Well it’s Teacher Appreciation Week here in the good ol’ US of A.

Yes, you heard me. I said WEEK.

Oh hold yer fire, beeyatches.

For the record, I think every week should be Teacher Appreciation Week. There is not a single more important job in the world than teaching children, especially MY children who are not getting a ton of academic enrichment at home between the SpongeBob marathons and the fake turd “Pootorials.” But I’m talking about real appreciation in the form of sincere thanks, praise, and parental support. Not shit like this:

"I'd really like a World's Best Teacher mug!" said no teacher ever. Folks, there is a reason I found that little gem on the shelf at my local Goodwill. Teachers do not want that kind of appreciation. Please think twice before you buy anything with an apple or school house theme.

No, at my kids’ school, Teacher Appreciation Week should just be renamed “Parental Torture Week.”

You see, the overachieving, cracked-out on their kids’ Ritalin Room Moms at my children’s school seem to take an obscene amount of pleasure in sending out email mandates with two days’ notice informing us of “the schedule” they’ve created for gift giving during the upcoming week. The idea is that all the children bring in a different themed little treat each day for their teacher to create lavish class bouquets and gift baskets from the group. You know, like making Stone Soup: if everyone contributes a little, you end up with a fabulous feast.

In theory, it’s a nice idea, isn’t it? And it probably protects our teachers from receiving 19 more “A+ Teacher” coffee mugs that they’ll have to make a special trip to the thrift store to purge.

But do the Room Moms coordinate this gift fest with other classrooms to make it easy for the maxi-breeders like me? Noooooo. No they do not. It’s every Room Mom for herself and thus every classroom seems to have it’s own list of gifts and unique schedule of when to send them.

So instead of cleaning up the piles of TP my children have created in every bathroom from their over-enthusiastic fake turd crafting this week…

…or the fake turds I keep finding and doing double takes over…

… I’m forced to create and regularly reference a spreadsheet to remind me what to buy/make/find and send to school each day with each kid. And by spreadsheet I mean coffee stained hand-written tablet paper:

Tomorrow’s a biggie, eh?

The point is: this is a lot to sustain for a whole week. On top of which, both of my bigger kids had Field Day this week (on two different days) which required before school sunscreen application, tennis shoes, special t-shirts, hats, and water bottles. Can’t forget that!

Oh, and did I mention the 800 count box of round toothpicks that I stupidly volunteered to send in for the fifth grade toothpick project on Tuesday? Shit… I thought signing up to spend $2 on a box of toothpicks was going to be a super easy way to participate. WRONG. It wasn’t. Four. Fucking. Stores. Turns out every mo-frankin’ fifth grade class in the school is simultaneously doing whatever they are doing with the 12,000 round toothpicks they each need, and I was the last mom to get to the store to buy them, of course.

But wait, there’s more…coincidentally, this is also the week that Bucket Head has decided he’s over pull ups and wants to sleep in his “big boy” Spiderman underpants every night. This means that Mommy is washing wet stanky sheets every morning and remaking the bed every afternoon. Weeeee! (Literally)

Clearly I’ve created most of my own excess work here, I do realize that. It’s how I roll. But back to the bigger issue at hand…

Teachers deserve to be appreciated. And teachers are often parents too! So imagine the poor teachers of multiple children who are trying to keep up with these Teacher Appreciation Week schedules! This is simply too much for any of us.

Look, I know teachers, and let me tell you what teachers really want (and this list is in no particular order):

  • a good bottle of wine
  • good quality coffee beans or tea
  • respect
  • gift cards from stores or restaurants they like
  • gratitude
  • hand written notes/cards
  • parents who care
  • recognition for a job well done

What else? Please add your suggestions in the comments below. Especially if you are a teacher. How we can best appreciate you and still maintain (or in my case, obtain) a smidgen of sanity?

You know what else? I don’t think teachers really want a whole week of this crazy making at the end of the year when there is so much else going on at the same time! I’m guessing they’d much rather have a little love on a regular basis to get them through those harder days. Send your teacher a hot biscuit wrapped in foil one random morning to say Hey, I know mornings can be rough sometimes and if you are like me, maybe you didn’t have time for a hot breakfast today, but you are important to me and my family and we care about you. (And please don’t yell at my child today… she gets enough of that at home.)

Now let’s end my little rant on a funny note, shall we? Please, please, please, you simply MUST see what Cake Wrecks has put together in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. Not only are the pictures worth a thousand words, but the captions are fabulous. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

with gratitude to my children’s awesome teachers,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

(Did you like this post? Then you’ll love my most popular school-related piece: “And that’s why speech pathologists are such bad mofos.”)