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Screw Teacher Appreciation Week

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Angry Mom: I am not a big fan of my daughter's teacher. Sometimes you click with a teacher, and sometimes you don't. I'm basically just counting the days 'til my daughter's out of Mrs. Johnson's class.

teacher at her desk

My daughter has ADHD, and the teacher has basically refused to work with us on this. She suggested we "transfer her to a more appropriate school." HELLO?!

Well, last week, I got the sheet from the room mother announcing Teacher Appreciation Week. It listed what the kids were expected to bring each day. My immediate thoughts are italicized.

Monday: Bring a sweet treat for Mrs. Johnson (home-baked, if possible).
Um, I don't have time to bake! I have two jobs, just trying to keep food on the table. But I'd be happy to slip her a Chips Ahoy!, if she'd like that ....

Tuesday: Bring in a flower from your garden for Mrs. Johnson.
I live in an apartment. I don't have a garden. Maybe a weed from the patch of grass next to the parking lot?

Wednesday: Write a poem for Mrs. Johnson.
Roses are red, violets are blue, this week sucks, and so do you!

Thursday: Bring a small gift for Mrs. Johnson ($10 limit).
In these tough times, ten dollars is tough to scrape together. Is the 99-cent store OK

Friday: Please donate $20 for our class gift fund. We are going to get her a day at the spa!
Um, MOMMY could use a day at the spa ... what about me?!?!?!?!

Look, don't get me wrong ... I love teachers! I think it is the hardest job in the world. But this particular teacher is less than great, and I don't want to be forced to show how much my daughter "appreciates" her.

Plus, don't working moms have enough to keep track of? Now I have five more things to add to my to-do list this week. THANKS.

What do you think about Teacher Appreciation Week?

next: Sarah Jessica Parker Spent Almost 2 Months Away From Babies
46 comments so far | Post a comment now
Miss Stevens May 3, 2010, 6:46 PM

Not all teachers are like that. I feel blessed everyday to be a teacher. The trust and rapport I have with my students and families is gift enough. It’s too bad you feel this way.

jazz May 3, 2010, 9:28 PM

Um, who’s the victim here? It’s not all about you, mom.

thin mint May 4, 2010, 6:37 AM

There are good teachers, great teachers and bad teachers, but your child doesn’t have to suffer through the bad ones. if you ever find yourself in this situation talk with the principal about changing teachers. I am a teachern and I don’t know any who are not concerned with all of their students welfare.

Kate May 4, 2010, 7:42 AM

Since when do Mother’s only get one day of appreciation and teacher’s get an entire week? I’ve been both a teacher and a mom…trust me, being a teacher is NOT the toughest job in the world. If your child’s teacher is great, your kids will naturally want to draw them a picture or give gifts. My kids constantly show their appreciation with spontaneous gifts to people the know.

middleschool teacher May 4, 2010, 8:53 AM

as a teacher, I hope I have no families who feel about me the way you do!
as for appreciation week, I always forget about it until I get something in my mailbox at school from the PTA announcing it’s that week again. The only thing I’ve ever gotten that meant anything to me is a little note from one of my students saying he’d liked my class and thanks for helping him with math. I suggest if your child has a teacher they like, (it could be any teacher-music, art-last year’s homeroom-whoever) that you help your child write a simple note. that’s all. no gift, no extravaganza necessary. So rarely do teachers get a genuine thanks that when they do come, they are the most valuble gifts.

Krystal May 4, 2010, 9:14 AM

If you don’t like the teacher then you don’t have to give anything but there’s no reason to try to devalue teacher appreciation day or week. If your daughter feels like making a card for her teacher then you shouldn’t stop her, nor should you ever try to persuade your daughter to dislike her teacher because you do.

I have to say your blog is upsetting but not at all shocking, my aunt is a teacher and she loves her kids. She talks about them all day, I’ve seen her laugh about how they did something cute or funny in class and cry when she sees that they have no money and their parents send them to school without snacks or coats or even some change when theres a school event where they can buy stuff. My aunt has told me about how crushing it was to see little kids sad because everyone else is buying stuff and they can’t.

She always give money to those kids. She’s bought shoes for kids because their parents send them to school with shoes that don’t fit. She takes care of those kids better than their parents do and when the day is done she can’t just go home and relax. Who could when they deal with children in poverty or children who have other issues at home? When the day is done and she doesn’t have to act like everything is okay, she goes home and she cries for those kids.

I always wanted to be a teacher because of her but now I see what a hard job she has and I don’t know if I could handle the long hours the stress and most of all the heartache.

I know there are teachers who should not be teaching. I’ve had a few growing up that didn’t care, or were especially mean to me (like literally insulting). It’s a tough tough job that many people just aren’t cut out for.

If you think taking care of 1 kid is tough, try dealing with 30 with a handful of them having some serious issues, then after teaching 30 kids for several hours it’s time to deal with parents who often can’t accept advice or criticism of their children because it’s not something they want to hear.

I certainly think one week out of the year is fine to show appreciation for what teachers do. They’re parents, educators, friends, disciplinarians, and role models. Teaching your children to be appreciative of those qualities will only make them better people later in life.

worried May 4, 2010, 4:04 PM

Wow, it is always amazing to me how hostile people can be to teachers and then still send their children off to be cared for by the same people. Put your kid on some ritalin so that the teacher can teach instead of deal with behavior. That can be your gift.

Runa May 4, 2010, 4:25 PM

So your daughter has one sucky teacher…so what? There are TONS of teachers out there who are amazing, and do a better job with kids than some parents will ever do. Lighten up. These were just friendly suggestions. Nobody’s making you do this stuff.

carrie May 6, 2010, 8:29 AM

Sarah I want to say thank you for being a loving teacher. Any other teacher’s on here that really care…Thanks. My daughter had a teacher that sounds much like you and she taught my daughter not to judge and to help when she can. In the past my daughter had a teacher that was really not so nice. She would scream alot and my daughter does not respond well to this. I could see it in her grades. This teacher sometimes had good intentions but she didn’t think before she reacted. example…my daughter wanted to have a birthday party with girls only. She invited EVERY girl in her class. She did not leave out a single girl. Her teacher without permission made photocopies of the invitation and passed them out to the boys in the class and told her that in her classroom she would only be allowed to pass out party invitations to the entire class not just some of the class. Needless to say I was outraged because the party was scheduled at the skating rink and only planned for a certian amount of kids. I would have to pay extra for all those extra kids that showed up, and to think what the other parents thought of a photocopied invitation! I don’t think I would have wanted to give her anything. Anyway I am now facing a 3rd grade teacher with my son whom I can not stand even more. Before you start jumping on me read this little story. My son recently got a horriable hair cut while out with his granny. The lady missunderstood what his granny told her and gave this poor little boy a mohawk haircut all the way down to his scalp! He was mortified, but even more mortified of shaving it all off. He went to school the next day and he was thrilled that no one made fun of him, however his teacher made a comment to him that blew my mind! He told me that he asked her a question and she said to him “maybe when you got your haircut they removed your brain along with your hair and replaced it with a stupid brain.” It’s teachers like this that make us parents not want to send appreciation gifts to them. In my opinion the PTA should use some of their funds to give each teacher a bonus or a gift certificate from the school. I think it is hard for those kids that can’t afford to give something when everyone else is. Especially the little ones. I also think it should be something from the kid’s hearts. Although I doubt my son’s teacher would get much from him. LOL! I wish teachers were more like Sarah and less like the ones I have experienced. I don’t think teacher appreciation would be an issue then.

Anonymous May 7, 2010, 1:43 PM

Maybe it’s not the teacher that’s the problem. You should have not put the teachers name in your “complaints”, it’s parents like you that make being a teacher such a difficult task.

Tracey July 7, 2010, 5:41 PM

I completely agree with Sarah! As an elementary teacher I would NEVER expect gifts from parents for teacher appreciation week, any more than I would for Christmas. I work in a fairly low-income school and I know that the meals my students eat at school are often the only hot meals of the day. I spend hundreds of dollars each year on supplies for my students, and I don’t blog about how hard it is on me. Do you think we love every parent we run across, uh, no. But I do everything I can to educate and inspire my students in spite of their background, baggage or ability. It’s unfortunate that you had a bad experience this year, but please don’t generalize that all teachers are lousy.

Joyce Hobby September 21, 2010, 11:17 AM

i would like to help a teacher through your offer. My son is a Theatre Technology and Drama teacher at Round Rock High School in Texas. He takes a group of his students to Lincoln Neb. for competition each summer and gives this week of his summer to his students. Last year he took 22 students to Edinbough, Scottland for International competition. He works long hours and loves his work. The parents and students appreciate him. My request is small and simple. He could use a computer for his classroom to use for showing the students how to design costumes, scenes, etc. The school district does not support the theatre department with much in the way of funds. Can you help? Thank you for all your support of so many things.

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