Saturday, August 22, 2015

Crafty Saturday: Back to School Teacher gifts

Yes, I am "that mom" who has a back to school gift for teachers. I also have one at Christmas, one for Teacher Appreciation Week and one for the end of the school year. I used to be that person who thought teachers got paid really well for about nine months of work in a year, they had their summers off and it was glorious.

Then I started volunteering at my kids' school and then got a part time job there and let me tell you something: they are not paid near enough. In just a six month span of working at the school I got to interact with every child from Kindergarten through fifth grade. Yes, the majority are sweet children who are eager to learn and make you feel like you are giving them the world.

Then we have the other kids who are challenging. They just are. Maybe they have a terrible home life. Maybe they aren't taught to value education because so many kids in this world don't have the opportunities we have. Maybe they are genuinely dysfunctional and grow up to be dysfunctional and that's just who they are. Whatever the cause, they make it really hard. I've seen kids spit, kick, punch, scream, talk back, etc to teachers and assistants. I've seen parents come and just give zero cares in the world that their child, yes THEIR child, is a disrespectful, ill behaved little punk. Because yes, as a parent it's your job that they don't behave that way. Teachers aren't paid to discipline and parent your children.

*off the soap box*

So every time I make a gift, I inevitably have someone ask me why do I bother, it's not a big deal. Well I think it is. I want my children's teacher to know from the get go that I respect them and I will do everything in my power to make sure my child isn't the one that makes them question their career choice. I let them know that if at any time during the year they have any kind of issue- call me, email me, snag me in the hallway, send a pigeon carrier, whatever they have to do and let me know because I will not tolerate bad behavior from my child, no questions asked.

But also this year, I'm on a bit of a budget because we are broke. So I had to get a little creative. In the past I've gotten gift cards to a coffee shop and maybe a gift card to a place that can deliver lunch. I've done bookstore and craft store gift cards, mani/pedi gift cards, etc. I don't just give the gift card, I usually pair it with one or two smaller things so it's like a real fun package. This year, I went with a kind of "survival kit":

I made personalized blank note cards. 

I found these great wooden boxes in the dollar spot of Target a few months back. This acts at the "wrapping" of the gift. 

Inside I have the notecards, a little pack of sticky notes, hand sanitizer, lotion, a couple of candy bars, a small tube of Advil, and a couple of packets of water enhancer with caffeine. 

It's not a lot, but it's still a fun little box to get on the first day back that they can stick in their desk and dig through as they need it. The nice thing about Bath & Body Works is that they always have the coupons for free travel size items. I always use those and store them in a box in my bathroom closet to add to gift bags as a little extra. Each box only contains $8 of purchased things, the Bath & Body Works freebies, and then the cards I made. It looks like a lot for very little, always a win! 

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Welcome to Sara's Organized Chaos


Shann Eva said...

That is awesome. If I were a teacher I would love a box like that. Plus, it would feel pretty good to know you already had a parent on your side. I better get to work for my son's teacher.

Shann Eva said...

That is awesome. If I were a teacher I would love a box like that. Plus, it would feel pretty good to know you already had a parent on your side. I better get to work for my son's teacher.

Cynthia said...

I love how you think!! I am a gift giver myself. Love your gift!
Cynthia @craftoflaughter

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I love gifts like these! You really don't have to spend tons to come up with something sweet and thoughtful and I'm sure the teachers will really appreciate it. I know how tough kids can be, and I have some friends that are teachers, so it's ALWAYS nice to hear of people that understand what teachers go through and for how little - so it's cool you give back to them when you can! I always gave gifts to my teachers when I was young. haha