05 May 2009

Teacher Appreciation

I apologize for the formatting this morning...I got up early to work, but with 2 sick kids, time has no meaning...so I post a bit, comfort a bit, post a bit...you get the idea.  Just roll with it--it's good stuff, just looks ugly.  :)  

Every week, do I say it's one of my favorite weeks of the whole school year?  Because this week--teacher appreciation week--is, hands-down, one of my favorite weeks of the whole school year. Teaching is one of the most rewarding jobs there is, but some will tell you that it can be a thankless job.  From the start of my teaching career, I would often surprise my friends and coworkers with little "happys"...when I saw something that I thought would make someone smile, or when it was a particularly stressful time of year (TAAS, then TAKS, or audit...you know, the times when it's hard to smile!) and definitely, definitely during Teacher Appreciation week.  The thing is, a happy is just that...a little something that's just meant to make someone smile and know that you're thinking of them.  It doesn't have to be expensive, or fancy.  It helps if it's punny, though...you know how I like things to tie together in a neat little bow, and I'm a punny, punny girl.  **Another note here:  as a Resource teacher and then as a PPCD teacher, I think it made a huge difference in my relationship with my general ed. teachers--I always did something for them during Teacher Appreciation week (or during testing, you know...the hard times).  Let's be clear--I wasn't thanking them for teaching my students, because that's their job.  I wanted to recognize their extra efforts, and appreciate our working relationship.  :)  And yep, it's great PR, face it!

So, it's early and I'm rambling.  Let's get back to it, shall we?

As a parent, Teacher Appreciation week is a great opportunity to thank the people who help us raise our kids.  Since Kayci started daycare, we've always done something fun for the teachers, whether it was a small gift every day or a Willow Tree angel at the end of the week...something thoughtful, something fun, something to say, I realize what a difference you make in my child's life and our lives.  :)  

This year, it's been a Teacher Appreciation celebration around here.  A few weeks ago we did an actual celebration for our Paraprofessionals, but it was the week my Dad died so I didn't actually get to go.  Wish I had pictures, though--I'll be honest, I worked hard on the rainbow-y details, from the table covers to the plates to the napkins...wish I could have seen it!  

I've been collecting things for Teacher Appreciation since around December, and some things, like notepads and rulers and other nonperishable stuff I'll just pick up when I find it.  Here's the rundown, so you can see that it's not what you spend, it's truly the thought that counts!  (I won't show you what I did for work, because I don't want to ruin the surprise each day.  For the PPCD & LS teachers, we sent a big envelope with 5 individual gifts, 1 for each day.  The first day is a "big" gift, then each day after that is just a smile and on Friday it's a really thoughtful gift.  Well, I think so--hope you guys love it as much as I do!  It's kind of an appreciation sandwich in an envelope...)

Anyway...here we go.  BISD messed me up--I had stuff for 5 days, but there are only 4 days of school this week because of Maifest.  I'll tell you what the 5th day would have been.  :)  We did 5 gifts each day for Noble, and 2 for Kayci, so that's why there's a pretty wide variety (Noble's are 5 identical, Kayci's vary a bit because I decided at the last minute to do something every day for the para...figured she keeps Kayci safe every day at recess and opens her thermos, so I should say thank you!).  

It's a cliche, I know, but every year I'll do some variation of "Teachers plant seeds that bloom over a lifetime." This year, Noble's taking 5 cans of wildflower seeds tied with flower ribbon (thanks, $ spot!). Kayci's teacher's getting a little sunflower pot & seed kit, and her paraprofessional is getting flower sidewalk chalk. **Target right now has sets of 2 tin tiny buckets or a small tin watering can or a tin tub AND lots of different seeds, pots, etc...great place to put together a little happy or just pick up one piece, like I did. That stuff makes great gardening baskets, though! Last year, they had little felt watering cans, so I bought those for the workers at Kayci's daycare and then put a bag of sunflower seeds in each one. They were cute!

I'm so having a hard time figuring out spacing...sorry, y'all!

This one's a little ehh...but it seemed important this year, as Noble's just started daycare and there have been many tears (his and mine, honestly). It's a kleenex pack with a note that says, "It's such a comfort for us to know that Noble's in good hands at FBCS." Ooh, that would be a good note to go with lotion, hmm? A note about a tear-free year would have been good, but...well, it would have been a lie. :)

Thanks for your "commit-MINT" to (fill in child's name here)'s education!  Cliche, cliche, I know...for Kayci's teacher, Junior Mints (would have been cool for daycare, just realized that), for the para a bag of Andes mints (yum!), and for Noble's school, Wrigley's mint gum.  

This one year at band camp...no, no, that's not right. So, one
year at Cimarron, the PTA gave each teacher a can of peanuts
with a really cool label we made that said "We're NUTS about you!" 
Cans of peanuts are expensive, so...

Okay, I cannot figure this picture out, so just look down and to your right.  That's it, work for it...

I almost forgot--I stumbled across these really cute ABC notepads at Wal-Mart last week! Seriously stumbled...somebody had stacked 7 of them behind some thank you notes. Guess who needed 7 happys? Voila! Just wrote "Take NOTE--we appreciate you!" on these. Quick and nasty, but oh, so cute!

And last but not least, had there been a 5th day, Noble's teachers would have gotten a "Take 5" bar with a note saying "you deserve a break today!" But...there were just the 4 days, so those will come in handy for happys before school's out. What's even better than a happy during this appreciation week? A happy for no reason at all, just to say I CARE! :)

OH! And for Kayci's teacher, the first day we wrote a nice thank you note and put in a gift certificate for a local restaurant that we all love (going there this weekend for James' and my 11th anniversary, actually!). That day for the para, we put in the kleenex pack with a note. :)

There are so, so many things to do to say thank you, I appreciate you, you make a difference...here are a few quickies, you guess what the note would say...I'll post what I would write tomorrow. It's like a quiz!

100 grand bars
3 musketeers
pop rocks
sharpie marker
flair pens
dum dums
mountain dew

See you tomorrow... :)  


MommyGirl said...

Oh, my...it published even UGLIER than I thought...sorry, friends!

Kristin said...

Love it! Great ideas

Rachel said...

I was just going to email you this afternoon and tell you that it made me so excited to find the envelope of happys in my box today! I'm also so glad I read this...gee I feel bad that I didn't think to do something for my general ed teachers (good thing it's only Tuesday!) :)

MommyGirl said...

You do something for your teachers all the time, silly! Now shh...gonna go read your blog before I wake James up (he fell asleep watching Benjamin Buttons with me on the couch...I'm supposed to be working but don't you just LOVE my new blog backgrounds?) I'll work tomorrow... :)