All last week the school district I work for (and I am sure many others) took the time to celebrate teachers. National Teacher Appreciation Day was last Tuesday, but it has become a week-long affair that, in my humble opinion, only serves to further emphasize that teachers are under appreciated.
My particular school (a high school) decided to go with a Dr. Seuss theme. So every day was a different culinary hell-scape through which we had to tread. Monday was the most promising of all the days as the administration found enough money to actually procure breakfast accoutrements from Panera. This was not promising for my weight loss efforts as it was all bagels, pastry rings, and cakes. I skipped it, but I was not so lucky the next day when they put out the leftovers they had carefully wrapped up and saved from the day before (they were dry-dry-dry delicious!). Tuesday was “Hop on Pop…corn” day. This consisted of a teacher running the school owned popcorn machine to make popcorn that we were all given bags for to obtain ourselves AT 7:45AM. It was completely gone and put away before lunches began. Delicious breakfast guys. Panera and Popcorn. Hop on Pop indeed.
Wednesday was entitled “Whoo-treats” and they filled the teacher workroom to the brim with brownies, cakes, cupcakes, and (thank goodness) some fruit. This would have been cool except it was all homemade. Now before you call me ungrateful, please understand that I already don’t trust some of the people at my school to be honest people in their behavior. I can only guess whether or not my brownies had been sneezed on. Whether the cupcake frosting had been applied by an already licked frosting spatula. They already put out for the mixes, why not just order a dessert plate from Publix or something so we know it was professionally made? However, I would have to put this day slightly above Monday in the ranking of “appreciativeness.”
Thursday almost beat out Tuesday for the lamest, weakest showing of appreciation. ALMOST. Allow me to provide you with a visual.
That is, I shit you not, the smallest bag of goldfish I have ever seen with a Dr. Seuss label taped on. I put mine in another teacher’s mailbox. They can be “o-fish-ally” appreciated twice.
Friday was the best day, hands down but they ended it with the weirdest gesture that it almost was ranked under diabetes day (Wednesday). Friday they provided free lunch to everyone: hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, bags of chips, NO FRUIT and you had to buy your own drink. I was totally down with that because I was so hungry on Friday and my pita, veggies, and hummus was not going to cut it. So many thanks for the lunch. But then at the end of the day the principal’s secretary came on the intercom and said that we should make sure we stop at our mailboxes to get our final surprise:
**Photo of Clay Monstrosity to come**
This can only be an ashtray. Sure it could be a plate you put on your nightstand for change and jewelry, or something for your desk to put paperclips on, but let’s all be straight with one another: this homemade shit seriously blows.
How hard would have been to take all the money they spent on Panera, popcorn bags, cake and brownie mixes, Goldfish snacks, and lunch fixings and get every teacher a gift card to a local place of their choosing? I would have felt more appreciated if I had received a card with something I could use tucked inside in on Teacher Appreciation Day rather than dragging it out across a whole week using half-assed bullshit amongst the occasional thoughtful effort. I would have gladly given up the two brownies I ate for a gift card to Dunkin Donuts or Publix or some other place where I can get coffee and nosh. “We know you love this so have some on us!” feels more appreciative than “This is stuff we could throw together, you better feel appreciated!”
Being thoughtful means that you are thinking of the other person. You have taken their needs and wants under consideration and act accordingly. The worst gift givers are those who buy you something they would like instead of something you would like, and I think that in the case of our administration, we got what they thought would be fun and appreciative and not necessarily what we would have needed to have felt appreciated. Par for the course in this profession, but every year I’m Charlie Brown and administrator appreciation is the football Lucy uses to send me to the chiropractor.