Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Teacher Gifts: Underappreciated

So I don't mean to rant and rave here, but I teach preschool in my basement. Key point here is, teach. While it may seem like a plush job to many, I ask you this, have you ever had one of those weekends where come Monday morning you are actually looking forward to going back to work and feel you need a break? And that’s based on spending time with your own child whom you love unconditionally. Now do that 3 days a week.

To understand the life of a teacher is difficult if you haven’t done it before, but I think this quote by Donald D. Quinn says it best, “If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher’s job.

Yet, the end of the year came and went and on the last day I got one thank you card and a thank you present... so out of 14 kids, I got two thank yous from parents, the ratio is not very good in my favor. Not that I am complaining about not getting presents, the point is that I felt a bit like a failure. Did I suck so the parents didn't want to say thank you??

Jenna explained that because it was "just" preschool and most of the students are the oldest that parents just don't understand that teachers need to be appreciated. She even mentioned that maybe the idea of sharing your gratitude for your child's teacher at the end of year may be a bit old fashion. Personally, I think she may be just nice to the sad giftless teacher.

It wasn't even as though I wanted a huge giftcard to Nordstroms (though that would have made my day) it was the point that I needed the recognition that all the hours I spent planning and working with their children really did pay off... just a quick little text or note would be suffice. Any sort of gift no matter if it was free or terribly expensive is appreciated and lets teachers know the parent and the child were happy with the year together. Heck, being a teacher is far from an easy job.

But since this is the last week of school for my kids, and not wanting to share the sorrow with another educator, I decided to do a quick DIY apple for about a buck. Here is what I did....

I went to the $1 store and got 4 little glass jars for $1. Here are the supplies... all from the $1 store. Tissue Paper, Red Hots, little bowls, brown colored pencil.

On the top I took some red tissue paper and modge podged that bad boy.

I found I had to find something to let it dry on... Luckily we had a medicine bottle. :)

I then took the second bowl and put some red glitter (from the $1 store) added a bit of modge podge . I cut a brown colored pencil and hot glued that as the "stem". Added a tissue paper green leaf.