Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words may be encouragement to them. Ephesians 4:29b

Thursday, May 16, 2013

More Than Apples: Teacher Appreciation Week, Westside Style!

Ok, so when I sign up to be in charge of something, I tend to go a little overboard on it. :)  Are any of you this way?   Well, last year I was asked to be on the PTA Board for Westside Elementary, but due to my youngest still in preschool and just letting go of the part-time job, I regretfully declined to avoid filling my plate to keep my focus on the family and home.  As a result, I volunteered myself for PTA Chair position instead...and I would aim high.  I owed them that much, right? :-/ I chose Teacher Appreciation Chair.  I honestly couldn't think of a better position to serve our school, our teachers and our parents, while also getting to enjoy some of my little "passions" along the way! ;)

August came and I hit school supply sales.  I aimed for supplies teachers need at the end of the year:  pencils, erasers, dry erase markers, glue sticks....and I threw in hand sanitizer.  I sacrificed some closet space for the year, but it was worth it to cushion our TA Week budget come May.  Throughout the year, I over-pinned TONS of ideas for Teacher Appreciation Week on Pinterest.  Come spring, after our birthday madness, my PTA Board VP (shout-out to Bethany Benson!) connected on details.  We came up with ideas for daily gifting for that week.  Students (and parents) also participated in the daily themes.  We created/purchased the rest as the week approached.  With Pinterest, a few fresh ideas, Bethany's 110% contribution and the PTA Board's help, this is how it all came together!

Westside Elementary Teacher Appreciation Week
May 10th - 16th, 2013

"Thank You For Quenching Our Thirst For Knowledge"
Students were sent home a "cup card" (see below) to gift their teachers with.  PTA (aka: Bethany & I) provided teachers a "Drink Day" in the Teachers' Lounge, complete with a flagged cup for each teacher. 

My friend Emily had a great idea to put the card in a straw cup, so I copied her and made a last-minute straw cup/jar with card and treats inside as my son's gift. 
PS: Em's cup was definitely cuter than  mine. :)

The adorable "quenching my thirst" theme/graphic came from A Bushel and a Peck blog.

"We Couldn't Have PICKED Better Teachers"
Students "picked" teachers a gift from nature (plants, flowers, fruit, nuts, etc.)  PTA provided teachers a "Fruit Day" in the Teachers' Lounge, with a little thank-you gift for the classroom.  Bethany has a knack at food display!

My son picked wildflowers from our neighborhood preserve for his teacher.

The adorable "Couldn't Have Picked" theme tags come from the Eighteen25 Blog
I tweaked the text a bit for my sign (jpg) and pencil toppers (pdf).
The personalized tag on the flowers comes from the Skip To My Lou Blog.

"Westside Teachers are the Sweetest!"
Students gave teachers their "sweetness" (aka: sweet words, hugs and treats).  PTA provided teachers small storage boxes of candy with the help of  some very helpful Board members! (Thanks, gals!)

I put my son's teacher's favorite sweets (Hot Tamales & chocolate bars) in this little polka-dot bag with one of the extra box tags.

These "sweet teacher" heart printables came from the Tater Tots & Jello Blog.

"Westside Teachers are Out of This World!"
Students gave  teachers their shining star smiles, "You ROCK's" and high fives.  PTA provided teachers a "Blast-Off Breakfast" of donuts and breakfast casseroles ("thrown together" by Bethany!) in the Teacher's Lounge.

This day wasn't as "gifty," but I decided to send a little something anyway, keeping with the theme.  A quick Silhouette-made stencil, a Sharpie, some burlap, a cute frame and...wa-la! Mrs. R was all smiles. :)

"Thank You For Your Com-"MITT"-ment to Our Children"
Students made teachers homemade cards of love and thanks.  PTA provided teachers a lunch in the lounge, serving yummy Tex-Mex made by our parents.  Thank-you oven mitts (from Dollar Tree) were stuffed (also by Board members) with the school supplies bought in August!  Teachers loved choosing their mitts among all the colors.
I totally forgot to photograph my son's love card to his teacher!  Oops!

I really enjoyed taking time creating these themes, gifts and decorations, even if it did take a little more time, energy and a few late nights. :) I want to, once again, thank our PTA Board, Bethany Benson and our wonderful parents and students for all their help and participation for our teachers.  Westside Teachers are worth all that effort...and MORE! 
A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart.
"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace." 1 Peter 4:10.
Teachers have a God-given gift and they serve our families and community each every single day they get up to teach our children.  God bless you, teachers! 
Keeping Him in mind,