Facilitating the Appreciation

Teacher Appreciation week is something I don't remember from my childhood. Heck, I don't even remember it from my teaching days.  Nowadays, though, it's a big deal.  If you log into Pinterest and type in "Teacher Appreciation Gifts," you'll get roughly a jillion hits.

I suspect my former math teachers would frown upon my liberal use of the number "jillion."

(And perhaps that frowniness is why I never gave them any teacher appreciation gifts...)

But moving on...

So, next week is Teacher Appreciation week and as a room mom I have to--how shall I say this?--facilitate the appreciating.  Yes, that's me: the facilitator of appreciation.

Usually it works a little something like this:  Room moms conduct a survey at the beginning of the school year to collect valuable nuggets of information from the teacher: "What's your favorite color?" "Where do you like to shop?" "What's your favorite restaurant?" etc.   We then use those answers to guide us during the holidays, the teacher's birthday, the end of the school year and, yes, Teacher Appreciation Week.

Typically during Teacher Appreciation Week we try and do a little something each day: Have your child wear blue on Monday!  Everyone brings in a piece of fruit (for a Stone-Soup style fruit basket) on Tuesday! etc., etc.  The problem is that some parents have three kids in three different grades.  This means that on any given day you might have one kid bringing in a banana, one kid wearing chartreuse and a third kid providing a daisy for a class bouquet.  That's fine for one day but five days gets a little old.  And confusing.

Not that I'm saying the teachers don't deserve the appreciation.  They totally do.  In fact I would prefer to give it to them in the form of a big fat raise but that's gonna have to wait until I'm queen of the world.  In the meantime, my co-room mom and I wanted to make the week simultaneously nice for the teacher and manageable for the parents.

This will involve some classroom funds (which thankfully we have), some shopping, some baking, and a touch of creativity.  The end result will be a week filled with small gifts, sweet gestures, a few lunches and one large(r) gift at the end.

I should note that many of our parents will be doing their own gifts, but those who don't want to-or can't-will be covered by us. Of the gifts that we're doing, there are two that I'm particularly proud of and wanted to share here today:

The first is the only thing we actually asked parents to do.  I have to give credit to my fellow room mom as this was entirely her idea, but I love it.  We asked that each child pick out a book from his or her personal collection to donate to the classroom library.  We provided them with homemade "book plates" to affix in the inside front cover.  On the book plate they explained why they liked the book they chose.

My daughter picked Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes.  Here's what she wrote in her book plate.  (The erasure on the word "purse" looks awful in this picture but not so bad in person):

(I blacked out her name which accounts for the box on the bottom.  And I know there are a million talented people out there who could do a waaayy cuter bookplate than that, but we kept it simple and I think her teacher will appreciate it despite its simplicity ;)

The other gift that I really enjoyed is Pinterest inspired.  (Except it kind of isn't.  Variations on this idea have been around forever.)  Apparently this teacher has a thing for chocolate chip cookies.  (I know because my handy survey tells me so.)  So I turned to one of my favorite cookie recipes.  (Found here.)  

Then I stacked the cookies in a cute spaghetti canister (which was my idea, though I wouldn't be surprised if others had done it before me):

Finally I attached this:
It says, "Thanks for making us into such smart cookies," except it doesn't show up too well in this picture.  

And here is the end result:

I'll be presenting her with these tomorrow to kick off the festivities.  

Do any of you have a great teacher appreciation gift to share?  (If it's on your blog leave me the URL and I'll pin it to my "Resources for Room Moms" board.)

Update:  you can buy a canister like the one above by clicking HERE.


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  1. Your posts are always so fun to read, no matter what the subject! I love your "Smart Cookie" idea. Makes me wish I still had little ones in school and I'd steal your idea for sure.

  2. What a cute idea. I have made in the past for teacher appreciation, some chalk board painted terra cotta planters with a pretty plant. Thanks for sharing your inspiration with the newbie party.

  3. Elena,

    I love your cookie in the pasta canister idea! So clever and cinchy. So I'll be pinning!

    The whole teacher appreciation thing hasn't hit IL. Or Chicago. Or if it has, I haven't heard of it. Though, to be honest, I lay low around the school these days. Those PTA moms are scary ...



  4. Thank you so much for linking up to Mauvin' Monday on VintageMauve.com


  5. Cute container for the cookies. Luckily my youngest is in high school now, and teenagers aren't into it like grade schoolers. I do like the idea of books for the classroom. Our school used to hold their annual book fair right near the end of school and that facilitated books as teachers gifts as well as summer reading for the kids.

  6. I love this idea. It's cute and homemade, but teachers will actually want it as well! New to your blog, would love a follow back at http://sassyshopperreviews.blogspot.com/ when you can! :)

  7. Just wanted you to know that I have nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Stop by my blog and check it out some time. Still love your cookie idea here!

  8. Cute idea! Great idea to use the pasta canister!

    Thanks for sharing!
    @ Creatively Living

  9. SO fun!!! I don't know a teacher that wouldn't love to receive that tower of cookies. :)

  10. I have that same spagetti container! Keeping this in mind for next year when my daughter is in kindergarten the cookies fit so well in there!


  11. I stumbled into your blog via linking party. What an inspiring blog. Love your idea of gift and your cake baking.
    Terrie from Hong Kong

  12. Now that cookie yar is insane! I WANT :D

  13. Can you tell me where I can buy a swing top glass spaghetti canister like this? I'm having a heck of a time finding them online. I'd like to make several of these for Christmas gifts, so I don't want to spend a lot on them.

  14. Yes where can you get the container, I have been looking for that for two years now with no luck!

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