Today is officially Teacher Appreciation Day. Although many schools celebrate it as Teacher Appreciation Week.
As much as I do appreciate and love all of our teachers (They are underpaid, work terribly hard with the students and annoying parents — like me!), I would propose that maybe in some schools Teacher Appreciation Week has gone too far.
Here are a few examples:
I have been told that at our old school in Gwinnett they had to make each day’s celebration standard because the mothers would try to outdo each other and make it completely over the top. Despite each day having a predetermined theme, often it still ended up over the top. I was room-mom two years running and Teacher Appreciation Week took a ton of time and energy.
My partner my first year took the simple things and made them gigantic. Instead of just having the kids bring in simple flowers and putting them together for the teacher she had giant bouquets made. Instead of just letting the kid’s bring in teacher’s favorite candy, we had candy printed with her name on it and we love you! (That one was my idea. You can print on M&Ms.) We would organize thank you note bouquets and collect books to replenish the class library. We would pick up lunch for the teacher, bring in a cake and present at the end of the week. (Plus we included the parapros in all the festivities.)
Two years ago I think I cooked several dishes for the luncheon and then helped set up and serve for several hours. Last year I believe they ordered in lunch for the teachers, which I was so grateful not to have to make dishes on top of everything else.
(We also did a special needs teacher luncheon around the same time. So it was more dishes to make and serve. I completely believe those teachers deserve recognition and appreciation but it was a lot of work.)
In my friend’s school in Forsyth County, the job is so big the room moms can’t handle it. They have a special chair for Teacher Appreciation Week. All my buddies are muttering “just got to get through teacher appreciation week.”
I can’t decided if out West is just lower key or if I am just flying under the radar this year. As far as I can tell the school is doing a movies and food for the teachers each day in the break room. And then also sending home a meal I think.
I have sent in a 12-pack of Sprite and baked two-dozen cookies but that is it thus far.
(Literally while I am writing this I got an email from a mom in my daughter’s class asking if folks want to just send in some flowers on Wednesday. I wrote back sure. I also sent a note to two moms in Walsh’s class asking “Are we doing anything?” I don’t want to introduce anything too crazy from back home because then the other mother’s will hate me for making their lives harder!)
I have personally put forth at PTA meetings that the Teacher Appreciation celebrations be moved to earlier in the year, say January or February, when there is less going on. It’s just too stressful at the end of the year. I was told the official national day was in May so hence it would stay.
With this blog I am now soliciting the national appreciation day be moved to January or February when there is less going on. That would be a lovely time for a celebration and less stressful on mothers dealing with end of the year parties, projects and wrap up!
So what do you think: Does your school appreciate the teachers or are they over the top? What is an appropriate amount of appreciation? Would it help to move the week earlier in the year away from the end-of-year craziness?
– Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, ajc.com Momania. I have increased my Twitter activity. I am sending out great stories for moms each day focusing on health, fitness, sex, entertainment, food, travel and obviously parenting! So follow me on Twitter at @AJCMOMania!)