It’s Teacher Appreciation Week at my kids’ elementary school. I think teachers are great and I am ever so thankful that they agreed to do a difficult job for very little pay. I do appreciate them. Very much so. However, Teacher Appreciation Week is too much. Let me just give you a little hint of what we have scheduled this week:
–Monday is “bring your teacher more supplies” day. We sent paper towels, band-aids, Expo markers and Clorox wipes. In other words, things I had around the house. Not such a big deal.
–Tuesday was “give your teacher a new book for the classroom” day. Hmmm. Not so cheap. I have a few nice books stashed in my closet for birthday emergencies, so I gave those. I put a big inscription in each book, so the teacher will be forced to think of my child every time she opens it.
–Wedensday is “give your teacher a fancy dinner” day. We all sent along a dollar or two to buy a gift card for a nice restaurant. OK, I can deal with giving $2. But then a little note came home saying a few of us might want to send bottles of wine to go along with the nice dinner. A bottle of wine? Seriously? Am I just supposed to put it in my kid’s backpack and send him off to school? (“Be careful on your way to school, Arabella, or you’ll end up with Pinot Noir all over your homework!”)
–Thursday is “make a scrapbook page of your child” day. Oh, I just love to scrapbook so much! (can you see the sarcasm dripping off of your computer screen?) Fortunately this isn’t Utah and there aren’t many seriously competitive scrapper moms in my kids’ classes. Still, I can’t show up with just anything. It has to look good because I do have certain standards. I just really don’t want to go to the trouble of doing this. Can’t I just make some cookies or something?
–Friday is “gift card” day. I’m not a fan of gift cards. I love to receive them (An excuse for free shopping! Hooray!), but I hate to give them. There is no question how much I did (or did not) spend. I took Finn to the store to pick out his gift card for the teacher. He picked out a $50 Starbucks card. What a laugh! $50???? Yeah, right. Let’s make it $15 and call it a day.
–Each child also has a student teacher that gets a special handmade scrapbook page as well as supplies for her very own classroom next year (more expo markers, paper towels and Clorox wipes). Heaven help me!
The thing that kills me about all this is that it gets very expensive. Last year we were unemployed during Teacher Appreciation Week and I simply couldn’t afford gift cards and books for all three teachers. It’s all supposed to be “optional”, but obviously the kids are going to feel bad when they show up empty-handed day after day. Last year I ended up skipping the gift cards and giving the teachers the books off of our bookshelf that looked the newest. Kind of pathetic.
The PTA president happens to be my visiting teacher so I believe the two of us will be having a little chat very soon about Teacher Appreciation Week for next year.