Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Polka Dot Lunch

As a former "special" teacher for years, I often was neglected at the holidays or end of the year.  I had a few, very generous families so it didn't bother me too much but I often thought of those teachers, like music and PE and computers...who saw every single child in the whole school every single week and only would receive one or two cards or treats at the holidays.  I decided as a young teacher that I would be different as a parent- I would always remember these teachers who made a huge impact on my children and enriched their lives.  And then that reality of being poor hit me.  I can't be like these families who are dropping $20 gifts for each of the teachers.  I can't afford to honor them the way they deserve.  What will I do?  And then one of those generous parents I spoke of began a tradition at St. Matthew School that made such a difference in my life.  She began the Polka Dot lunch.  Once a year, as way to honor all of her kids' teachers and staff ( principal, secretaries, you name it), she hosted a polka dot themed lunch to say thankyou!  Everything was brought into the teacher's lunch room and ready to go.  It was a simple way to say thanks to everyone!  And I loved it.  We, as the teachers of this family's kids, got excited about Polka Dot Lunch!  We'd say things like, "ooooohhhh, tomorrow is Polka Dot Day!" or "Can't wait for my Polka Dot Lunch!"  And when we consumed our last M&M for the day or popped our last grape, we knew the family was grateful for us and we felt honored to do the job we did!

So, when my son began at public school, I carried on the tradition.  Each year since, we've had a Polka Dot Lunch.  And my kids love getting involved too!

The teachers get a lunch like this with a note of gratitude from our family!
 We bag them all up in hand decorated bags and tie with ribbons.  These are put in the teacher's fridge and waiting when their lunch begins. 
 My kids get to have a polka dot lunch too and they love that more than anything!  Everything is dot!
 Mara proclaimed that morning that she would be dressing in dots as well!  ( so fun that when we got to school to drop everything off, the principal was in polka dots too- she said, "well, it is polka dot day, right?")
 I simply buy various drinks and bring a pitcher of water for drinks
 and set out some candy and treats ( all dots of course) on the tables for all the staff to enjoy and snack on throughout the day. 
 And a note, of course!
 We joined Bubba for lunch and everyone was smiles!  Alaric's friends at the table were excited to see the lunches as they too had heard about Polka Dot Day!
 My silly boys!
 and girl ( she really likes to accessorize)
 When cleanup time came, I smushed up the napkins to collect and Amara ripped it from my hands and said "I want to keep your love note"
Thanks to all the teachers and staff who love and care for my child and his school each day!  

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