Friday, August 19, 2011

Thursday's Crafting (I know, late again): Survival Packs, part 1: Teachers

Note: I know these come either late or never. For some reason Thursday are my busy days and movement doesn't seem to stop until Sunday night. I will try to write these posts ahead of time in the future, but please bear with me as I adjust to a new school schedule. 

It has come to my attention that school has started. Just kidding. I know it's started. As a former teacher I know how busy those last few weeks of summer and the first few weeks of school can be. I have talked to a few students of all levels; I have spoken to and worked with (volunteering in my sons' school) teachers of different levels. The theme seems to be the same across the board: it was a good first week of school, but it was stressful and next week is promising to be a busy one as the week of procedures and rules is over. 

With all the hard work the teachers have already put into making this week a great one, a little appreciate from the parents and the students can go a long way. Seriously. A looooong way. I taught for almost 10 years, and I remember every student who brought me something as a token of appreciation. I received everything from homemade bracelets, key chains, Starbucks oatmeal (YUM!), to the ever coveted printer paper. As this year began, I made a First Day of School Survival Pack for my sons' teachers. They seemed to really appreciate the gift, and I was able to let them know I appreciate all their hard work. 

So what did I include in the gift? I first checked the web to see some creative ideas. I did find a great source at Money Saving Mom. Not only did she make some good suggestions, the comments on her post added some more great ideas and even warnings. Here is what I finally decided: 

  • Pack of printer paper
  • pens
  • sticky notes
  • Tylenol (be careful about medicines. I hand delivered these, and knew the teachers. Otherwise, they may not be able to accept this) 
  • a large bag of M&Ms
  • A pack of Starbucks VIA instant coffee
  • A reusable shopping bag to put it all in
  • An encouraging note for the teacher and included my contact information
If your child is in middle or high school, I would suggest a smaller bag of 2 or 3 of those items. You can put it in a cute paper bag or small pail bucket with the teacher's name on it. 

Another great resource for future gifts for the teachers (for Teacher Appreciation, Christmas, and/or End of the Year gifts), is a cute little website that had all kinds of ideas for things for teachers. I downloaded an information sheet that I can use for future notice. No point in getting a teacher a Snickers if she is allergic to peanuts, right? Or coffee for a teacher who doesn't drink it (did all of you just laugh? Yeah, it's a rarity to see a teacher without that cup of coffee ever so close!). 

Click on the "sheet" above to download it to your computer. 

So, I would recommend you taking a few minutes during your trip to Target or Wal-Mart to pick up a pack of sticky notes or a pack of gum. Attach a cute little note and send it in with your kid or bring it in yourself. Teachers really appreciate it, and they will never forget. 
PS: a little shout out to Mrs. Gardner, my son's kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Rushin, my son's first grade teacher, and all my teacher friends from Swansea High and Summerville High. I appreciate all the hard work you put into each and every moment of your days. I know how hard you work and pray this year will go by easily and quickly. 

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