We all need a break! Teachers, more so! #TeachersChangeLives

EDUCATION, MY VIEWS | | May 24, 2013 at 9:39 am

So when Office Depot engaged me to be a  REAL Change blog ambassador the biggest incentive in the campaign, besides it supporting an amazing cause of Adopt A Classroom, was that I get to give something to a local teacher. In a heartbeat I would work in a campaign when I get to see the look on someone’s faces when I bring them a gift or opportunity. Office Depot wanted us to choose a teacher that we felt could use some supplies (couldn’t every teacher use the supplies?) and then we were in a quandary as to who to choose.  I decided to not choose the school of my Kindergartner since I had helped them with school supplies before. Choosing just from my 2nd Grader’s elementary school was no easier. She loved her 1st Grade teacher and her current 2nd Grade teacher so much she could not choose.

Then she decided to not choose. If you have been reading my blog for a while you would know that my 2nd Grader has Autism and recently she started being part of social skills program in the school. She decided that if she chose the school counselor then kids from more classrooms would get access to the supplies. Could I love the girl any more? So off I took the supplies to the school counselor, who was so touched she hugged me. She confessed that supplies were always short and she applies for grants to help. Among the supplies was a huge wheeled tote, with a slot for a laptop and big enough to fit my Kindergartner in, well if she squeezed in real tight.

That was not all, mini whiteboards, markers, post-its, folders and more. The kind folks at Office Depot went even further: they sent me $100 gift card to spend on the teachers. I love gift cards for myself. I always vow to buy something I would not typically because it is a “gift” and the thought of “splurge” felt appropriate. In the same vein of thought I wanted to do something extra for the teachers. The amazing folks spend out of their own pockets for the kids without a second thought. After seeing how unselfishly teachers behaved at Sandy Hook elementary and during the Oklahoma disaster that should convince you that these are the treasures of our nation.

So I wanted to give them something for them. Something they will use completely for them, and honestly a happy relaxed teacher can only produce happy, relaxed students. I had noticed several teachers walk to the convenience store across the street with a few mugs in their hands to get coffee. I thought about how in Boston we have several months of the school year with snow and it being bitterly cold. I wanted to give them a chance to have the indulgence (personally I think having a cup of coffee is a necessity not an indulgence). I called the school to confirm that they don’t have a coffee machine and they said they didn’t. Perfect, right?

So I found one easily at Office Depot, and had to make sure it was one for an office setting and not just for residential use, especially since I am hoping this will be a popular appliance in the teacher’s lunchroom. Of course that meant it was pricier than the $100 I had in budget but I was happy to put in the difference, since I clearly see the difference they make in the lives of our children. I am giddy excited for them to see and use this coffee machine. Now, shhh, I don’t want them to find out before they see it!

Disclosure: I am an Office Depot REAL Change blog ambassador. This post is part of a campaign where I was compensated for my time. To learn more about REAL Change, visit their website.

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