Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wall to Wall Appreciation

What does Teacher Appreciation week look like in your kid's school? I need an idea or two. When we last spoke of this, my co-room mom was too discouraged to help plan, so I need to get this underway. Our school's TA week is March 9-13. What happens each day is basically up to the room moms, with only one schoolwide event. On Wednesday of that week, the teachers all go to a special lunch just for them, while parent volunteers take their classes to and from lunch and keep them busy for an hour or so. Also that day, some parents send in desserts for the luncheon. The OTHER four days that week, in years past, parents have also provided lunches for the teacher. Nothing fancy--like somebody swings by Chick-fil-A and brings a bag to school. Or sometimes breakfast.

The other thing, usually, is that each day has a theme. Children bring things in according to the theme. Like,

Flower Day: each child brings in one cut flower to put in a vase on the teacher's desk.

Handmade Card Day

And the other ideas the PTA rep had weren't that great. I don't want it to be a situation where every day, moms have to send in stuff they bought, even if Ms S did let us know that she likes candles and picture frames. (Really? Because I assumed teachers were drowing in candles and picture frames.) Except, I may do one idea that Jan had. She emailed me in spite of her discouragement. I share it with you now:

Becky, have you sent out anything regarding teacher appreciation week yet? If not, I was thinking of an idea for one of the days. Since Ms. S won a cruise maybe one day’s theme could be “Von Voyage”. The kids could bring things like a book, sunscreen, beach bag, cute luggage tags, earplugs, travel journal, disposable underwater camera, etc. Don’t feel like you have to use this idea, I was just looking at my mom’s pictures from a cruise they took and had the idea.

Then she favored me with an emoticon.
This is me not making a joke about the fact that she said "Von Voyage." Probably a typo.

So I think Jan's Von Voyage idea is cute, and would be very timely, since Ms. S did just win a cruise. But I need at least one more idea for a goody day, and if it didn't involve buying things, that would be good. I guess we could go with a candy and treat basket? Any thoughts?

The other thing I'm not sure about is, does a mom need to be present every day to be the master of ceremonies? Like, to collect all of the kids' homemade cards and present them to the teacher? Or, you know, put the goodies in a basket? I think that last year, the class room mom basically slept on a cot in the corner of the classroom. But I don't do that. So I need to figure that out. That is all from room mom land. Please send along your ideas, or send liquor. Or balloon bouquets.


Michele said...

Your tale is hysterical. Love the cot comment. This is what I have done: a letter that goes home in the kids' folders--stuffed by me so that the teacher doesn't see.
Each teacher has previously completed a Fave Things worksheet listing fave color, fave food, etc.
Things I've done/seen:
Monday--bring in a flower. I have my kid bring in a dollar store vase (I don't attend). Kids wear teacher's fave color such as yellow shirt.
Tues--Home-made card day
Wed--good behavior day if anything at all
Thurs--basket of small items. Example--one teacher loves salads so each kid brought in an avacado, a tomato, etc. Could do same for fruit. Don't have to be there but send in basket and item with your child to place on teacher's desk.
Friday--I'll come in with muffins and juice and cups and gift card as each kid has sent in a few bucks.
I like the basket idea for her trip. Another idea that's lower cost for parents could be the dollar sized items of shampoo/lotion or magazine for her trip.
Our week is end of April. Then no fanfare is organized for last day of school. Parents are on their own.

katesaid said...

I know it sounds a little holier-than-thou, but maybe a charity sort of thing? Have everyone send in a dollar so that she can contribute to the local animal shelter or something?

Summer said...

You need a grown-up there if you want anything to happen that the teacher doesn't have to orchestrate.

Ginny Marie said...

Wow! That's a lot for teacher appreciation week! The schools where I taught didn't really celebrate all week, just one day. Teachers love books...maybe have a book day where kids donate a book to the class or to the school library in honor of their teacher, or share their favorite book with the teacher (and the class).

Becky said...

Good point, Summer. I don't want this to be another logistical issue for the teacher. I love the charity and the book idea, Kate and Ginny. I should ask the teacher what her favorite charity is.

And Michele, you are the voice of experience! I like the idea of breakfast Friday morning as a nice closer. And btw, your blog won't let me leave comments. The little word recognition thing won't load. Weird!

Keely said...

Wow, this all sounds very intricate. I should probably be taking notes so that I'm prepared when X goes to school. In four years.

Michele said...

Grrrr... I had someone else advise me of this too. On my settings under comments I DO have it checked to make sure the word verification is on. Just what I need: to be a newbie, non-techie bloogger with a 'puter issue. :( (there's my emotion)
Becky--don't hesitate to email another teacher on her grade level to ask what her fave lunch spot is or if she likes coffee, for anything you want to be a surprise. My husband teaches 5th grade so I get the ideas from what happens in his class too.

A Day That Is Dessert said...

You'd better hope the teacher doesn't discover you have a blog my dear :) You are so funny!

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Err, umm, to start with, ask your helpful, helpless(?) Co-mom if she had a french theme in mind with the Von. Good grief.
As for ideas, so many good ones already in the comments. I loved the fruit/veggie idea, the $$ charity idea, the books. On books, the moms could send their favorite chic-lit castoffs. Then the teacher can read what she wants and take the whole lot of them to 1/2 price books for cash. Sort of like a recessionary gift card.

But my inner PTA goddess is still stuck on the Bon Voyaging of all of this stuff onto your plate. WTF is up with your co-pilot??

Amy said...

Wow--this is a pretty big deal! These are great suggestions, too. I would keep it as simple as possible. There's already a lunch planned, right? So maybe 2 or 3 other special things spread over the week. One idea I had is to have each kid (helped by their parent at home)write down one thing they appreciate about Ms. S on a small piece of paper or notecard. Then you can buy an inexpensive photo album and slide all the cards into the photo slots. So she'd have a little book of encouraging thoughts to read through. I did this for Jason's bday and it was a hit. Too complicated??

The Dental Maven said...

I'm with Ginny Marie, we do a one day event and call it quits. That probably sounds harsh, but the DC metro area is, well, harsh.

Krystal said...

One thing we have done is on the last day is have parents turn in digital pics - put them on cardboard backing paper - you know the kinds used for frames and such - and then return them in their secret little envelopes and have the kids create their pwn frames to their pictures with pasta, puffy paint, etc. Whatever they want and then collect them and put them into a basket for the teacher.

Sorry I'm not all that creative - can you tell I'm not a room mom?

Let us know what you come up with!

Becky said...

Thanks for all the great ideas, y'all. You are all PTA goddesses, whether you know it or not. Kind of combining the photo album and picture frame idea, I think I'm going to send a little scrapbook page (the 7"x7" ones) home with each kid to put a picture of themselves on, and write something about the teacher or about 2nd grade. Then I'll just bind them into a scrapbook and give it to her when I bring in breakfast.

I am sure you'll hear more about all this as events warrant. LOL