30 Things That Teachers Are So Grateful For

30 Days of Thankfulness Challenge- The Teacher Edition cover image


Thanksgiving is the cornerstone of November, a pause amidst the storm of consumerism that the winter holidays have become. The Thanksgiving meal has always been a time to stop and give thanks for the blessings in one’s life.

It is with this spirit of thanksgiving that a new social media movement is afoot. For the past several years, you may have seen 30 Days of Thanksgiving trending during the month of November. Variously hashtagged #30DaysofGratitude, #30DaysofThanks or #30DaysofThanksgiving, the gist is the same. November is a time to remember our blessings, and it is with this in mind that people have turned to social media to publically give thanks for the blessings in their lives.

Users post photos and/or brief messages detailing the things in their lives they appreciate, including family, friends, a roof over their heads, enough food on the table, running water, pets and anything else they can think of.

Teachers have much to be thankful for as well. While many problems plague the profession, the work teachers do is invaluable and rewarding in ways that make their jobs deeply fulfilling. If you have a cornucopia of blessings in your teacher life, consider posting about one each day with #30DaysofTeacherThanks.

Here are 30 things we are grateful for here at Bored Teachers:

1. Supportive parents and guardians

For every helicopter parent or nasty email, there are supportive families out there who go the extra mile to let their kids’ teachers know they are appreciated. It’s the teamwork between the parent and teacher that makes for a successful student.

2. Hand sanitizer

Cold and flu season is upon us, and if you listen carefully, the background noise in any classroom is a symphony of sniffles and coughs. Hand sanitizer helps keep those germs at bay.

3. The right to vote

Tuesday, Nov. 6 marks the midterm elections. An educated society is a cornerstone of a free and effective democracy, so get out and rock that vote.

4. Teacher aides

Another adult in a classroom! Thanks to teacher aides, we are less outnumbered and have another set of eyes to scan the room, two more hands to keep students on task and one more big heart to help our students be successful.

5. Librarians

Library_30 days of thankfulness

Librarians are our teaching partners in every sense. They teach our students skills like internet research and safe online browsing. They run book clubs and order materials for our classrooms, and they are a safe place for students who just need a little quiet time to curl up with a good book.

6. Custodians

Schools would fall apart without you. We are so grateful to school custodians for keeping our buildings and classrooms ship-shape, for vacuuming and dusting and straightening a million desks each day. You deserve all the cookies in the world.

7. Secretaries

Thank you, secretaries, for screening phone calls and answering all our questions about purchase orders and field trip forms. And thank you for the secret stash of candy and ibuprofen we need on particularly bad days.

8. Supportive administrators

Administrators who cheer teachers on are worth their weight in gold. A supportive shoulder to lean on, a fearless leader to help guide us – where would we be without you?

9. Lightbulb moments

Lightbulb drawn on chalkboard

You teach and you reteach and you reteach and then, all of a sudden, a student understands! We’ve all been there, and it’s why we keep doing what we do. That look on a student’s face when he finally understands a concept he’s been struggling with – priceless.

10. Our teacher friends

We chat with them between classes and sit with them at lunch and text them at night when grading papers. They save our sanity.

11. Snacks in the break room

So grateful for donuts and holiday cookies and leftover Halloween candy that make their way into the teacher break room.

12. Still-usable whiteboard markers

Reaching into the drawer and pulling out a marker that still writes like it did on the first day of school is like winning the teacher lottery. Same goes for black sharpies and grading pens.

13. That one student

You know the one. The one who is never absent, the thorn in your side, who always interrupts your lesson. This student challenges us and helps us grow into better educators.

14. Coffee

girl holding cup of coffee

Coffee gets us up and helps us drive safely to work each morning. It wakes us up when students are trickling into the classroom. And it offers a mid-afternoon pick-me-up when all we want is a nap after lunch.

15. Teacher discounts

Bookstores, office supply stores, craft stores, I’m looking at you. Thanks for the discount on my classroom supplies for special projects, you’re the real MVP.

16. Students who help with classroom chores

In what other profession are there 30 people ready to jump into action when you say “who wants to help me out today?” Students who pitch in to keep the classroom running smoothly are wonderful.

17. Random notes/gifts from students

Students who leave little notes for their teachers probably don’t realize how much these little missives mean to us. We save them and read them when we’re having a bad day.

18. Recess


Ah, recess. When students must exercise to get out their excess energy and when teachers can grab a moment of sanity, a coffee, a bathroom break.

19. Prep periods

So much to do, so little time to do it in. Thankful for our prep periods to catch up on grading or planning or phone calls home or data collection or emails or…. The to-do list never gets shorter, but prep periods keep it from getting longer.

20. School hoodies

Casual Fridays for teachers means jeans and a school sweatshirt. Thank goodness for the soft, fuzzy comfort these offer.

21. Short staff meetings

Gotta hit that to-do list, which gets especially long during the holiday season. Shorter staff meetings mean more time to prep. Emails > staff meetings always.

22. The Internet

The Internet, and technology in general, have reformed teaching. Now, the entire body of humanity’s knowledge is available at our fingertips – any question can be answered at a moment’s notice.

23. Vitamin C

That horrible moment when we wake up feeling sick, but not sick enough to call in and write sub plans, is the moment we turn to vitamin C to give our immune system the boost we need to make it to the weekend.

24. Sick days and subs

Or, on days when we can’t get out of bed, substitute teachers come to the rescue, dutifully implementing sub plans when students assume no classroom teacher means a free day.

25. A great schedule

Yes, teaching comes with a million challenges, and yes, teachers easily work 60 hour work weeks, but we are rewarded with a wonderful schedule that includes holidays off, time to spend with our own families during this festive season. For that, we can be thankful.

26. Fridays

What teacher doesn’t wake up thinking, “Three more days until Friday!” We love our jobs, but we love our weekends, too.

27. Snow days

two girls playing in the snow

The occasional day off for snow or ice or other stormy conditions is an excuse to revisit our childhoods and maybe hop on a sled with our own kids.

28. Sticky notes, planners, calendars

These organizational tools keep us on top of those dozens of tasks we have to remember on a day to day basis, and they help us look good while doing it!

29. Free and reduced lunch programs

Some students come to us hungry, without enough food in their homes. School free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs feed students so they can come to class with full bellies.

30. The future

Our students are the future. We have the chance to help shape that future. It is our great privilege.


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I am an unrepentant lover of words - and lucky me, I spend all day, every day immersed in them. When I'm not teaching, I'm reading. Or writing. Or teaching eager (and sometimes not-so-eager) adolescents about the power of the written word. I live on the scenic Oregon Coast with my dog, two cats, and five-year-old son.

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