Posts tagged teachers
Printable Gift Tags for Teacher Presents

I am a big fan of silly jokes. I am not ashamed giggle at the ridiculous, and it's fair to say that my sense of humor resembles the age group I used to teach, ten-year olds. Since I've been out of the classroom for nearly a decade, my children get the brunt of my humor via lunch box notes.

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, but any week (or day) is a wonderful opportunity to express our gratitude to teachers for their creative work to open up the world to our children. Having spent a few years studying and working as an educator, I can safely say that (besides parenting), there is no more difficult task than guiding students.

And as a teacher, I loved getting the super thoughtful creations from my students and the super practical gifts from their parents. So why not combine the two?

These jokes make great additions to thoughtful giftcards to local coffee shops or craft and teacher stores. They can personalize a wonderful batch of cookies or a gift basket filled with gardening tools and succulents.

Maybe a big bag of stickers and stamps would be a nice gesture for a new elementary teacher? Or perhaps a box of delectable chocolates topped off with a funny?

Among our favorite gifts to make for teachers are these chalkboard frames. And these printable jokes would make a great card on the top and allow even the most timid of children to express the joy of gratitude to a great teacher.

Print out both pages of fun jokes that you can send along with a simple daisy from your yard or a generous donation of Scholastic books!

You can download page one of basic jokes here and page two with librarian and math teacher humor here.

If you share in the joy of silly childhood jokes, follow Pars Caeli on Instagram or Facebook and get a daily joke sent right to your feed (doodle is complimentary).

How are you showing the love to the teachers in your life?

xoxo, MJ




You just never know.

"I'm not sure if you would remember me, but this is a former student. I was talking with a friend of mine, who happens to be a teacher, and we were having a conversation about our favorite teacher and without hesitation, I named you as mine. After telling her about you, she really encouraged me to see if I could find you and say hello.

I wanted to say thank you and to tell you what a wonderful teacher I thought you were. You were so encouraging and supportive which really meant so much to me as middle school wasn't the easiest time for me."

This arrived in my inbox at 6:29pm last night.

16 years ago I taught fifth grade. Fresh out of college, transplanted to a new part of the country, excited and overwhelmed at the task of having responsibility for 25 10-year olds, I embarked on the most creative endeavor (save parenting) I will ever pursue.

As a seasoned professional and a mother of 3 now, living far away from my former school, I look back on those days with nostalgia and a whole lot of, "what was I doing/thinking?" I recall the graciousness of the community, the clarity in those young eyes, and the many ways I felt like I just did not do enough for my 51 students over those two years.

Somewhere around dinner last night I changed my mind.

As much as I think I remember everything exactly as it was, I see experiences only through my lens. And, fact is,

You just never know.

You never fully know the impact you have on another.

But in rare, beautiful moments, you may just have the opportunity to realize that you've been somehow instrumental.

Tuesday evening at 6:29pm, I became grateful for one dear student who took the time to find me on the worldwide web and let me know.

Maybe this evening you and I might reach out to someone who's been an important chapter in our story.

Go for it*.

xoxo, MJ

Surprise Memory for the School Year's End

Today I'm doing one of my favorite end-of-the-school-year gestures. It's a present I'll give to my children in ten to twelve years. Pat on the back for early prep on this, right?

As a teacher, I found the last week of school such a roller coaster of highs and lows - wanting to keep the children I'd grown to cherish, wishing them success with new role models and guides, ready to bust open the doors to summer relaxation.

Looking to find some way to capture the emotion of the final days of school, I searched the interwebs to express the bittersweet experience for my children.

What I found (and loved!) was this sweet idea from MaryLea. Do you all know her? If not, take a peek at the hundreds of art projects she has going over at Pink and Green Mama.

I asked my children's teachers (and their aides) to write notes on the interior pages of a loved book. From here to there from there to here, I'm a big-big Dr. Seuss fan so I purchased three copies of "Oh, the Places You'll Go." I was happily delighted with the amount of time each teacher spent, thinking about what my daughters and son will be like as high school seniors. Each educator highlighted particular gifts that my children had shared and wished them a generous journey ahead.

These words will mean so much in years to come as the distance from preschool snack time and recess grows.

So, go buy a great book for the child in your life. Send it and a very thankful note in a sealed, discrete envelope (or drop it off at the school office) a week or two before the school year ends. Volunteer to come back to receive the signed book the second-to-last day of school. And then tuck the book away in a special place until next year when the message gets added.

*The key here: not forgetting that special place from year to year.

Sending you and yours warm wishes for the endings ahead.

xoxo, MJ

DIY Teacher Chalkboard Frames

Today's the last day of school for us. It's been a wonderful year, especially for


who had an amazing first grade teacher. No matter what new technology comes into play, nothing will ever compare to a high quality, energetic, knowledgeable, and creative teacher. We've been really blessed.

The small gifts and gestures we make as the year comes to a close do not compare to the real earnings these great individuals should take home. However, we want to do our part to let these amazing educators know the lasting impact their gifts, freely given, have made on our children.

My kiddos wanted to be a part of the gratitude this year, and we went DIY shopping together at Michaels for a project that would be appropriate for them to create and enjoyable for their teachers to receive. I think this one hits the mark.

We picked up a stack of unfinished frames from Michaels that retailed for $1.90 each! Using Martha Stewart's Chalkboard Paint and a foam brush, we added three coats of paint over a two-day period. I looked through our photos from the year to select ones that reflected moments with each teacher.

Press print, trim, and add great chalk touches from your child.

I added a note on the back letting teachers know that these are fully functional chalkboards so each can feel welcome to redecorate when they're ready.

Here's M's snack for today. It's a bittersweet day of mom melancholy for sure.

Thanks for stopping over, friends! See you back here tomorrow when we'll be sharing in some more goodness.



PS. If you've been following along here at Pars Caeli, you know I love, adore, surround myself with chalkboards (see chalkboard notes and chalkboard message bowls).