We all know what life can be like for the new teacher. He or she walks into a classroom that may be totally bare of even the basics. All-too-often, other teachers have divided up anything of value left by the last teacher. This “Dear Abby” letter from today’s Birmingham News offers a wonderful way to endure that a new teacher begins a career with the essentials:

Dear Abby: I teach aspiring elementary school teachers in a credential program in California. The family of one of my students came up with a great way to celebrate her graduation from the program and help her prepare for her new career as a teacher. They threw her a “teacher shower.”

To help her start her classroom library, each guest brought a hardback copy of his/her favourite children’s book. She was also given baskets of teacher supplies such as Sharpie pens, Post-Its, stickers and coloured paper for the school copier.

I know the shower meant a lot to my student, and in states like California, where teachers often spend hundreds of their own dollars for classroom supplies, throwing a teacher shower can be a terrific way for families and friends to show their support for the new teacher.

Julie, a Teacher’s Teacher

Dear Julie: Dedicated teachers are among the unsung heroes in our society. They guide and shape the members of future generations, and rarely receive the credit or the income they deserve for their efforts. I love the concept of a teacher shower to help young, idealistic educators get off to the start they need, and I hope the idea will be popularized not only for new teachers, but also more experienced educators who would find it helpful. I’m sure there are many.