Saying Goodbye

Looking for a way to appreciate your child’s teacher?

The PTO at Franktown Elementary had a week long extravaganza to honor our teachers and staff members. It was amazing! Here are the wonderful surprises we woke up to each morning:

Monday . . .

an espresso machine for the teacher’s lounge and some yummy treats!

Tuesday . . .

Beautiful chalk art left outside our classroom doors.

Wednesday . . .

Heart-warming high fives from the students. Students school-wide were given a paper hand and they wrote kind notes to all the staff members. They hung them in the hallways for everyone to see, then they bound them into a book for each teacher.

Thursday . . .

Massages! Two masseuses were hired for the afternoon to give teachers a 10-15 minute massage during their lunch break!

Friday . . .

A beautiful catered lunch!

One of the PTO members also hosted a cocktail party at her house for the staff and PTO members. We enjoyed fancy cheeses, wine, sangria, and great conversation! It’s so nice to have the opportunity to socialize outside of the school.

Thank you Franktown PTO for a wonderful week of delightful surprises! You’re the best!

Are you getting a teacher’s gift on your own?

You and/or your child’s time and creativity are always appreciated! I’ve been given sets of handmade/photograph cards, student created and/or painted pottery, and beautiful flower arrangements which I always love.

My talented sister created this intricate photo album for her son’s teacher which was a big hit!

This year my class gave me one of the most special gifts I’ve ever received. Our school is creating an outdoor learning and sensory garden that will be used as an outdoor classroom. This beautiful garden will have a granite “book shelf” that shows the spine of different books. My class donated one of the books in my honor, so the book Bunnicula (which my class choose as their favorite read aloud this year) will forever be in the Franktown learning garden with the inscription “Dedicated to Mrs. Stout from the 2010/2011 class.”


Short on cash and creativity?

That’s OK! You can never go wrong with gift cards. Here are some of my favorites:

-Barnes & Noble

-mani or pedi


-Container Store


-Visa (which is good anywhere!)

Teachers, can you post your favorite end-of-year gifts?

Teachers, how do you appreciate those wonderful parent volunteers?

Since I have been at Franktown elementary, I have been blessed with an average of 7-10 parent volunteers each year. It’s wonderful to have so much help, but expensive to show my appreciation with gifts! For the last few years, I have partnered up with a fantastic photographer (who happens to be the mother of 2 students I have had in my classroom!) to create unique thank you cards for the parent helpers in my classroom.

Virginia Angus, of Raffia Roses Photography , took pictures of the children whose parents were volunteers in my classroom. Although these wonderful parents help the whole class, I think having a keepsake of their own child is more meaningful. I made a scrapbook card for each parent with a special quote inside.

Here are some of my favorite quotes to put in thank you cards for parent volunteers:

–I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. ~ Maya Angelou

–You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give. ~ Winston Churchill

–Alone we can do so little; Together we can do so much. ~Helen Keller

Don’t forget to find a way to thank the PTO as well. A few years ago I was the teacher rep that attended the PTO meetings, and I couldn’t believe how much time, effort, research, etc. it takes to make it run. It is truly a full time job (that they do for free)! So don’t take them or their efforts for granted. Although they are ultimately putting in the time and effort for their child, it makes the whole school a better place, and everyone deserves recognition and gratitude for their hard work!

Parent volunteers and PTO members, can you post your favorite thank you gifts?

Saying Good-bye to Your Class

Both cheers and tears tend to sum up the end of the year. How are you going to say good bye to those sweet (and sometimes mischievous) little faces you’ve spent the last 9 months with?

My favorite end of year gift is to make a video of our year together. If you aren’t good at remembering to take pictures of the important events in your classroom throughout the year, having one of your parent volunteers as the designated classroom photographer is really helpful. If you have access to digital cameras through your school, having a classroom photographer as a student job (with proper training on how to use the camera) would be motivating for students, and they would never forget to take pictures!

I think the easiest way to create professional looking DVDs is with the program iDVD. It’s quick, easy, and very user friendly. Some programs (like iMovie) allow you to have more options and control over the details of your movie, such as creating a different transition for each slide, but when I’m creating a big project like this, I’m not interested in spending time on those details! In iDVD I just slide in my pictures, hit the “fit slides to music” button and pick one transition for all the slides. It looks great and it’s easy to do.

The songs that I used for the class video this year were:

Let Them Be Little by Billy Dean (it’s a tear-jerker every time!)

My Own Two Hands by Jack Johnson

Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

Dynamite by Taio Cruz

Don’t forget to post your favorite end of year gifts to give and receive. I hope you have a wonderful end to the year and a very relaxing summer!


9 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye

  1. Em,
    Matt’s teacher made her own “year book” for each child to take home. It had pics of the kids throughout the school year as well as some “fun facts” about them and pics of their friends too. At the end was a page for autographs. It was so cute & a great take home.

    • Unfortunately that may be true in some schools. I am VERY lucky to work in such a caring community. We have an amazing parent community that is very supportive of the school, teachers, and their child’s education.

  2. As always, great stuff, Em! You’re an inspiration! (I really love the idea of the outside classroom!)

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