Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Teacher Appreciation Week.

Yep, it's that time of the year again. As Jeff likes to point out, our appreciation comes in the form of a check we get deducted from our account every month. But he's a bit of a humbug sometimes.

This week, I've been scrambling to come up with some gift ideas for Jordan and Mina's preschool teachers. Between the two of them, and their two different classes, there are ten individuals - teachers and teacher aides, who needed acknowledgement.

Le Sigh.

That's a lot of appreciation. And as much as I'd like to cheap out and only give something to the two main teachers each class has, that would sort of suck. Each class also has two aides. There are days when I bring Jordan and Mina into the school, and Mina goes running up to one of them to hug and kiss her. Many of the aides are the ones standing in the rain and the snow to escort the kids into the building for drop off. And these are the same aides who help each kid at lunchtime - heating up the food, tearing open the little juice box straws, peeling the bananas for snack (no, really! I saw one of them do this once!)

So, anyway, I needed to get everybody something. And something for two of the administrative staff who have gone above and beyond with these kids.

I loved this idea - a pencil box, decorated with a thank you card. My idea was to fill it with a gift card, some cutesy office supplies, and something sweet. Of course, I couldn't find a simple, rectangular slider pencil box.

Instead, I went to AC Moore and found wooden pencil boxes (unpainted) for $1 each! Since there's never a shortage of paint and brushes in the house, I thought I could use these. The plan - paint the background colors while the kids were in school in the morning, and let them paint whatever embellishments on top.

I painted them with various colors.

Then just had to add a little something.

And then lost my mind and painted flowers on all of them because clearly, this suddenly became the most important task of the morning.

Stuff to fill the boxes with - pens..

too cute to use, paper clips...

little treat bags with chocolate nonpareils. Two seemed right. I've decided I need to stop pushing food on people. Maybe I'm not the only one out there on a never-ending diet. But two seemed like just enough for a taste of something sweet.

Of course, I added something practical - a Barnes & Noble card. Never let whimsy get in the way of practicality.

The weather warmed up this afternoon, so I thought the kids would want to play outside. Instead, when they saw the boxes on the table, they demanded a chance to paint too.

Jordan tackled the top right away.

This is Mina's idea of a caterpillar. I can sort of see that.

Wrapped up pretty with a mini hand-made, thank you card and ribbon.

There's never any privacy in this house, or a chance to do crafty things solo for long. Mina ran into the kitchen during the wrapping part. She wanted one too.

Instead, I convinced her to practice holding it, so she could give one to her teacher tomorrow. Unfortunately, Mina doesn't have school tomorrow, since she's only part-time. But she can come inside and give the gifts herself. That will be amusing.

All lined up to go for tomorrow. Bring on the baksheesh!

I'm totally kidding. I really like the kids' teachers and always give them credit for their hard work. They spend more time with my kids than they do with their own, and that means something. They take the time to speak to me about the kids' day, call me whenever they want to discuss things, email me regularly, send me pictures, and treat the kids with love and patience - which, quite frankly, can be a challenge sometimes. Particularly when you are dealing with a classroom of 25 kids, few of whom have learned the art of rationality.

Have you hugged a teacher today?
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