Last year when August rolled around, instead of beginning my 5th year of teaching 2nd grade, I had the ultimate privilege and joy of continuing what had become my new favorite job – being a stay-at-home-Mommy to my son, Noah. But I am a teacher at heart. I love freshly sharpened pencils and could swim in a sea of new crayons with pure bliss. I am crazy about designing and decorating bulletin boards and writing each of my students’ names ever-so-neatly on their Yellow Take Home Folders. So when I saw Back-to-School supplies get put on the shelves at the stores, and my teacher friends were spending time in their classrooms preparing and praying for their new students, and everyone was laminating up a storm, I felt a twinge in my heart that told me I could not just sit back and watch. I had to do something to be a part of that Back-to-School magic!
So I started brainstorming. With a three month old baby and all the insecurities of a new mom in tow :-), I had to come up with something simple.
My next door neighbor is a first grade teacher at a local public school. I decided that if I couldn’t go to school myself, then I would send a blessing with someone who was going to school. I called my neighbor up and asked her if I could make her lunch for the first day of school. I figured A. Teachers are INCREDIBLY busy that first week of school. There’s so much to take care of in the classroom that often personal needs get thrown by the wayside. I thought that making a lunch for her would help remove a little bit of stress from her day; and B. WHO DOESN’T LOVE OPENING A LUNCH PAIL AND BEING SURPRISED BY THE GLORIOUS FOOD INSIDE?!?!?!?
That is some serious magic right there!
So, Noah and I went on a few adventures to the Disney Store (to buy her a glittery lunch pail with Tinker Bell on it for $4.99) and then to Publix for some grocery shopping (after we had asked her for suggestions on some of her favorite foods).
Here’s what we put in her pail…
- Chicken Salad with sliced red and green grapes and toasted almonds
- A croissant
- Broccoli Salad of Wonder (I have this recipe that is AMAZING – the absolute best salad recipe known to man and pretty much the only salad my hubby will eat – probably because it has a whole cup of sugar in the dressing – haha!)
- Fruit Salad – Just some diced up strawberries and pineapple and bananas
- Strawberry Yogurt cup
- A small tupperware container of granola
- A jar of iced tea
- And some Hershey’s Kisses for dessert!
I also included a handwritten card that said I would be praying for her as she started the new year and that I believed her ministry to her new students would impact their little lives for many years to come. I also told her that I considered her to be one of the greatest teachers ever and that I admired her hard work and faithfulness to her calling.
Then on the eve before her first day, Noah and I headed next door to deliver her prizes.
My neighbor was delighted! She texted me at the end of her first day and said that her “feast” was so delicious and so much that she was going to be enjoying it for the rest of the week! I smiled knowing that we had helped her out in a small way.
And, of course, I loved being a part of the Back-to-School magic.
So, readers, I challenge YOU this year to pick a teacher that you know (it could be ANY teacher – your child’s new one, a former one, one that lives in your neighborhood, etc.), call/email them and ask if you could bring them a lunch pail for their first day, and then do it! It doesn’t have to be elaborate – I was just able to make some things last year because I only had one child who mostly slept all day. I am planning on blessing my neighbor again this year, but now that Noah is running around like a crazy person on 235 Red Bulls, I will probably order something from the Publix deli and put it in a pretty bag with stickers all over it.
And most important, GET YOUR KIDS IN ON THIS TOO! Have THEM write the special card that is included. Let THEM help bake some chocolate chip cookies to add to the pail. It is SO great for our children to participate in activities that are all about making someone ELSE’S life better.
If you plan to bless a teacher this year by providing a lunch for him/her, I’d LOOOOOVE to hear about it! Leave a comment here and tell us all about it!