Holiday Giveaway – the gift of professional growth

Here’s an idea that has been really fun this year. It begin with recruiting support from administrators who work with math teachers at each of our secondary sites. They helped finance buying the book prizes. The remainder were provided by my office in Curriculum and Instruction. I chose to focus on Tracy Zager’s book, Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had, because that was a learning I was interested in spreading around the district. It is more suited to my intermediate teachers than high school teachers, but there is so much good discussion about what it means to teach mathematics that I feel it is worthwhile for all of us. Perhaps in your district you would pick something different. Whatever awesome book you choose, you are getting great professional learning materials into the hands of interested teachers, so it is all a win. In addition to the book, I decided to give away a “Day of Desmos”. This is producing a list of wonderful and willing teachers for me to work with in the next semester.


Once the prizes were established and gathered, I sent the following email to the math teachers at each site, signing my name and the name of their supporting administrator. I included a link to a google form, where they put their name in for each prize they were interested in.  Winners of prizes contributed by site administration will be chosen just from teachers on their site. Winners of district office prizes will be chosen from everyone in the district that signed up for them.  I have a near infinite supply of days of desmos, so woo hoo – everyone there is a winner!

Here is the email I sent out:

The gift of professional growth

Why: Because we are grateful for you and the work you do every day with the students in your classroom.

What: We want to give you something to enrich your teaching and demonstrate the respect and friendships we have developed working together.

When: During the last two weeks of December, we will be giving gifts to teachers, based on their interest. Below find a chance to check out the gifts and put your name in a drawing for those you are interested in.

Start making your wish list here:

Book: Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had by Tracy Zager         Video description here          Companion website and discussion forum here  

Set of posters:  10 posters that call out habits of mind exhibited by mathematicians (based on the 10 chapters in Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had by Tracy Zager)

zager posters

Day of Desmos: Leeanne will come in a teach/co-teach your classes with a desmos lesson that supports whatever topic your students are currently studying. It can introduce a topic, replace a lecture style lesson, or practice applying something you already taught – Your choice!

Surprise: smaller gifts for your classroom

Sign up to participate in this holiday giveaway here (here is where the link went)

Looking forward: New Year, new resolutions. The learning you receive can be your present to yourself, your students, your PLC, and your team in the coming year.


The teachers are excited and emailing how much fun this is.  The administrators are excited because that was pretty easy and painless. I am excited because I get to show my appreciation for them AND give them awesome resources to improve their craft.  Win, win, win!

2 thoughts on “Holiday Giveaway – the gift of professional growth

  1. What a great idea!
    I know the competition is long over, but where can I find those posters? Would love to post them in my classroom!


    • A graphic artist made them. Her facebook page is Jessica Carter Design. Her price was very reasonable. I paid, she sent the google files, and then I had them printed. They are beautiful in person.


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