Teacher Appreciation

It's the week of May 5th and thus begins Teacher Appreciation Week 2014. 

GET EXCITED! 

Teachers help us raise our kids. They are important in our lives. Please take the time to reach out and do something nice for your child's teacher(s). An acknowledgement as effortless as a hug, smile, and a "Thanks!" is sufficient. Want to give a gift? There are so many ideas on Pinterest and via the PTA websites. 

At our school, Mountain Shadows Montessori School in Boulder, CO, we make this a big deal. (Some might say, a bit MUCH.) But this is a school event with high participation - participation that doesn't require recruiting. I write about 35 'Thank You' cards each year.

It looks like this:

  • We put up a large school sign for the week in the front of the school.
  • We coordinate breakfast treats, tea, and coffee. A skilled Barista Dad makes cappuccinos and lattes with a Nespresso purchased by a parent as a gift to the school. Various parents bring in treats (pastries, fruits, yogurts, etc.). 
  • We coordinate lunch & dessert. Some parents cater in, some parents use their amazing culinary skills. The staff LOVES LOVES LOVES this aspect of Teacher Appreciation Week, and frankly would be happy with only lunch. There is nothing nicer than a lunch made by someone else! 
  • We accommodate allergies: gluten free, nut free, dairy free, and those who are vegetarian have options too.
  • We provide real plates, glasses, cloth napkins, utensils, bowls, coffee mugs the whole week. This adds a touch of elegance, luxury, and care. It up-levels the experience. Initially, we borrowed plates and such from various parents. But over time we have 'gifted' the school all of these items so we use and re-use them for each staff lunch.
  • We decorate with banners, paper butterflies, and bouquets of flowers to make the environment bright and cheerful. 
  • We set up a 'gift spot' designated with each staff members name. The spot stays still for the week as each day brings a new gifts. They take everything home at the end of the week.
  • Road Rules: if they don't like a flavor, design, color, or even a type of gift: they must regift it (Mother's Day is around the corner!), trade with a peer, or leave on the table at the end of the week. We encourage them not to feel obligated to keep gifts they don't want.
  • The gifts focus on things that are appropriate for a teacher or use in a classroom. All of it must be high quality and well made.   
  • Many of the gifts are handmade; curated from local craft shows, online handmade shops (examples are Etsy or Scoutmob), donated by local businesses (63rd Street Farm donates fresh lettuce and eggs), made by parents, and even students.
  • Tuesday is always a 'student gift day' in which a gift is presented by the students. There has been a variety of gifts over the years, including a canvas bag filled with handmade cards from the students and pillows made with a fabric fingerprint tree. This year was a service project, a car wash for each staff member by students and parents. Holy WOW! The car wash (the genius idea of another mother) will be talked about for years.
  • Friday is 'Apple Day'. At first - they were given a useful sticky-note pad with a shiny red apple on top. But we've become more creative with the apple theme. This year it was a Tattly apple tattoo.
  • The 2nd best gift is money. Some schools have limits on the dollar amount a single parent can give - but we've raised hundreds for teachers from parents donating $5, $10, $50 to a pot that ended in a $200 gift card for each teacher. 

See the Montessoria board for on-going gift ideas for "Teacher Appreciation". 

This is so important! Please remember to acknowledge the efforts of your teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week each year. They work so hard and deserve it. 

Thanks and have a lovely...

Daria

Click through the gallery below for examples of the food and treats described above...