29 January 2011

Gathering Gratefuls- The Learning Team

School's Back!
There was an early morning wake up call in our house on Monday as the Smallest Gift scooted around on the timber floorboards outside our bedroom door.
It was the first day of school in this new year and he had been dressed and ready since 5:30 am. Not only had he made his own breakfast but woken his older sisters by 6:00, made his bed and practised basketball.

It is wonderful to see children so excited to return to school after the long summer break.
I'm pleased to say that he returned home that afternoon with a smile as big as the one he had left with and shared lots of information about what he'd been up to.  Apparently his class is studying 'invention' this term so it will be a terrific learning adventure for all of us.

On Tuesday the Middle Gift started high school.
She looked very grown up in her long skirt and tailored top and we were very proud as she bounced out of the car to start this next phase of her learning adventure.
She too had a terrific start to her secondary schooling and we have heard all sorts of wonderful snippets of information about lockers, teachers, new friends, the amazing cafe etc.

The Biggest Gift is in Year Nine this year and didn't have to return until Thursday.  So once we had dropped the others off on Tuesday, we got into a baking frenzy and made some more of Margy B's bikkies, this time with white chocolate and nuts.
We packaged them up in all their sugary, buttery goodness to take to the girls' school to give to the staff for their first day back afternoon tea.  This was our 'thank you' for all that they do to make the kids' schooling such a fantastic experience.  The bikkies looked and tasted pretty delicious [if I may say so myself] and I had to share a photo with you.

As an educator myself I know the time and effort that is expended by all members of the school staff to get a new year rolling along.
From the very busy lady and her well-trained team in the uniform shop, the office team answering a myriad of enquiries from parents and staff, the tuckshop convenor dreaming up new recipes and ordering the food to supply them, to the groundsmen and cleaners mowing lawns, cleaning and repairing all facets of the grounds in readiness for the students' arrival.

Then of course there is the administrative and teaching staff.
Of course many of you know teachers in your personal lives and are aware that the myth about working from 9:00 - 3:00 and enjoying twelve weeks holiday per year is just that, a myth.

Teaching is truly a vocation and requires a lot of extra time and energy beyond the contact time with students. There is a strong focus on professional development across all school sectors which means that staff return to their schools at least a week before the students to participate in a range of courses, prepare their curriculums and organise their learning spaces.
I spoke to one member of the finance team at the girls' school yesterday and he actually had less than a week of holidays across the summer.

So this week I am truly grateful for the Gifts returning to school happy and confident and for the many people who have worked hard to make this possible.

I wonder what you are grateful for this week?
Have your children returned to school with enthusiasm and do you have the same appreciation for the schools which they attend?

To read more posts with a grateful edge, pop on over to Maxabella's place.  She has a bright, vibrant space and is always keen to welcoming people who want to share a positive note.

Enjoy your weekend, I hope that it's filled to the brim with all that you enjoy,


  1. My Mum was a junior primary teacher & she always started preparing for the new school year in early January. She always said she needed to have her daily class timetable perfected to the last second. The theory being if there was a lull of a couple of minutes when she hadn't prepared anything, there'd be trouble!! How fantastic the kids are so happy to return to school, it must be a fabulous environment that nurtures & encourages them. Sadly I loathed school, from Yr. 1 to Yr. 12. I guess I never lucked in & had a teacher who ignited my passion for learning. This must have sent my poor Mum into a spin, but to her credit she just loved & supported me through that time.
    Millie x

  2. Felicity what a great gift you have given the teachers and staff at your gifts school. I can just imagine their surprise and delight at receiving this treats from you. They look wonderful and yummo!

    So glad the kids had a great start to the school year. It is so lovely when the transition happens smoothly. My kids were up dressed at 5:30am on the first day too! I was surprised they even got to sleep that night they were so looking forward to the first day.

    Loving your grateful list so much today and you are a great example of appreciating our community and educators who really do not get as much praise as they deserve. Naomi x

  3. Oh Millie!

    Your Mum sounds like the most wonderful person and thank goodness as it sounds like school was really the last place that you wanted to be.

    You are one of those remarkable people who has succeeded in life 'in spite' of your school experiences. Your story is what drives me in my consultancy - to help teachers to truly 'see' their students and then develop curriculum that's engaging.

    Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a heartfelt note.

    Felicity x

  4. What a great week! I love the thank you presents... a 'thank you in advance' at the start of the school year is perfect for our hard-working teachers. You are so right when you say that it's a vocation. We so take them for granted. I hope your darling enjoys high school. What an exciting time that is in a young girl's life!!

    I hope our 'back to school' goes just as well next week. Max into Year One on Monday and Cappers starts Kindergarten on Tuesday! Big week! x

  5. My daughter was extremely glad to be going back to school too. She just ADORES school, which is such a blessing. She's the type of kid who just isn't happy unless she is learning something new.

    And, even though she is only 8 years old, she is running for class captain this year. As you will see from my current blog post, I don't hold out a lot of hope of success!! But it's the trying that matters.

    And yes, I wholeheartedly agree that all school staff are grossly under-appreciated.

    Your gift to the teaching staff was a very beautiful and thoughtful touch, Felicity.


  6. I don't have any school children this year but my preschoolers will start next year. Such a heartwarming post and what a sweet surprise for the teachers.

  7. I am glad your children were excited for school! I cannot wait to get called up to go in for a casual day again. I love teaching <3

    ps. I am also carly @ everyonewantsthis.blogspot.com

  8. aw this was so sweet! Loved this post. I dont have children going to school...but I am in school and I wish i had people bringing me treats :)

  9. My brother is a high school teacher and I know he puts in an inordinate amount of time, thought and research into every class he has...he's a maths, science teacher with computer, music and agriculture expertise. I envy the kids he teaches as I know how much work he puts in preparing and trying to help his kids learn and wish that all my teachers were as diligent as he is!

  10. just lovely!
    Im so glad your back to school week was a good experience for the whole family. Your bikkies look devine. Such a nice gesture! Have a great weekend.

  11. Too true about taking our teachers for granted. I never thought twice about their efforts until I became friends with a teacher in my personal life, and then I was stunned. She would work all day, then come home, eat dinner, and work again in preparing for the next day. How blessed I am to be able to come home from work and be able to leave it all at the door of the office.

    You've just shown you're one of the amazing ones who take the time and effort to appreciate the under-appreciated...well done!

  12. Your biscuits and the way you've wrapped them up look beautiful. What a lovely gesture Felicity! My Mum was a teacher, so I understand all that preparation. The end of school holidays for me was often drawing in the staff room, or sorting photocopying, stapling worksheets etc. whilst she got sorted for the new term.
    Wonderful to hear the kids enthusiasm for school. A cafe at school? Mine was not so happening. Then again, mine was in the day before internet, and chalk boards were used even! Ha!

  13. What wonderful gifts and a wonderful blog as well. I"m new here and I am now following, love your blog and can't wait to read more:-) Thank you for stopping by.

  14. Well... sad to say mine beautiful gits are all grown and raining their own gitfs now. So school isnt something I think about much anymore. But what a super blessing that you ahve with children that look forward to going back to school. Here in the states children have been attending classes for awhile and will be coming up on a Spring break around Easter time. Love you site. First time here through the Lady Bloggers Society.

  15. What a lovely idea and they look delicious in the beautiful wrapping and gift card.

  16. As a former teacher I would have loved to have you as a parent at the schools I taught at. Your gesture was exceptionally kind and thoughtful. My offspring start school this week, I suspect I'll be a tad teary as a consequence.

  17. What a really divine thought! I'm heading back to teaching at our local primary school next week (pe for the junior primary) - can't wait :-)
    have a great weekend

  18. A lovely photo of a beautiful gift to start your post, Felicity! I have just popped over from LBS and really enjoyed reading about your children returning to school, confident and full of enthusiasm. I was very impressed that the smallest gift (what a wonderful description) had made his own breakfast. Bless! I am visiting from England, and I would very much like to follow your Blog from now on, if I may.

  19. Ah, Felicity, what a gorgeous gesture to start the school year with. Mostly, that's how parents end it. 'Start as you'd like to finish' they say and what a splendid start you've made.

    I really enjoyed reading about how the three Gifts approached the return to school, all on their own terms.

    My mum was a primary school teacher and I know the countless unpaid hours she put into it, preparing displays on the weekend and so on.

    Good for you, Lovely!

    J x

  20. What a beautiful site filled with positive thoughts! Such a mixed blessing when the kids go back to school, no? ;) Stopping by from Lady Bloggers Society, I'm your newest follower. Come see me at Lighten Up if you get a chance!

  21. Stopping by from the LBS. Thank you so much for the comments. "Gifts".....what a wonderful thing to call children. They are gifts, of course.....and sometimes one that you'd like to exchange...lol But they truly are gifts.

  22. What a lovely idea. I'm a teacher, but think it would be great to do something like that at my school next year. Anonymously, so it doesn't look cheeky.

  23. Hi Felicity...
    I accidently deleted my "It's the weekend..." post, and then I saw your comment come in...

    I am so sorry, please forgive me!!!!!

    Northern Light

  24. What a beautiful post. Beautiful bikkies, and may I suspect that your love language is 'gifts'? You love to give them, and receive them too. I'm so happy that your little gifts also love school. That is a gift in itself. And being surrounded by teachers, I don't know one of them who doesn't put their heart and soul into it. Happy Grateful Day! xx

  25. Oh Felicity what a lovely thing you did I bet they will have all had huge smiles recieving your yummy biscuits must have a go at making those (once I have worked of the meringues I just made) hee.
    Yes I agree I think the behind scenes of school life some people forget how hard they all work so glad the children have had a good first week back my Son (grade 3) said " mum this is going to be a good year I do hope so & was so proud & happy he is so positive I hope he continues feeling like that my daughter (grade 8) is glad to be back with her girls as she puts it & is going for house captain (fingers crossed) I think it would raise her confidence level heaps but as I said "its the trying that matters & having a go", Thanks for bringing a smile to my face on this rainy & windy day in Mackay. :)))))

  26. This is such a lovely idea, Felicity. I love it! Must remember this for the next start...
    Have a sweet evening and a wonderful first week of the month of LOVE xxxx

  27. Felicity how wonderful for children to be so excited about learning. It really is such an incredible thing and their is so much to be learnt in this great wide world of ours. To me it is part of what makes life wonderful, don't ya think. Anyhow I'm particularly loving these biccies and I'm absolutely certain they would have been well received.
    Lou xo

  28. Wow those treats look beautiful. If I was a teacher I'd be so touched to receive such a personal, thoughtful gift.

    And I adore your name...I always wanted to be called Felicity.

  29. Thank you one and all for your wonderful positivity and support for the Gifts and for all educators.

    The Gifts enjoyed their first [albeit short] week back at school and are all happy with their teachers, new friends made and activities planned.

    Looking forward to a great learning year ahead!

    Felicity x

  30. How lovely your cookie care treats look. Such a wonderful thing to do, not many people think about how much work it is for the teacher when the first day of school arrives - they are lucky to have you remind them they are appreciated.

  31. Such a lovely thing to do, I am sure the teachers appreciated the thoughtfullness and effort put into making and packaging the bikkies given that they put so much effort into their work too! x


Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.
Each new comment is a gift - unexpected and lovely.
Although I'd love to reply to each and every one, this isn't always possible, but know that I read and appreciate them all.

Felicity x