"Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired." -- Mother Theresa
The words of Mother Theresa have been so comforting to me this year.
Without a PTA class parties at OFS fall on the teacher. I would say the school wide tradition is that the kids bring in a bunch of junk food. It makes me feel like a stewardess with 30 first class passengers. The kids like it.
This year I decided to change this game. Using the economic decline as my excuse. I told my students at Christmas time that we were going to limit our class party to one simple treat that I would provide. Oh sure, they fussed a bit, but I was able to convince them that the money their parents saved not buying treats for a class party would be spent on their own family celebrations. I made these disastrous reindeer brownie things that they actually loved.
It was a great party. Simple. No pig out. No mess to clean up.
So I used the economy again to push the idea of a very limited end of the year party. This time there was hardly any fuss. I told them that I would make a special treat and they trusted me.
Last year, I spent hours on the last day of school eve frosting tiny bear bikinis.
This year I was very tired. I decided on something really simple. Dog paw cupcakes. They are made from a mix, a can and one Junior Mint and 3 chocolate chips. Again the kids loved them.
The biggest hit was the superlative awards I gave them. I made a very simple photocopied award and gave each child a silly award. "Most Likely to Be In the Bathroom" went to Magenta. The "Michael Jackson Style Award" went to Lime. "Most Likely to Be A World Cup Goalie" and "Kickball King" went to two sporties. While the biggest talker got "The Young Oprah Award." My aide and I collaborated for about 10 minutes on these and they were a HUGE hit.
I guess my takeaway from the recession has been just what Mother Theresa says, special gestures do not have to be extraordinary to be genuine. This lesson has been kid tested and is teacher approved.