October 4, 2011

$50 Gift Card Giveaway for Incredible Teachers







For many of us, we remember that one amazing teacher who turned our lives around. The one who taught us to think differently about the world or got us excited about a subject we once thought was impossible.


With school budgets cuts, teachers are taking matters into their own hands by purchasing their own classroom materials. According to the National Education Association, teachers are spending about $1,000 each year on supplies for their class, which is pretty astonishing. Can you imagine if your job asked you to bring your own tape, scissors, and paper? There would be a backlash, but somehow, teachers have silently picked up the tab…until now.


I am excited to have the privilege of joining forces with the Max Moms for Teachers program to help create awareness and encourage support for teachers in every community. The Max Moms are working in collaboration with the national “A Day Made Better” cause founded by OfficeMax and nonprofit Adopt-A-Classroom to help erase teacher-funded classrooms. Annually in October, they host a national event that recognizes and rewards over 1,000 teachers with a total of $1 million in school supplies to help alleviate the financial burden and thank them for their hard work.


This morning I had the opportunity to surprise one of my kid's teachers, and presented her with a box of classroom supplies from OfficeMax.


You too can join in this cause by surprising a deserving teacher in your community by purchasing your own A Day Made Better box of classroom supplies available for $25, $50 or $100 at www.adoptaclassroom.org/better.


Want to reward a deserving teacher in your hometown? Start by nominating your favorite teacher to receive a mini Day Made Better box and a $50 gift card for school supplies donated by OfficeMax.



Entry Requirements

1) For a chance to enter and win, please post a comment below that describe how the teacher you'd like to nominate is positively impacting his/her community.

2) As an additional entry, you can visit ‘A Day Made Better’ on Facebook and post a comment about why you believe teachers deserve our support.

Contest starts NOW and ends this Friday, October 7 at midnight EST.

Terms & Disclosure: No purchase necessary to be eligible for a chance to enter or win. The winner will be selected randomly through http://random.org. The gift box of teacher supplies was provided by OfficeMax. The gift card was provided by OfficeMax as part of its cause for teachers. The views written here are my opinion.







62 comments

Kristin said...

Thank you for doing this! Can I nominate myself??? Just kidding. But still, thank you for your support of teachers. They appreciate it!

ColleenandKendra said...

I am a teacher myself and can attest to the amount of money we spend each year to keep our classrooms running smoothly. I would like to nominate my daughter's teacher, Mrs. Kirk. My daughter comes home exclaiming how much she loves her teacher every day. She tells awesome stories to engage the kids with everything she teaches. kendrasmom724@yahoo.com

Sarah said...

My daughter has a wonderful preschool teacher. She has more patience than anyone I've ever met and handles all the kids, and the parents, with respect, grace and dignity. My daughter has some sensory processing problems and Teacher Dana caught onto that right away, without me even telling her or explaining the problems. She tells my daughter when there's going to be a loud part of the story or song so she doesn't get scared. She makes everyone feel so welcome and appreciated. I don't have any teachers to compare her to because it's our 1st year in school, but already Dana has given us a pleasurable and memorable experience. My daughter loves Dana and I love her for the kindness she has shown us. We can't wait to learn from her through out the year.
s.megan84@yahoo.com

Jenn said...

Mrs. Kukihiko has made school come alive again for my son. She deserves much more than a box of supplies, but that would be an excellent gift to give her if I got the chance.

Annie said...

In my hometown, Mrs. Reynolds works tirelessly to give the kids in her fourth grade class the education, experiences, and character values that will help them succeed in life.

Madison said...

I would like to nominate Mrs. Melanie Bentz she is a 4th year teacher at a title one school. I have had the opportunity to observe her classroom over the past year and I love how she listens to her class and shows them respect. I believe in turn the children respect her and thoroughly enjoy being in her class. She works hard to create a learning environment suitable for all who enter her classroom and I am amazed by her knowledge and guidance for her students.

Crista said...

I would like to nominate my SIL who is a special ed teacher at a low-income middle school. Many of these kids come to her not even knowing how to read. The children grow by leaps and bounds both academically and emotionally, under her care. Many of her students only eat at school and come to school so hungry they can't focus on their work. So in addition to buying pencils and the normal classroom things, she also provides a cupboard of healthy foods for her students so they can focus on learning, instead of their empty stomachs. I can't even describe how much she cares for her students. I could give you example after example, but I don't want to take up all your space :).

Jeannie said...

I love that you're doing this and agree that it's an important effort. I want to nominate Sonia Morosin, my son's first grade teacher. She is an amazing individual who handles the varying temperaments, personalities, and learning styles in her classroom with care and compassion. She not only excels at teaching academic skills but also conflict resolution and interpersonal skills. She listens to her students and helps them at their level. I'm so grateful for teachers like her who dedicate their lives to helping children be the best they can be.

Mom of 12 said...

I'd like to nominate Sandy McDougal, my daughter's kindergarten teacher. She has the patience of Job! She loves the kids and makes them feel good about themselves and their accomplishments. What more could I want?
Sandy
www.twelvemakesadozen.blogspot.com

NaDell said...

I would nominate my oldest daughter's third grade teacher Mrs. Sullivan for this. I helped in their classroom this week and saw first hand the way she handles her classroom with grace and respect for each student. She is doing a wonderful job helping my daughter enjoy school more and feel special. I'm sure after spending years and years teaching that she could use a little more praise from parents. =)
Thanks for hosting a giveaway!

Renny said...

My sister in law is a teacher in Arizona. She teaches high school biology. She is in her second year of teaching, and she has to buy all of her own paper and supplies. No big deal, her husband is only in college for another year so she is the major bread winner for the family right now.

She is amazing and her students love her. In fact, one of her students made it into an article in the paper (The Arizona Republic) and he said his favorite class was biology!

Mrs. Jessica Reynolds- high school biology teacher extraordinare!

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU.

Sincerely,

A fifth grade teacher who supplies notebooks, folders, paper, markers, pencil sharpeners, pencils, erasers, crayons, sentence strips, etc etc etc

Anonymous said...

I would like to nominate one of my best friends Mrs. Buckley. She teaches 1st grade in a area well the children do not have the best of living situations. Alot of their parents do not care about their education and or behavior at school. Every year she is purchasing hats, gloves, etc. for her children because they come to school without these items in winter. One year her mother and herself made homemade quilts for her whole entire classroom for Christmas so they would be warm in the winter. She is an excellent role model and sometimes parent figure for her classroom.

ahunt2@zoominternet.net

Amalia Pirozzoli-Feuerstein said...
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Amalia Pirozzoli-Feuerstein said...
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Shannon Vilkinofsky said...

I would like to nominate by 12 year old son's special education teacher Mrs. Preising. She is a truly wonderful women who had done wonders for my son in his level of learning and behavior. She truly cares for the children as if they are her own. Her level of teaching is nothing like I have ever seen before and my son responds well to it. Being a teacher isn't just a job to her! She has been teaching for 30+ years and although I didn't know her back then, I am sure you still has the same amount of pep and vigor she brought to the job straight out of college. She herself had a "special" child, who went to heaven, so I think that helps her relate to parents. She is truly a remarkable educator, who the kids respond well to. This is my son's second year with her and from experience I know just how much gets done in the classroom that she pays for. We do not get lists a mile long with supplies to purchase, she handles nearly all of it. Please strongly consider her. I know her day "would be made Better" by this award!

Melissa @ Filling Our Bucket said...

I nominate my Mom. She started her career late in life, going back to college to get her degree when I was in junior high. She has been teaching kindergarten for about 20 years. She's mostly been in private schools, where the budgets have always been tight and she has always spent a good chunk of her own money on things as simple as construction paper. She has made such an impact at her schools each year that what starts out as a low enrolled class, has a wait list 50 kids deep the next year. She's compassionate, and has helped so many students. She recently had a young man come up to her at a restaurant, that she had her FIRST year of teaching, who told her that he remembered her because she helped build his confidence with her "Star of the Day" projects, and because she was always encouraging them. He is now a medical student, married, and seemed to be a wonderful person. She was so shocked because she is humble and often doesn't realize the impact she has on these children. She's amazing.

Rebecca said...

My son had an amazing kindergarten teacher. He's in first grade now, but my mother - who was kind of class grandma last year - still helps out in her room. She's got several kids with disabilities in her class this year (more than what is standard in our district) and I'm sure the district blesses them with her because of how amazing she is. Whatever a child needs, she gives them. She genuinely believes in each and every child in her class, she fully and truly loves them. She is a real blessing to every child who is lucky enough to have her for their teacher. I would love to be able to give a little back to Mrs. Obermiller as a small thank you for everything she has done, and is doing, for the children in our school.

Carolyn said...

Thank you!! I had to buy all of my supplies (and I am a high school science teacher) at my old school. I now teach in a different school, where I DO receive money to buy what I need for my classroom and lab. From all of those teachers who fund everything themselves (like I used to), thank you so much!!

Carrie said...

I would like to nominate the teachers at my Autisitic Support program. I am on maternity leave until the week of Thanksgiving. The teachers in my program deal with children who have behaviors and difficulties that are so severe that they can not make it in the regular education setting. This job requires teachers to often spending 15+ hours outside of the classroom on paperwork, lesson planning, and making things to assist with behavior management. There is a teacher in the program that constantly spends hundreds of dollars on his classroom. They are an amazing group of teachers!

Jes said...

I would like to nominate my daughter's kindergarten teacher. My son had her also. They have both thrived in her classroom. I have also helped in her class and know that she loves her students. She spends quite a bit out of pocket. Which I know can't be easy, especially since our school district is one of the lowest paid in the country.

Ashley said...

My third grade teacher, Linda Kaperak, is the greatest teacher I've ever had. Not many people can say they are still good friends with their third grade teacher, but I'm happy to say that I am. My daughter even calls her Aunt Linda. Mrs. Kaperak is such a hard working and loving teacher. Every child that comes through her classroom door is loved by her no matter what. She uses so much of her own money to make sure her kids have the best learning environment that they possibly can and works tirelessly to give them the attention and education that so many of them need and crave. To see the impact that she has, one only needs to catch a glimpse of her Facebook page to see the hundreds of students that still love her and are so thankful that they got to spent third grade in her classroom. This prize would go a long way for her and I know that without a doubt she deserves it.

Linda said...

I would like to nominate my daughter, Elizabeth Rich who, inspired by great teachers in her life decided after several forays in other directions to follow her heart and teach. She had wonderful teachers sprinkled in elementary, middle, and high school and even college (she even had an amazing YW teacher!) and these wonderful, amazing, inspiring teachers helped make her the caring, devoted teacher she is becoming. As an ESL teacher she has what many consider unteachable and she spends too much of her money and even her heart to make sure they have the same advantages that the other kids have. Is it hard, sure, but the payback has been worth it. The return visits from happy excited students help her realize that they are worth her time, effort and yes fiscal contribution.

HerMamma said...

I make a directed cash donation to the school. I specify that it is to be used by the teachers of my daughter's grade for any classroom supplies they deem needed.

This way I get a tax deductible receipt (worth about 50% of my donation because of the tax law here) AND the teacher doesn't have to use thier own money to make the purchases.

Win/win.

Alana Tolley said...

I know some great teachers who could use some help. Count me in!

Jessica said...

Thank you so much for doing this! My son's teacher Mrs. Kellerstrauss would LOVE this!!!! What a great idea and such a wonderful blessing for a deserving teacher!

Jessica Dobra

Kiyna Christensen said...

I am currently doing my student teaching and the stress of providing for the classroom is really astronomical. I would nominate my host teach Miss Vondwingelo who is one of the most skilled third grade teachers I have ever seen. She is an inspiration to me and I have learned so much being a part of her classroom.

Long live teachers! (:

Kiyna
twelvemakesadozen@gmail.com

Katie W. said...

My mom has been a teacher for over 30 years and is still going strong. I personally know how much she spends on things for her classroom. She would love a gift card.

Lisa Gibson said...

Also a teacher myself! I would like to nominate my son's first grade teacher. He struggles with reading and she has done nothing but encourage him. The progress he has made in just a little over a month is staggering. I love her and you know that she loves those kids.

Michelle said...

I would like to nominate Ken Vanderveen, a middle school science teacher in Santa Monica, CA. Mr. Vanderveen engages his students' curiosity and goes above and beyond to make sure they learn what they need to learn rather than just what the state standards require. He dips into his pocket to pay for copier toner, as he is limited in the number of copies he can make of handouts for his students. Also, three times every year, Mr. Vanderveen takes his students on field trips, on non-school days. Not only do the students learn a ton more than what they read in textbooks, it is on his own time and I imagine that it is taking time away from his wife and children. My daughter is always enthusiastic about what she learns from Mr. Vanderveen. He is a wonderful teacher.

Lisa Gibson said...

I would like to nominate my daughters 3rd grade teacher. They have so much they have to learn this year and she isn't making it seem so hard. She encourages them to challenge themselves, whether it be choosing a harder book for their book reports or giving them a harder spelling list when they Ace the pretest of the other list. My daughter just loves her and going to school this year! And I know that she spends every weekend correctly their homework for the week so they can get feedback quickly.

livieandhermommies said...

My Child's Teacher Mykella Eichen has made an impact from day one for Olivia this year. She believes in POSITIVE reinforcement teaching and will NOT allowing bullying of any sort in her classroom. Her love for teaching shines through in all ways, and is abvious as Olivia cannot wait to go to school everyday and is actually upset on the days there is no school. Her students are much more than just another group of kids to her, they are an extension of her family. Lwaszak@colonialpoplin.com

Nanny said...

Jeannie Huddleston is a 5th grade teacher and also coaches the swim team. Her room is organized and she is generous with her students.All the teachers at the Habersham County Schools are great could I have one for each of theM?

Tiffany said...

I'd like to nominate Ms.Moore. She goes over and beyond the call of being a teacher for her kindergarten students. This past summer, she treated the students (and sometimes the parents) to "dates with the teacher" in which she paid for the students to enter various events in the DC area with her this summer. This is AFTER they have already advanced to the 1st grade, but she has been committed to investing in their lives. I don't understand how she does this on her small teacher's salary, but I know that she spends hours at the flea market and stores buying materials for the students to help them fully understand their assignments. I know that she has gone without a few meals in order to ensure that these little ones are learning as much as possible and I think the $50 would be a small token to help her with this goal of hers.

Karen said...

Ms Pfender has given tirelessly of herself to help her students learn to read. As a special education/reading specialist, she hones in on how best to help each child individually. She tutors some after school so the student can advance at his or her own pace. She works in a low income district and would very much appreciate the gift towards supplies.

Brittney said...

The teacher I nominate is making a difference in the community by infusing my child with the love of learning. cheshiresmile82@gmail.com

Colleen said...

I'd like to nominate Ms. Finney. She is a Department of Defense teacher here in Okinawa Japan. She was my daughter, Katie's, student council advisor. Katie has moved up to middle school now and just last night we received an email from Ms. Finney asking how Katie was doing in middle school and just a note to encourage her. I was blown away. Ms. Finney made a wonderful impact on Katie and she still is reaching out encouraging her students. I love it... I'd love to bless Ms. Finney!

lerin said...

As a teacher myself, I would like to say thank you for the many kind and supportive words from posters.

I would like to nominate my son's extended day teacher who works with students with autism. Laurel-Hayden Downie is the most amazing teacher and when I look into the room, I can see that the kids are engaged and happy.

Russ and Em said...

My daughter has THE BEST kindergarten teacher! She has SO much energy and enthusiasm (her aid told me that the way she does it is she sleeps all weekend and the minute she gets home.) She doesn't waste a minute and is constantly teaching, drilling and repeating. But my favorite part was after the kids recited a poem as a group. She complemented them by saying they were poetry ninjas. Then (because she had taught them) they all made cool ninja sounds and did ninja moves. Any teacher that can reward and get kids to celebrate learning in a way they enjoy is a great teacher.

danielle said...

I am nominating my youngest brother's 4th grade teacher, Mr. Barber. My bro is the 5th and last member of our family to have this teacher and every year we love him more and more. He has been teaching in a low income area for the past 20 years and wouldn't ever dream of leaving to go to any of the newer schools built across town. He's a great role model and makes learning fun!

Beth Vidrine said...

I want to nominate my mom. She has been teaching for about 15 years now, and she is absolutely amazing! My mom decided to go back to college, when my brother and I were very young, so she could get her degree. She now has her Masters degree to add to her list of accomplishments. My mother is an English teacher and knows how much her students love Twlight and Harry Potter. Three years ago, she put one of her great plans into effect where 5th graders coming to the school, would be sorted into "houses." The students would stay in their "houses" until they graduated high school. Each year, the houses compete in competitions to earn points. The students also receive points depending how hight their end of the year test grades are. These competitions have inspired the students to work extra hard, so they can be rewarded at the end of the year. The students now look forward to coming to 5th grade so they can be sorted into their "house." My mom is an inspiration to everyone she meets. She speaks to her students in a way that gets them to listen. My mother is an amazing teacher and deserves this prize!

Laura said...

My son's preschool teacher is incredible. She and her two assistants all have more patience than anyone I have ever met. She took my little boy who had never been in a structured environment, and made the transition smooth and easy for him (and me too).

Becca said...

I am nominating Miss Suzanne Smith, my daughter's 1st grade teacher. Through a rough year, this wonderful teacher e-mailed me sometimes nightly, sometimes multiple times a day. We worked as a team to accomplish amazing things for my daughter. The incredible part is that, as I started talking to other kids' parents, I realized she did that with ALL of her kids. In-credible.

Heather said...

As a teacher of 6 years now I would say I have spent well over 10,000 if my own money now! I buy my own tape, staples, paper, supplies for students, supplies for activities... I am sure I could go without most of it but it would be a very boring day of sitting in a desk. The money I invest is worth it most days, I just wish we had more help. I call my classroom my home and tell my students to be nice to my home :)

Liz said...

I'd like to nominate the teacher I work with every day. Marilyn is one of the 3 teachers in the REACH program at our school. This is the drop out recovery program where kids with all sorts of circumstances come to finish school quickly & get their diploma. These are kids who can't make it at the regular high school or who need to hurry up & get a job & help pay their family's bills, or pregnant teens who want to finish school before their baby is born. There are all sorts of situations, but Marilyn takes all of them in stride & impacts each one of the kids with her own brand of mama-love, compassionate & kindness.

Anna said...

I come from a family of preschool teachers, my mom, my aunt, my sister-in-law. All of them do so much, give so much to their students and really make a difference in the lives of 3 and 4 year olds.

Angela Noelle of SK said...

I know I'm not eligible to enter for a teacher in NZ, eh? So I'm not entering, but have to say this is GREAT! I was a teacher here, and the same problems abound. THANK YOU!

Elizabeth said...

Miss Fihe at Murray Middle School...brings science to life on a shoestring budget. The kids love her labs and projects. Like all of the other great nominees, she could really use this gift in her classroom! Thank you!

Dangerous With a Pen said...

I am a 15 yr first grade teacher and I think this is an amazing, wonderful giveaway. So very thoughtful. My hubby teaches as well, so we do a lot of school shopping. :)

I would like to nominate an awesome first year teacher in my school, Chris Greene. Being a first year teacher is super stressful in itself, and coming right out of college you can't have a lot to spend on classroom supplies. It'd be great to give him a boost. :)
MaddestHatter@verizon.net

Maldonado said...

As a middle school principal, I see many of my teachers spend so much money out of their own pockets to buy school supplies, uniforms, shoes, even lunch at times. Although I have many teachers, I would like to nominate Ms. Bertha Sanchez, teacher at Henderson Middle School. emaldo02@gmail.com

Lori said...

My daughter's teacher is wonderful. She decorates her class with her kids in mind. She gives them awards and trinkets to help motivate and all of this is out of pocket. She gives her heart and her pocketbook to her kids--we love Mrs. O'Hair!
lkziegler[at]gmail[dot]com

JennS said...

I would love to nominate one of the most dedicated teachers I know Amanda Steadele. She goes above and beyond for her students, continuously devoting her free time and summers to furthering her education and knowledge base to continue to bring innovative ideas to her High School English classroom. And she does it with small children at home and an Active Duty Military husband on deployment.

staceyc said...

I'd like to nominate my SIL Renee-she is an awesome kindergarten teacher and I am always humbled by how much she does for the children in her class and how much she spends out of pocket to get her room ready each fall. She is nothing short of amazing!

Stephanie said...

This would be a great gift for my little girl's teacher, and a perfect birthday gift for her. Her birthday is next week. Thanks for the chance to win.

Heather said...

My friend Emily went to a continuation school. A school for kids that didn't fit into the regular school system. She thrived, graduated, educated herself and is now back at that very school helping some really rough kids. She is an amazing teacher and puts her all into helping kids that have so many problems for so many different reasons.

nola said...

My daughter is a high school teacher and teaches the young-soon-to-be adults in the community how to actually make it to adulthood without screwing themselves and other around them up. Adult Roles is a class that teaches finance but most importantly about teen pregnancy, drug use, parenting, child care and often by necessity after school, counsels those who are involved in many harmful activities such as abuse, cutting etc. Many lives have been saved due to her diligence and sacrifice, both time wise and financially. Often their needs are met with her out of pocket resources. She does this and still manages to care for a toddler with health issues. A gift card would be wonderful but the simple thank you that I can provide just by posting this would honor her.

Haystack Farm said...

I would like to nominate my son's teacher, Mrs Lowry. She went back to school when her children were almost grown up and 7 years later, she completed her degree. This is her first year teaching. She does not teach for the money. She teaches because she loves kids. She has spent an unbelievable amount of money setting up her kindergarten classroom in amazing ways. We parents have tried to help, but she has definitely taken the brunt of the load. We would love to help her away we can to lighten her load! Thanks.
Delaneynalder@comcast.net

Beth said...

I nominate my younger daughter's Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Barton. I help out in her classroom every Thursday morning and see first hand how hard she works! The first day I made the mistake of wearing sandals and my feet were killing me after just 2 hours. She always has interesting hands on activities planned and the children love her!

slugmama said...

I have a longtime friend who has devoted her life to teaching. She teaches high school and while there is alot of support and such for afterschool programs where she lives/works there is about nil for the older kids-the teenagers. Teenagers need the care of devoted adults I'd hazard to say even more than the younger kids since the vast majority of the teens have little structure at home. Parents don't seem to see that teens need the grown ups in their lives around like a younger child does, but they do. So my friend has become an ersatz parent outside of school to many of the teens in her classroom. Not only does she spend time and energy beyond the classroom on them, she spends a good chunk of her salary so that she has to work other jobs when she can.
I'd like to nominate my friend Brenda.

slugmama said...

I liked A DAY MADE BETTER on FB too.
All teachers deserve our help and support. After all, they are shaping the future of our country and our world.

Carolina Chocolate said...

I think this is so fabulous! I have the perfect person in mind. She is a K-3 Exceptional Children teacher and truly changes lives each and every day.

Terra said...

I would like to nominate my son's Gifted and talented teacher, Mrs. Melanie Gillette. She has worked hard with my son, who has Asperger's Disorder, for going on 4 years now. She enriched his life by making him use his brain, pushing his limits, and having the UTMOST patience with his sometimes bad autistic attitude. There's no one more deserving. Thank you!