Teacher “Happies” – Back to School Ideas

crazyIt’s the most wonderful time of the year – Back to School time!  I kid.  Ok, not really.  By August, we are done with summer.  My boys need the structure and honestly I need the peace.  All three of my boys will be in elementary school this year.  And wow – the school supply list is CRAZY.  I mean we only need to buy 45 glue sticks and 144 pencils (sharpened mind you – won’t that be a fun chore for the boys one afternoon). My kindergartener alone needs 15 glue sticks.  You may think that number sounds absurd but any mom knows how much glue a 5yr old can use in a week.  So I totally get it and will gladly contribute.

Along with school supplies, I love to add in a little something for the teachers.  As you get to know me and this blog, you will realize that I love to appreciate teachers.  They don’t get enough credit.  These people are with my children more during waking hours  during the school year than I am and they don’t get paid enough.  Plus most of them use their own funds to help stock their classroom with supplies.  When it comes to the new year, I like to wait until the end of the first week to give my teachers a little “happy” (I had a friend in college who referred to little unexpected gifts as “happies” and that’s the term I love to use).  I wait till the end of the week because, well I don’t want my kids to appear as a “brown noser” the first day of school.  HAHA!  No really, that first week is  a long week for everyone!  Waiting until the end of it really gives the teacher a little pick me up.  A little smile is just what they need.  Here’s some examples of what I’ve done in the past.

Have a Ball
I spray painted Mason jars and then scratched off on the raised up lettering on the jar.  The free tag printable can be found over at lil’ luna

Smart Cookie
I bought a fortune cookie box at the Dollar tree and filled it with homemade cookies.  Then attached a tag printed on patterned cardstock. Little Happy for the Teacher - cookies! The tag says Angeline played on the cookie theme that same year but she had a local bakery that made apple shaped iced sugar cookies.  She put in cellphane bags with this same tag.  It was super cute but I can’t find the picture.

Bright Year
This idea was fun but it did cost a little more.  I bought several neon colored school supplies and fun things and put into a neon bag.  The tag read “looking forward to a bright year”.  A free printable of the tag can be found over at Surfin’ Through Second.1409270061656

Another Bright Year Idea
I love this idea and plan to use it in the near future.  What teacher couldn’t use more highlighters or bright sharpies?  You can find the printable tags at the TomKat Studio
bright school year

Pencil Jar
I guess I love a jar of pencils because here’s another version (clearly 144 just isn’t enough for me to buy).  Target had these great jars in their dollar spot this year.  I took a paint pen and wrote the teachers name.  Then added a free printable tag from iheartnaptime.  Apparently, I was not the only blogger out there that saw these great finds at Target.

My friend from Vegas (and my partner in crime for PTA stuff) always has great ideas that don’t cost a lot of money.  Our PTA there did a little dollar something for each teacher for their birthdays throughout the year.  Here’s her idea for this year which could totally be changed to the new school year.  Tag could read “Hope you have a tea-riffic school year”
Teachers aren’t the only ones who need encouragement at the new school year.  So do administrators, parents and your own kids!  The best way to provide that for all these people is to pray for them.  AND that doesn’t cost you a dime!  I found this cool idea over at Faith Along The Way.  She provides a list with specific things you can pray for each day.School supplies bottom border on a chalkboard background

It doesn’t take much to appreciate or encourage a teacher.  I will gladly spend the extra time and the $3, in addition to the 45 glue sticks and 144 pencils, to put a smile on 3 very deserving teachers’ faces!

Give a little thanks

I love giving thank you gifts.  I think it’s my Southern nature.  But it’s just fun to think of different ways to say thank you than the boring old note or gift card.  I’m not saying those are bad (my southern manners say it’s a must), but it’s just fun to see the recipient’s face when it’s totally unexpected happiness.

My neighbor watched my kids an entire day recently.  I wanted to say thanks even though she didn’t expect it at all.  But I wanted something fun and useful for her.  She’s a busy mom with 4 boys and works out of her home.  I decided making her dinner was the winner.  However, with her busy schedule I didn’t know when she would need it.  So….I found this cool idea from The Kitchn….A TACO BOX!  Who doesn’t love tacos??  Here’s my version.
tacobox2Not quite as cute as The Kitchn’s version but it’s still fun.  I found the cute crate at Michaels for $6 (using coupon).  I filled it with chicken carnita, corn tortillas, my favorite pico de gallo, my fav black beans, cheese, an avocado, chips and root beer.  I also included a Dairy Queen giftcard because what goes better with tacos than ice cream?  All of it can be used immediately or wait a day or two.  And speaking of tacos, I saw this shirt at Target this week and it made my 10 yr old crack up laughing.
tacocatHere’s some more cute things I have found on Pinterest and some I have used in the past:

Movie Night at Home
movie night
You can buy these popcorn tubs at the dollar store.  You can also purchase RedBox credits online at RedBox.com.  Here’s my cute free printable for a RedBox giftcard
Sunshine Box from Fantabulosity
box of sunshine

Here’s a fabulous summertime thank you:  Strawberry Shortcake Basket from Eighteen25:
Ice cream Basket from Love The Day:
ice cream
Fun girlfriend thank you from Tidbits & Twine:
fun basket
And if you are super crafty, I loved this idea from All Things with Purpose.  It’s meant for a realtor (great idea!) but think of the possibilities!
cutting board

Stay tuned….once school gets started I have a TON of ideas for teacher “happies”.  Like I said, I love to say thank you!