Dear Teacher of my Beloved Middle School Student,

I understand that it’s that time of year that I have been asked to send in daily treats of Monday’s flower, Tuesday’s favorite snack, Wednesday’s gift card, Thursday’s school supply and Friday’s personal note all in the name of National Teacher Appreciation Week. I thought that in middle school perhaps I would be free of this daunting schedule, put out lovingly by our APT, but obviously that is not the case. The problem is, I’m in the business of picking parental battles and asking my almost 14 year old son to carry a flower for you on to the bus, isn’t one I’m willing to fight for. Please don’t take this personal.

Unlike the elementary school days, you and I don’t know one another. We wouldn’t even recognize each other if we passed in the grocery store. Now that I’m no longer needed in the classroom, our relationship is pretty non-existent.

But I do want you to know that you are appreciated every day.

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I am grateful that you have found it in your heart to come to this wonderful school and teach our children. God Bless you for that. In celebration of this special week for you as a teacher, I wanted to share with you how I try to honor you in our home each and every day.

  • I teach your student about personal responsibility and doing his best, in the hopes that he can come to school prepared and make your job perhaps a little bit easier. We talk about kindness and compassion and the importance of treating you and his classmates with respect.
  • I expect him to comb his hair, put on clean clothes, get all the leftover breakfast out of his braces and remember the deodorant, all to help make your classroom a little more pleasant. If you happen to have him after PE, I apologize and can’t be held responsible for that.
  • When he complains that the school work is boring or that you weren’t at your best that day, I stand up for you. I tell him that you have the toughest job on the planet, for very little pay, and that I could not imagine ever having to do what you do. That’s right, I’ve got your back. You never have to worry about that.
  • We have not given our child a cell phone so that you may have his full attention. With Clash of Clans beeping in the backpack, you may stand no chance otherwise.
  • I don’t hold a position on the APT because I frankly don’t want to. But, I do volunteer my time and work hard to help our school earn money because I know it is important for you to have technology, aides and supplies in order to do your best.
  • I thank you for allowing my darling to grow and learn under your daily care and for reaching out to me when I need to know that he has crossed the line. Your understanding that this is the time we want him learning from his mistakes is appreciated. When my child pleads his case on why you may have it all wrong, I explain to him that perception is reality. You win.
  • I believe in you and will not question what you do or why you are doing it the way you are. And I assume that you feel the same for me as a parent. We are both doing our best.

Happy National Teacher Appreciation Week! It certainly takes a village and I’m so lucky to have you as a part of ours. Oh and your gift card is on it’s way…..

Sincerely,

Mom of your Beloved Middle School Student

 

  GeocachingFamilyFun

Looking for an inexpensive outdoor family activity? 

Geocaching is a modern day treasure hunt that gets the kids outside discovering new places. As a believer in the importance of family playtime, Geocaching is a perfect excuse to have a little fun competition together.

Did you know today May 2 marks the 15th anniversary of this widely growing outdoor recreational activity?

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What exactly is Geocaching? 

It is simply a fun, contemporary take on treasure hunting. Geocaching is the perfect solution for those in search of a family-friendly hobby that’s high on both fun and outdoor activity.

Basically you just search online by location to find hidden containers, called caches, and then share your experiences online. People of all ages are enjoying geocaching all over the world! It sounds easier than it is, but I have to say my kids are much better at finding these than I am!

What do I need to begin Geocaching?

Geocaching is a great activity to get us all outdoors but the kids will also enjoy it because it does take a little technology! Instead of using a treasure map, you will need to have an IPhone or other GPS capable device to locate your treasure. Geocaching is free to begin, but if you enjoy it you will want to purchase the almost $10 App.

Log onto geocaching.com for free access to nearly 2 million cache coordinates. Geocache sites range from easy to challenging, and list their level of difficulty.  If it’s your first time out on the hunt, go after caches that have been logged most recently to ensure that there is actually something still there to find.

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What does this word “cache” mean?

Caches are various containers of all shapes and sizes that usually contain a log to sign and possibly a little treasure. Remember to stash your pockets with trivial trinkets of your own if you plan to take anything as a souvenir. Geocaching etiquette dictates that you leave something behind if you take anything out of the cache! I bought a lot of personalized pencils and sticky hands from Oriental Trading to have on hand at all times. Once you’re done with the geocache, remember to return it exactly where you found it.

Remember the goal, and treasure, of geocaching is the fun of the hunt – not the acquisition of the cache contents.

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What is a Travel bug or Trackable?

Travel bugs are different than trade items. Sometimes called “hitchhikers,” these are often intended to travel the world. They are fine to take as long as you promise to put it in another geocache. Be sure to log the travel bug number online so its owner can trace its travels.

Trackables are always an exciting find! It’s fun to log them and see where all they have been before they reached you. Before heading out on our big adventure around the USA I had some family trackables made with our family photo on them. I had these made by Darick who was fantastic to work with and he has a really fun Geocaching website as well! He’s got free printable logs and lots of other neat things for you, so check it out.

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Are you a Geocaching family? Perhaps you will be now…. Happy treasure hunting and Happy 15 year anniversary Geocaching!

Biosphere2

Looking for an educational experience for all the family to enjoy?  Biosphere 2 is an active scientific-research facility located just north of Tucson here in Arizona! Our family finally decided to take the 90 minute drive south to see what this scientific phenomenon was all about!

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The world renowned Biosphere 2 was created to better understand how natural environments generate conditions appropriate for life. B2 is the largest closed system ever created and was once home to live-in mission teams who explored the workings of Biosphere 1 (the Earth) by living here for almost two years. The University of Arizona now runs public tours to help pay for the facility and support education programs like summer camps and teacher development.

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Guided Walking Tours are offered every 30-45 minutes daily from 9:30- 4 p.m. The 75 minute tour is the only way you can go inside and explore Biosphere 2′s simulated tropical rain forest as well as the ocean, savannah and coastal fog desert biomes. If you are an active family, you will find the 1 mile journey very easy. There are quite a few stairs and the tour begins a short walk from the admission center, so do wear comfortable walking shoes. We were told it would be very hot and humid inside, but that wasn’t the case for us at all. We were actually very cold, so I suggest to wear layers so you are comfortable!

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Admission is $20 for adults and $13 for kids 6 to 12. Save your tickets stubs, as they are partially tax-deductible since you are supporting research! We actually bought our tickets in advance on TravelZoo, which was perfect because I’m sure we would’ve kept putting off our visit here except for that lingering expiration date was fast approaching! You can also buy a SciPass for $30 enabling you to visit three UA Science attractions for one adult admission to the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, Steward Observatory Mirror Lab, and Biosphere 2.