Teacher appreciation week; May 1-5

In my family and friends group, there are quite a few teachers.  Miss Math and I talk regularly and I get the teacher POV on things and I routinely go to the school board and PTO meeting.  My grandfather was a teacher for 30 years in some of the rough inner city areas (by choice) and my aunt is a teacher for the deaf.  The college I attended had a teaching specialty so countless friends were studying education all around me constantly.  Can’t help but pick up a little second-hand teacher from all that exposure..

Before I had kids I basically had teacher side knowledge of the ‘job’ of teaching.  However, I did not know just how much each teacher really does for each child until I was on the parent side of things.  I know how my 3 can be learning a new things or just managing them all day from activity to activity.  The fact that teachers do that x20 or more is amazing, fantastic, unimaginable!

I mentioned that I go to our local school board meetings, I have gone to nearly everyone for a year, and I see that we have a real situation in our town with money.  One may think that there is fluff in the budget, that there are fat administration salaries or waste somewhere…  From what I have observed in ours there really really isn’t but every year there are cuts that have to be made.  This year 10 teachers lost their job as well as quite a few support jobs because the budget just didn’t stretch.  This is why I personally went to the legislature to talk about why we need more funding.  Despite all that, it is a high achieving, high test score area and that is mostly because the teachers are really dedicated.

This is a long way to go to say that when Oriental Trading Company offered me product credit in return for a post about Teacher Appreciation Week I could not say yes fast enough.  I asked at our last PTO what teachers would want and the #1 thing I heard was “fidgets”.

What is a fidget?  Well, according to my kids, they are a small thing you can hold and move around in your hands (not play with) so you are not tempted to touch other people and are able to focus on the teacher.  According to the teacher, it is a tool that some kids need all the time but most kids need some of the time and having a supply of little things would make their life easier.

Say no more, to Oriental Trading Company I go!  I was quite surprised when they actually had a section dedicated to fidgets already.  The other thing the teacher asked was that it not be ‘annoying’ so I reviewed the list with a critical eye and took some of their suggestions but also went out on my own a bit.  I got stress balls, large braided beads (very tactile and not bouncy), erasers shaped like brains, bean bags… I used every cent to the best of my ability.  I must have done it right because when I got the box and asked my kids what they thought I got for the teachers they yelled “Fidgets!!!” (and then all picked one to keep and they really do love them)img_2628

These are things that are useful but not in any budget at all.  They come out of teachers pockets most of the time and I am very glad that I could facilitate this gift to my teachers and hopefully inspire you to do something similar for yours.  We have all read the ‘please don’t give us mugs’ lists by teachers around the holiday/end of year gift giving season so if you ARE looking for something to give your elementary school teacher, I have it on good authority that fidgets are a good option.  When I brought them into school it was a happy day and I’m glad to be a part of it.

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Thank you, Oriental Trading Company for helping me show our teachers that they are appreciated!

And… because that box was free in return for this post (that I’m sure you can tell is full of only my own opinions) I will also be participating in the teacher breakfast next week too!

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