Wednesday, May 21, 2014

an easy end of the year teacher gift

I love teachers.

My mom started teaching when I graduated from high school (20 years ago- can that really be true?), which means that we have seen first hand all that goes into a job that is "done at 3:30pm" and "gets summers off". The stacks of papers to be graded and recorded. The late night lesson plans. The open houses, parent conferences, faculty meetings, workshops, certifications...suffice it to say, if I ever DID have any inclination to teach {which I don't}, I certainly would have changed my mind after seeing behind the scenes.

It takes a special kind of person, is what I'm saying.

{stolen low quality instagram photo of my mommy giving her speech as a finalist for California's "Educator of the Year" in 2013. You rock, Mom!}

Now take that special kind of person and multiply it by infinity plus a gazillion and you'll get a Special Ed teacher. It's a blessing to have a great educator work with your child for two semesters, but most of these kids stay in the same classroom for YEARS, exalting those teachers to miracle workers in my book.

Every time Brendan has transitioned to a new school my heart has broken knowing that he'll be leaving behind a devoted instructor and true advocate. Sure, we've given them a fair share of things to talk about at the dinner table (grooming adventures and custom made social stories), but we just can't ever say goodbye without some kind of tangible thank you.

Because Brendan is obsessed with drawing, it only seemed right that he create something of a lasting tribute. When he gave this to his middle school teacher as he graduated into high school she bawled. Okay, maybe I did too...but she started it.




Now he'll be moving onto Senior High and we're getting all emotional again. And what does one do when feelings become overwhelming? Make something, of course. Time for another portrait.


Step 1:

use a 40% off coupon and pick up a canvas (or two) from the craft store


Step 2:

put your {not so} little artist to work



Step 3

If your kiddo can be trusted to stay in the lines, give them a brush.
If not, this is when mama takes over.



Step 4

The one we did years ago didn't get any kind of top coat and it was just fine. 
This guy got two coats of sealer, which gave it a satiny sheen and also ever so slighty smeared a few spots of leftover pencil outlines. Nothing noticeable, but be warned to proceed with caution.

(his peepers also got modified after Brendan began stimming about "circle eyes", obviously disappointed with the dot pupils he originally sketched)




Some old dictionary pages make an easy loopy topper instead of cheesing it up with a "we're wheel-y gonna miss you" tag. That, my dear friends, is called showing restraint. 

My mother would be proud.




17 comments:

  1. YEA!!!! Haven't read it yet, but you wrote! Hoorah! :) Happy almost summer Rebecca! - Carrie

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    1. I'm going to try to do better in the next few weeks, as we know come the end of summer my energy will completely swallowed up and I'll be hiding in my room in the fetal position.

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    2. You and me both! I always look forward to summer, and then go crazy during it! :)

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  2. Beautiful drawings! Way to go Brendan!

    on to the next adventure!

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  3. Great picture Brendan! A picture to be proud of to make and receive.
    Teachers are amazing people, in my book, they deal with so much and just keep giving. My kids were very fortunate and had many wonderful teachers. There were a couple duds, but they were few and as a whole I think teachers are wonderful people.
    I'm sure Mr. Randy will cherish his gift for years to come.

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    1. Oh, we've seen a few duds along the way (BIG time), but since we've moved to Texas, we've had nothing but divine intervention when it comes to teachers. Just thinking about all that they've put up with through the years with my kiddos makes me teary!

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  4. I love it! What sweet pictures!

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  5. I LOVE Brendan's drawings! Very talented.
    And Yay! to you for posting... I've missed you! (That's not weird or pathetic, it's supportive. Really!)

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    Replies
    1. It *is* pathetic that I can't make myself stick to any kind of consistent posting schedule. On the flip side, my house has been {relatively} clean and I've been getting at least 8 hours of sleep at night...so maybe a win? I miss you too though!!

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    2. Pfft! Bugger the schedule! I can't stick to one either, although no one reads mine, so, not such a drama. Besides, it just makes us appreciate you more! Glad you're getting some sleep :)

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  6. What a gift!! This should have been titled 3 gifts, 1.Brendan's drawing, 2. Mr Randy's great teaching, 3. your wrapping awesomeness! good stuff!

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    1. HAHA! I couldn't just shove it in his backpack, now could I? Of course, it'll make him smile no matter how it's packaged....the hairy arms and legs are my favorite :)

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  7. What an awesome and heartfelt gift. I'm a teacher and I can tell you it's the hand-made gifts that stand out. I have a great crocheted bag (made of some sort of construction/hardware rope) and a cup one child made in ceramics class that stands out. I also once received a poem - top ten things about Ms. Lane - and I love all three. I think that is the best thing about this job - children are so appreciative. Even when you've had a bad day, they are always happy to see you.

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  8. truly great work! (i tried to leave a comment a minute ago, i hope a duplicate doesn't pop up after i repost this one!) does your son only paint people he knows & loves? if he was open to it, i'm sure he'd do great at commissioned portraits. he has such an artistic "voice!!" xo

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    1. Um...I dunno :) He's only done people that he knows (or cartoon characters), but it would be interesting to see if he could come up with something based on just a photo. Fantastic idea!!

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