d like to contribute to this list – with an item you or a colleague purchased, or a teacher you know, please add a comment below.


  1. May 6, 2015 6:17 PM EDT
    Flash Drive, Book Fair book, Erasers, Bookmarks, Pencils, Pencil Case, Folders, Snacks, ...
    - DinaMWeiss
  2. May 6, 2015 6:41 PM EDT
    Christmas Presents for a third grader and his three year old sister because otherwise Santa wasn't coming.
    - Damien
  3. May 6, 2015 6:53 PM EDT
    - Ryley. Z

Selected Works

A book that addresses some of the most common and challenging struggles a teacher of writing might face - and offers solutions
Professional Literature
A practical resource for 3rd grade teachers looking to teach writing workshop
A practical resource for 4th grade teachers looking to teach writing workshop.
A practical book and quick read from Heinemann's Help Desk Imprint
Co-written with Lucy Calkins, this book is a part of the Units of Study First Hand Series from Heinemann.
Designed for teachers, this book discusses the ins and outs of teaching students to cultivate independent writing lives.
Young Adult Novel
A finalist for the Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award, this book follows the story of Cesi as she embarks on a journey to Mexico in order to learn more about her family, and herself.