Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Bucket of Thanks & A Special Thank You

Since I've been a special education inclusion class for the last two years, I've been blessed to have a para in my room to help me all day, every day. I was truly blessed to be paired with a wonderful woman who was willing to tackle whatever I asked. She was truly amazing with all of our students, but really worked magic with our autistic students. I'm not sure that I could have managed the many different needs in my room without her. So, as the end of the year came, I tried to think of how I could say thank you to someone who has really become my copilot in my teaching adventures for the last two years. Next year, I will be taking a break from inclusion so I already know she won't be in my room, so I wanted my gift to show how I appreciative I was. Now, being a teacher, I couldn't totally break the bank on it, so I had to get creative. Lucky for me, she LOVES candy, so I browsed a few ideas on Pinterest to end up formulating my own. Thanks to $1 candy at Walgreens, a $1 sand pail from the Dollar Store, and adorable graphics from Mel at Graphics From the Pond, I was able to create a "bucket of thanks" for this special woman. I also added a card with a $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card, but I just really love how the gift turned out! Here it is:


I started with the following candy bars:



She's a big fan of frogs so I knew I could count on Graphics from the Pond to have adorable frog clip art. I used Mel's Five Frogs Clip Art and Polka Dot Doodle Border  to create some tags to go with each one:

In case you can't read them, they say:
You've been "mounds" of help. (Mounds Bar)
100 Grand couldn't replace you (100 Grand Bar)
I really "skored" when you were assigned to my classroom (Skor Bar)
We've had plenty of good times. (Good and Plenty)
You've been a life saver. (Life Savers, any kind - gummy or hard candy, any flavor)
Your help really "mint" a lot to me! (Junior Mints, but you could really could do any mint here)
It's been a joy to have you by my side (Almond Joy)


I then grabbed my beach pail, threw some tissue paper in the bottom, and then arranged my "bucket of thanks." I must say that I am incredibly pleased with the outcome, and she loved it too! 


I'm sharing these tags that I created with all of you. There's also an extra that says, "Thank you berry much" in case you have a berry related treat in mind! Here's the link to download them if you'd like to use them:



I also have to share my most favorite student thank you card of all and the story behind it. 

I am a huge fan of thank you cards. I always buy the blank thank you cards that come in multi-packs (also to be found at your local Dollar Store), and then I write each student a message inside to let them know that I enjoyed being their teacher. I always put positive messages and a couple of memories that I have from the year for each student. This year, I bought just enough cards, so I didn't have any room for error, which is always terrifying for me. Well, needless to say, I started to write my note to one of my students, and I messed up part of it. I was so upset with myself, but the funny part is that on the very first day, I tell students, "I am human, I will make mistakes at least once a day if not more. You are human, you will make lots of mistakes this year. We should never be ashamed of these mistakes, but simply see them as a learning opportunity." I return to this statement daily, and actually call to attention when I make mistakes, because it allows them to know that making mistakes isn't something to be embarrassed about. When I thought about this, it really applied to this thank you card that I was writing. I was making my daily mistake! So instead of going back to the store to buy more cards, I simply drew a line through it and wrote next to it, "A mistake, to show that I am human." Well, on the day that I handed her my card, she also gave me a thank you card. This is what it had inside:

Ladies and gentleman, is that not the best? We both made mistakes on our card and wrote the same thing to fix it! A lot of things warm my teacher heart, but this one made my teacher heart expand! Such a coincidence, but also such proof that I made at least one student feel safe in making mistakes. I am really big on creating a positive learning environment and so it meant so very much to me. Don't ask about the Choco Loco Club, that's top secret information! 

I think that almost everyone is on summer break now, with the exception being my Aussie followers! I hope that you are all kicking back, relaxing, and taking some time to decompress and embrace that "you" time. I know it doesn't last long, but it's the necessary down time that we need to be fabulous in the classroom when we return in a couple of months! Enjoy it!



No comments:

Post a Comment