Tuesday, August 18, 2009

An Apple a Day? Notsomuch.

As the child of a teacher, I noticed that our house started to fill up with lovely Dollar Tree paraphernalia {READ: Crap-ola} around Christmas every year. There were, of course, the mandatory apple ornaments, "vanilla" scented candles and enough ceramic teddy bear teachers to stuff your stocking.

But, the double whammy of this situation is that my maiden name is Hart. So, around Valentine's Day, just when you thought that pseudo-vanilla scent was gone for good, the onslaught began for Mrs. Hart. You could almost taste the smell of faux rose, apple cobbler or raspberry sorbet scents that filled the air. If it were up to me it would have filled the gar-baaage, but my mom is a much nicer person than I am. So we all had to suffer.

Now that things have come full circle and I am the parent, I want to make sure that our teachers are thrilled with the gifts we give them {let me add a disclaimer here before I get into trouble that my mom loved her gifts}. We want to show them how much we love them and care for them. And let's just be honest here: I would like my child to be their favorite and get special treatment. That's all I'm asking.

So, with that in mind, I'm sharing a little secret with you. I've started handing out this questionnaire to my kids' pre-school teachers. {I just started using Scribd tonight for this purpose, so let me know if it works okay for you. It changed my cute font, so e-mail me if you want the original, but know you can download and change the fonts to whatever you'd like.} This idea and 3rd degree line of questioning came from a good teacher/ friend of mine, so I got it from an inside source.

It asks the tough questions- like Bar-bwa WaWa:
What is your name including middle initial? {for monogram purposes, of course}
What is your favorite restaurant? {for gift cards or lunches}
What is your favorite drink? {to see if she writes Bud Light Lime or something of the sort. That's really a trick question...}

It's not too late if you have already started school. Just add a casual, "I forgot to get this to you on the first day, but we would really like to know more about you".

This is a wonderful tool if you got suckered into being are the room mom.
And it helps to have an edge on the room mom if you aren't her. I'm just saying...

The chance of possibly adding a gold star at the end of the week? Decent.
The suck up factor? Huge.
Finding out the way to a teacher's heart? Priceless.


For more Works for Me Wednesday Tips, head on over to We Are THAT Family.


Lori said...

Awesome idea, Hillary! I'm going to give that to my babysitter since I'll be homeschooling this year. I think she's going to get A LOT of calls from me... ;)

Kim S said...

gets easier when the kids are older bc the teachers have extensive 'wish lists' each year. they are always a hit - no questions asked!

Especially Heather said...

Because I homeschool, I am going to fill this sucker out and give it to my kids and require them on teacher appreciation day to get me something!
(just kidding, kinda)


Amy Kennedy said...

As a teacher I can tell you how awesome this is! My school had a similar form that the room moms gave out. It is always SUCH a treat to get lunch from your favorite place (when you bring your lunch every day) or even for a child to bring you a diet coke or your favorite drink in the morning before school-ALWAYS makes my day. Those teachers will be soooooo very appreciative and they'll all be fighting over who gets your boys the next year!!

Paula @ Organizing Tips For Moms said...

Great idea!!

annieck said...

When I taught school, my rooms moms did this, and it was SO NICE! I guarantee you, your teachers will appreciate it! :)

The Gunters said...

As a former teacher, I can really appreciate this!! :) How awesome. I think half the fun of being a teacher is getting all the fun gifts. And I wish O&H were in my class!

Stefany said...

That is a great tip! I am always at a loss of what to give teachers.

I am following you now. Thanks for commenting on my blog!

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

You are so stinking smart!!

And of course you're a teacher's kid. Of course. (Yep. Me too.)

Karla said...

Love it! I admit that I too took the suck-up route this year. My boys need all the help they can get - ha, ha. The boys took their teachers Happy 1st Day of School gifts which included a few sunflowers and a small bag filled with some chocolate, gum, travel size hand lotion, travel size hand sanitizer, and travel size tissue. They seemed to really appreciate the thought.

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! Really, would love to have some gifts I "registered" for!! I think we could start a business like this just for teachers!! Yes! Mom

Susannah said...

You mean that Mrs. Hart didn't like that scented pumpkin wall hanging I got her in the 3rd grade, just kidding I didn't have your momma at Northside! :) You crack me up, I love the what do you drink question...I would have put a margarita! Ha!!

Hollie and Janie said...

As a teacher, I think you are a complete gem! Fabulous idea!! I don't know how many times I thought, well, I had rather havet he dollar they spent, so I could at least get a coke! Oh, all the presents that "are so special, I am going to take it home with me!" hehe

Melissa said...

I think it's a neat idea! My mama was a teacher too, so I'm well acquainted with the types of gifts you're talking about! As for me, high school teachers rarely get gifts. :-( Not that I'm begging for them or anything, but every now and then it's nice to know that somebody appreciates you. I read one blog where the lady talked about how the treat their teachers to a really nice welcome back breakfast on the first day of school, and that they really liked to make their teachers feel special. We would be blown away if a group of parents did that for us!

Rebekah said...

I used something like this as Room Mom last year, it made things so much easier!

Tami said...

excellent idea Hillary! But you know I can't leave without commenting that everyone likes to eat...so a basket filled with some gourmet mixes that make dinner fast and easy would be a hit with any teacher ;) I think I would start with an italian meal... Garlic Parmesan Bread Dippin' Mix, Tomato Basil Bread Mix, Homestyle Spaghetti Sauce Mix and a Tiramisu Cheesecake Mix :-)

I couldn't resist :-)

Donna said...

The weird thing about our old Moms-day-out is that the teacher handed you one of these sheets the first day of school- like hi, I'm Ms. So-and-so and here are my favorite things... and the restaurants were like Ruth's Chris and stuff. It does help to know their favorite things- and I always ask their favorite candy.

Ivy said...

Great idea!! My Mom is a pre-school teacher...I will have to tell her about this! Im sure she would love for someone to give her a questionnaire. She teaches the 3 year olds and they are referred to as the Dolphins....4 year olds are Monkeys, 2 year olds are bumble bees (you get the picture.) Lets just says she has LOTS of pretty dolphin decorations at home!

Katie said...

I do this same thing, but I don't have the drink question on there. I made mine up from years of experiencing the same gifts as a teacher myself and cherishing those kids(ahem..gifts) that gave me something I really wanted! Molly's teacher had apparently never heard of such and actually came to the car the other day to thank me for the survey! Boy if she's that thankful for the survey, just wait until she gets something from her list!!!! We'll be in for honor roll for sure!!!!

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

This is a terrific idea!! Thanks so much for sharing. I used to teach and this would have saved my trash can from overflowing with plastic apples. (Not that I would have ever thrown that stuff away. :0)

Mrs. Nurse Boy

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