Why I’m NOT going to participate in Teacher Appreciation Week anymore!

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Two weeks ago was Teacher Appreciation Week at my son’s school. Every year I have a bit of a knee jerk reaction to this week. Is it because I don’t appreciate my sons’ teachers and administrators? Definitely not true! I appreciate them more than I can ever show. It’s a joke in our house that if I homeschooled, we probably wouldn’t have children. We all need that time away. And, my kids are so head strong, that they learn much better from talented educators that don’t tuck them in bed at night.

So, why you ask do I have a knee jerk reaction? Let me explain. Two weeks ago I spent less than 20 minutes whipping up some really cute vases using recycled jars painted with Farmhouse Paint. Wait…What is this paint?

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Well, it’s “paint formerly know as chalk paint”  (don’t even get me on the soap box about everyone else not being able to call it chalk paint anymore because a particular company has trademarked the name. I mean, that’s like saying that no one can call it latex paint anymore because Brand X trademarked it. Sorry, I get riled up easily.)

Anyway, back to my story, I made these adorable little vases by saving up a bunch of recycled jars.

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Then I painted them with two coats of Farmhouse Paint. I’m in love with this paint. The colors are vibrant and you don’t need to wax after painting. Just a light sanding with fine grit sandpaper and it give you the same soft sheen as waxing would.

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

After the paint has dried I sand some areas (especially on any writing).

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Finally, I added some fresh cut flowers from my yard and tied a string around the neck with a personal message.

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

These little vases were adorable. They were cute and they seriously took me less than half an hour to put together (20 minutes to paint and a few more minutes cutting flowers in the yard.)

When I arrived at school, I began distributing the flowers. First the principal’s office — her desk was filled with more flowers vases than a florist’s counter. And the overflow was on her conference table.

     Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

The assistant principal’s desk had the same overcrowded vase problem.

I made my way around to my sons’ classrooms. Tins of cookies and more vases littered their desks. I was sad. Although I knew they appreciated the kind gifts, it must be overwhelming to get everything on one day or one week of the school year.

After the week is over and the cookies are gone, what is there? Nothing. Desks filled with papers to grade of course. But, no gifts; no notes of appreciation; no flowers…nothing.  That appreciation day is long forgotten.

That’s why I’m doing something different next year. Heck, I might even do some appreciating at the end of this school year!

Where are the gifts and flowers during the first week of school when the kids are scared, tired, disappointed, weepy for their Mom and Dad? Where are the gifts when the principal and other administrators have to deal with outraged parents because the school bus didn’t come on time to pick up their child? Or worse yet, what about the day after a weeknight Halloween? I know the children pour into their seats sleep-deprived and burned out after a high sugar evening. Heaven help me this year when Halloween falls on a Friday night. I might check into a hotel for two nights.

Anyway, I’m vowing to appreciate the staff and teachers at my sons’ school on any old ordinary day from now on. I’m sure that a small recycled jar turned into a sweet little vase of flowers will surely brighten the day of one tired educator. I may even slip a little gift card underneath. I know in our state, teachers are not paid nearly enough and we are facing a crisis as teachers leave schools searching for better paying jobs.

To all the teachers, school staff and administrators out there. I APPRECIATE you more than you will ever realize! Please forgive me if I don’t bring you a gift during Teacher Appreciation Week. I’ll surprise you some other time. ;-)

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

 

What do you say? Why not whip up a little painted vase to appreciate your child’s teacher on Monday. Or the last week of school? Or just on one ordinary not celebration day. Am I crazy? Doesn’t this make sense to you?

PHGFancySign

P.s. Farmhouse Paint is working on getting their website up and running. Give them a week if you are interested in checking it out. Also, did you like the chippy paint board backdrop I used? It’s not real wood, it is actually a vinyl backdrop made by my good friend Leen the Graphics Queen. It rolls up and stores neatly away. She should be selling them soon.

 

Comments

  1. Barbara Shively says:

    Nice blog! Can’t help chiming in with my appreciation also, especially for the two teachers in our family and for the six teachers nurturing my grandchildren every day!

  2. T.J. Koehler says:

    As a teacher, I think being appreciated is great no matter when you choose to do it. Teacher appreciation gifts lessen immensely the older students become. In middle school, we’re lucky to get one gift from a student during teacher appreciation week and I know my HS teacher friends don’t usually get gifts either. It is always nice just to hear…”good job,” it doesn’t have to be gifts. I think your gifts were wonderful and I know I would have been very thankful to receive one.

    • T.J. This is so good to know. I pledge to appreciate my sons’ middle and high school teachers as well. I can imagine that it’s a tough job that rarely gets the appreciation they deserve!

  3. that’s a good attitude! why pour it on in a single week/day when everyone else is doing it?

    also, i didn’t know about that whole chalk trademark thing. ew. :\

  4. My family is all educators. Do you want to show appreciation? Volunteer in their classroom. Give a gift card. Do a nice goodie basket (but leave out the sweets)… coffee/tea, pasta-sauce, etc.

    But don’t do craftsy things with apples, their Mrs/Mr Name, mugs, Christmas ornament, etc. They probably have hundreds… literally. And just like everyone else, they have to store them or trash them.

  5. What a nice gesture! I love the color of those vase’ too. Are you serious?! Some company trademarked the name “chalkboard paint”? That is to me, insane! ugh! Haha, don’t get me started either! I hope your having a great Friday!

  6. I always bring my gift a week before TAW.. just to beat the crowds (and of course, so it is posted to my blog in time ;) )

    And I am 100% with you on the “Paint formerly known as chalk paint” Just like I’m going to call a q-tip a q-tip and a kleenex a kleenex.

  7. Chalk paint, not chalkboard paint.. they are different things. :)

  8. susie lavender says:

    My daughter is majoring in elementary education and getting her certification in Academically Gifted education. She really wants to come back to Raleigh and teach at the elementary school she attended but she’s already started looking at schools in Virginia because the pay is better. I think it is a shame that teachers are treated the way they are in NC. I can’t count how many times I sent packs of copy paper, tissues, post-it notes, notebook paper, etc. just to help out. So kudos to you for thinking about honoring these valuable people all year long. I might just have to drop off some supplies sometime.

    • Susie, I can completely understand your daughter’s dilemma. As a fellow Raleighite, I’m curious what school she went to ;-). AND, I really do hope things change SOON!

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Whenever I have fresh flowers in my garden, I always send a bunch with my daughter for her teacher. She reports back to me when the flowers start to fade so we can send a new bunch. we do this all year round. I am so grateful for the teachers who have so much patience with the kids and teach them. It doesnt cost me a lot, and It sure brings a smile on the teachers face.

  10. As a retired teacher, I can tell you that any gesture of appreciation at any time is wonderful!

  11. Beautiful gift idea! As a teacher myself, I appreciate the gifts anytime of year!

  12. Jenny@thelavendermagnolia says:

    I will say, once your kids are at high school level you can begin to send them in on Teacher Appreciation week. If it weren’t for the PTA, the teachers would get nothing. :-( At least the PTA does breakfasts and lunches for them. Everyone likes to be fed!

    Love the vases!! Feel the same way as you about the chalk paint! It’s been around forever. Can’t believe they got a trademark on it!

  13. Personally, I loved receiving my floral treat from you and the boys. Thanks for brightening my day (and my desk)!

    • Rachel, thank you for all that you do!!! I hope you can use the vase again…or I might just have to surprise you with some fresh flowers ;-). P.s. I’m a little embarrassed that you saw this post now. :-O

  14. Why? It was a fabulous post, a wonderful gift, and I’m always so impressed by all that you do for us at the U!

  15. I have the most beautiful peonies in my yard (courtesy of the previous homeowner) but this year they were not yet blooming on TA week. So my son and I delivered flowers to his teachers/therapists/office staff the following week. We used clear glass jars I had saved, but I love the idea of painting them.

  16. Why don’t you just call it chalky paint

  17. I do love my teacher week…I’m a gifts person…and I love that week for that—but you are right –it ends abruptly. I like your idea. spread it out!

  18. Elisabeth says:

    Good on you, Brittany! I recall as a young child my Dad would very often give me bunches of flowers for my teacher, which she happily kept on her desk. This would go on throughout the year, and not when someone told me it was THE day to appreciate her. It made her feel good, and made my proud to have something to give, as we weren’t very well off. (My Dad’s flowers were coveted by most of the neighbourhood!). Australia doesn’t have a ‘teacher appreciation day’, but knowing Hallmark, it’s only a matter of time. :(

  19. Kteacher says:

    Thank you for appreciating teachers the way you do!!! I got a few acknowledgements this year, but when I do receive a gift at a time other than Christmas, it melts my heart!!

  20. Susie Lavender says:

    Brittany, she went to Powell Elementary, Centennial Magnet, and Millbrook HS. She excelled at Powell and Millbrook but she wasn’t crazy about Centennial. We were warned about Millbrook but she did so well there she got almost a full scholarship to Wingate where she loves everything.

  21. This was only my second year doing Teacher Appreciation Week for my daughter’s daycare teachers, but I’ve had the same train of thought both years. Instead of overloading them with gifts one week, wouldn’t it be nicer to spread it out? But then, I also don’t want to be the only parent/kid not giving anything. :-/

  22. crafty grandma says:

    Back in the days when I was in school, there was no such thing as teachers appreciation day. However, at Christmas time mom always knitted a nice pair of mitts or socks for the teacher.
    There are hundreds of smart ideas for teachers on Pinterest. One that caught my eye was a beach bag filled with a beach towel, flip flops, a cup for coffee/drink, sunglasses, sunscreen and as a bonus a gift card!! Now who wouldn’t appreciate something like that!!! After moving out of the city, I was quite surprised when the neighbor told me that there were not enough paints, paper etc for the kindergarden kids because they hadn’t expected so many new 5 year olds!! They were asking for parents to donate any books, games, puzzles educational games etc I had bought finger paints and paper, coloring books all the things that my grands outgrew. Rather than throwing them out – I donated them and received a nice thanks….so teachers can always use extra pencils, paper etc.

  23. Anastasia Prentiss says:

    Yes!!! I completely agree! I will be checking out Farmhouse paint and making gifts for the last day!

  24. First of all, I absolutely love this blog & this post! What a creative idea & so very pretty too. The chalk paint thing is just plain silly & actually seems to have a thinly veiled air of not only arrogance but greediness, imho.

    I’m with you here about the homeschooling thing Brittany & the subject of the chalk paint. To each his own on the home school issue but I know I could never do this & am I glad I never did back in the day. My kids have been adults with kids of their own for quite some time & I’m not old-fashioned by any means. I’m a pretty darn hip grandma with a rock star musician of a husband.
    I volunteered all through their grade school as well as high school years & the teachers loved me, especially since I’m an artist. They were gifted endless times so good for you!!! Even though I didn’t home school, my kids turned out to be “super-stars” in their respective fields of which I’m so proud.
    You also are a teacher among teachers & I value this blog more than you know!

  25. Hi, you’re right about this, my mom allways told the same about mothersday.
    She was a schoolteacher as well, we never had such a day, but sometimes she recieved of a child a thank you card or some picked flowers. She allways appriciated this much better then the only day of mothers day. We were a poor family, so gifts had to be handmade, but she loved all the things we made for her. Because we loved her.
    I have learned that you allways must tell the things of someone else that you appriciating. We mostly forget to say something friendly but are just willing to be crumpy to others by just stuppid rules.
    It helps when you stay calm and friendly and try to compliment the other insteade off blowing and yelling an others head off.;-D
    So this post is a good one, thank you for the reminder and the sharing. Well done!!!

  26. Heather says:

    As a middle school teacher, we appreciate the thought! I think the main reason we are often overlooked is the simply the sheer number of us. Your son will go from having one classroom teacher to having 5 or 6 teachers! If you have more than one child, then the volume of gifts required quickly outdoes one’s pocketbook. It really is the thought that counts, so a note from the heart means more than a Starbuck’s gift card!

  27. Reminds me of my elem school days when our principal’s office and our teacher’s desk on special days, lol. Also, when i became a teacher myself, haha. My co-teacher’s car trunk was soooo full of gifts!
    But yes, the gifts come fewer when you teach high school. In my old high school, gifts are forbidden to high school teachers.
    But i do agree with this one, tokens of appreciations i think are more appreciated when given out of the blue and not just on special occasion,s although i do apprec8 theses gifts any time of the year, haha. I’m still using some gifts that my former students gave me.
    I remember one Christmas when a parent gave a friend and me fruits from her farm. She was going to give it to her son’s adviser, but before she could give the fresh fruits, her son’s teacher gave a litany of woes about her son.. So she got embarrassed, as the gifts might be construed as a ‘bribe’ for her son’s grades. So she ended up giving the fruits to me and my friend. We were too happy and willing to accept, of course! Hahahaha.

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