Month: November 2018

The “perfect” gift for the teacher in your child’s life.

Okay, before I even start I have to clarify-no matter how much you mull about or search for it:There Is No Perfect Gift! I hear and see these silly ads/commercials and have to roll my eyes,when I’m feeling sarcastic, or laugh, when I’m in a jovial mood. People put so much emphasis on the perfect gift out there. What you think is perfect might be a whole different story to someone else. That’s why it has to stop! Stop mindlessly searching or rushing or worrying about finding the special gift for that someone. Most of the time they dislike it and will regift it or exchange it anyway. Does that mean you should throw up your hands and say no more? All depends on your debt level. Sorry, sarcastic persona today.

The perfect gift was given long ago and it wasn’t bought.

As a teacher, I’ve gotten my share of gifts, all of them appreciated because that child and their family thought enough to let me know I was special to them. For those families buying for a special caregiver this year, ask questions before you buy. Your child’s teacher could be on a special diet and can’t enjoy the box of Whitman’s sampler you bought. I know some teachers at the beginning of the year do a whole introduction of themselves so their families know their likes and dislikes-I think that’s a little bit over the top. Just like teachers get to know your child, get to know your child’s teacher. Volunteer at school, chaperone a field trip, or have a parent teacher conference. Ask your child questions, after all we spend 5 days a week for 6 1/2 hours together. Your child might know their teacher’s favorite color or his/her favorite beverage or snack. Still stumped?

Here are some of my favorite things(I hope my student’s’ parents are reading my blog ):

    Gift Cards.
  • Teachers love them! Easy ,but make sure you get the right places. For instance, I love Target but hate Walmart. I love 1st Place Sports but never visit Dunkin Donuts. Ask or get a general Visa Gift Card. I got that last year from one of my parents-I could use it anywhere.
    • Meaningful Mugs.
  • Dollar Store Santa mugs-no! Dollar Store Best Teacher Ever mugs-yes!
  • Or better yet, a Tervis or even a water bottle, since I try to drink at least 32 ounces of water each school day. Never have enough of those! Something your child’s teacher will use. Remember some people don’t even drink coffee-what?!!
    • An ornament.
  • I love snowmen and collect them. Other people might like angels or super hero ornaments. Not sure, ask.
    • Candles, scented hand soap, scented hand sanitizer.
  • I love holiday scents like pumpkin, peppermint, gingerbread, pine, apple…you get the idea. However, some people might not. Ask before you purchase.
    • Homemade Card.
  • A teacher knows money is tight during the holidays. Trust me, I get it. The most treasured gifts over the years though are the cards and artwork I get from some of my students. I save them. I love bringing them out when I’ve had a challenging day. It reminds me why I teach and how students and their families do appreciate all the work I do. After all, that’s why I’m here.
  • Pretty cool gift from a student(her dad made this for me).
  • Remember it’s not about the destination it’s about the journey,
  • Mercedes
  • Why I love XC races

    Lap 1

    Since 2009, we have had a Smith family after Christmas traditional run ,JTC’s Last Gasp 5k. It is a XC run around my Alma mater, Jacksonville University, and it’s hilly, muddy, there’s water obstacles, and roots. Sometimes it’s bone chilling cold and sometimes it’s sweltering. It’s run at 2:00 p.m. and it’s a blast!

    Fast Forward to 2018, signed up for our 9th Last Gasp, but hold on there’s another XC run before then? Sure is, The Florida Striders club puts on a Hog Jog 5k in November! This year is it’s 30th year! I wonder why I haven’t discovered this little gem of a race? It’s held at the Ronnie Van Zant Park just west of Green Cove Springs. There’s a playground, a fresh lake pier, playground, and disc golf among other amenities such as trails. The 90 acres was donated by the Van Zant family in tribute to the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd who were killed in 1977. I know the band but had no idea about the park.

    So when I signed up, I was gutting it through with my hamstring, but now…NO WAY. Was I going to sit at home and sulk? Nope. I can still walk, so it’s a 5k hike. The weather was perfect. Overcast with a hint of a breeze but the rain held off. Classic XC run time, 2:30 p.m. and we’re off. There’s sand, roots, water, and mud! No hills. 2 loops and done!

    So much fun representing JTC.

    Not a PR but for a purposeful walk, not shabby. I will definitely be back and hopefully next year running and jumping over the roots.

    Glows for XC races.

    Each time it’s different. You can’t predict the weather so the trails might be dry or the trails might be quicksand. That’s part of the fun.

    Fun awards! No I didn’t win anything but other friends did. Who doesn’t love socks? Or a lunchbox? Or a beer stein/glass for an adult beverage?

    You meet the nicest people! There are lots and lots of volunteers cheering you on, making sure you don’t get lost, or trip over roots that can send you face first into mud.

    Where else can you spend time enjoying nature? Discovering new places or not be worried about being run over by a texting driver. Wildlife included ducks and of course my teenage boys. Thank goodness no snakes!


    More XC races!

    They are out there, you just have to be willing to look around. December 2nd is the JTC Guana 50k(31 miles) and a 12k(7 miles) just in case you’re intrigued. April 2019 Florida Striders has another trail race called the Angry Tortoise 50k/25k in the Cary State Forest.

    Spikes can be worn, but I opted for my Cascadia Trail Shoes.

    I hope to see you out there too!

    Remember it’s not about the destination it’s about the journey,