5 Peachy Facts About Memorial Day!

5 Peachy Facts About Memorial Day!

 

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend and that means we’re all ready for the bell to ring and begin a long-waited 3-day weekend! While we’re looking forward to this extra chance to relax, the true meaning of the holiday is also at top of mind—to remember and honor those who have served our country and those we have lost in their service to our country. In the spirit of remembering, here are five peachy facts about Memorial Day!

  1. Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. The holiday was first created to honor the fallen soldiers of the American Civil War. Following World War I, Memorial Day became a day to honor soldiers killed in all wars.
  2. The term ‘Decoration Day’ had interesting roots. The initial decree for May 30th to become a nationwide commemoration declared that all Americans should lay flowers and decorate graves of fallen soldiers.
  3. There are many Memorial Day traditions. A core tradition is remembering the fallen by placing flowers on the graves of those who have died in military service. On Memorial Day, the American flag is to be hung at half-staff until noon, and then raised immediately after. In 2000, a newer tradition began, that of encouraging all Americans to pause for a National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00 PM local time.
  1. Memorial Day didn’t become a federal holiday until 1971. While Americans first embraced the holiday in 1868, there were no official 3-day weekends until 1971!
  2. Waterloo, NY has the honor of being the originator of this holiday. Many communities held similar ceremonies before it was dubbed a nationwide remembrance, so there’s a bit of dispute over where Memorial Day first originated. However, Waterloo, New York became the officially designated originator of the national holiday when Lyndon B. Johnson and Congress declared the town the official birthplace of Memorial Day.

With all this in mind, it’s also important to take this moment as a well-deserved pause before the end of school. Whether you’re taking this time to get away for the weekend, lighting up the grill for a family BBQ, or just taking the day to rest, the teacher Peach team wishes you and all of the mazing teachers in your life a SAFE, happy, and relaxing long Memorial Day weekend.

Inspired to shop? Treat yourself to a Teacher Tote or any other tote bag as part of the TOTES FAB Sale! Save 15% off when you use code: TOTES15 through May30th!

“Bye, Mommy!”— End-of-School-Year Thoughts

“Bye, Mommy!”— End-of-School-Year Thoughts

 

I got a ride to the train today. Of course, I was running late. The car ride was full of typical off-to-school, off-to-work stresses as my ten-year-old sat in the backseat, her larger-than-she-is backpack bouncing on her lap. We’ve all been counting, counting, counting—how few days of school still remain.

I jumped out midway through their ride to school, this stop timed perfectly to the outbound train that arrives before my inbound one. Yes, our well-orchestrated winter ride strategy still worked brilliantly. Though I missed my warm weather walk to the train, I was pleased they made the light. As I walked to “my spot” on the train platform, from of the corner of my eye I caught our car turning the corner. Then, as though travelling in a bubble from only her to only me, wafted the most wonderful words. “Bye, Mommy!” she shouted, as loudly and innocently as only a happy ten-year-old can shout.

Bye, Mommy. As I watched the car drive out of my sight, I realized how special those words are, and how soon I’m going to trade them in for something much more middle school-esque; a groan perhaps, coupled with an eye roll? Maybe not, but I steel myself for this transition nonetheless. Truth be told, my thirteen-year old, quite the well-ensconced middle school student, would never do either. She’s simply and appropriately shed the innocence of shouting out of car windows.

Bye, Mommy. Savor this, I thought. I considered the many other losses of this time of year—the loss of structure that’s traded for the freedoms of summer, the many good byes, and in our case, the loss of an entire school. This is our last year at the intermediate school, one of my favorites in our school system. It’s totally geared to all things 8–10 years old, nothing more, and nothing less. And it does it all brilliantly. Yet now, this too we must lose. Our time there is over. I do know from experience that the next school, though different, is equally wonderful and perfectly suited to all issues aged 11–14. I know that our youngest will thrive there as our older child now does. It’s not about the gains, though, not yet. At this time of year, it is about the losses first—to make room for the gains.

My mind flashed next to the many teachers I’m riding on this train to serve, the teachers that are the pure raison d’être for Teacher Peach, the reason I bound into this work I love each morning. How do you do it, teachers? You form such incredible bonds with your students. You spend the beginning months of the school year exploring all of your students to learn who they are. Then you seamlessly shift to helping them discover who they can become on your short ten-month watch. You coach, cajole, foster, encourage, and lead each of them to their next benchmark of progress. And then you must say goodbye. And you graciously, kindly, and lovingly let go. How do you stand the losses? Or are they losses at all?

My thoughts move to the teacher who started all of this for me, my mother, sporting her Cameo pin in the photo at the top of this blog. My mother taught in early childhood for almost 40 years. It is through her that I first learned two things that shaped my professional life: one, that teachers possess amazing gifts to inspire other people (as you do for me, each day!), and two, that I’d probably never be a teacher in the pure sense of the word. According to my mother, I lacked the patience required, instead possessing the talent to capture and express the passions of others in ways that inspire them to keep sharing their gifts. The mission of Teacher Peach proves her accuracy, yet again. (She was rarely wrong, my mother.)

My mother didn’t see the endings of school years as losses. She was a teacher through and through. Each year, she gained new little faces and each year she happily sent off these awakened curious little minds to their next adventures in Kindergarten. She made it all look so easy.

She’d say, “That young child is going to be a doctor. This little one is going to be on the stage.” Years later, she’d go to many a doctor’s appointment only to meet a young doctor whose name she recognized. “So, I see you did become a doctor. I told your mother you would back when you were in preschool, Julia Louise.” She never forgot even a middle name. She was right about her predictions. Even when the stage she’d predicted turned out to be a boardroom, it was still a stage, tapping into those talents she’d detected so long ago. She was also spot-on when she reassured worried parents. “I promise you, Lynne, he will not walk down the aisle wearing shorts or carrying a pacifier. He moves at his own pace. He’ll be just fine.” And he usually was.

Perhaps that’s how most teachers cope with losses. Perhaps to teachers, these endings aren’t loses at all; they are accomplishments, part of the process, and a path to new beginnings. At least they were to my mother. We’d joke that she was like the Lone Ranger, standing off to the side as she watched her young charges bound off to those next adventures. We even scripted her lines, envisioning her turning to her Tonto, her trusty assistant teacher, to say, “Yes, our job is done here, Esther. We must move on and meet our next adventure. We have 28 new little ones coming to join us in a few weeks. Right now, it’s off to summer play camp for us.”

This time of wrapping up another school year, filled with bittersweet endings and shiny new beginnings for the kids and families, might be as filled with emotion for the teachers our company works to support. In the case of our teachers, I hope it is as it was for my mother, a time of rich, happy emotion. I hope it is a time of pride of progress, delight in the new discoveries made, and a time to measure what’s been accomplished, for the students and their teacher-guides.

And so our teachers continue to teach. This time I’m the student, learning from the amazing teachers in my past and my present that losses can be good, even easily twisted into progress markers on a journey of learning. I liked this train ride today. Yes, we will continue to count down the number of school days left in our house, of that I am sure. After hearing “Bye, Mommy,” this morning, however, I think I shall count just a little bit more slowly from here on out.

I hope this personal reflection touches a chord for you. At Teacher Peach, we strive to inspire teachers to recognize the incredible contributions you make to each and every student in your charge. You make huge differences. Know that, like my mother knew it. We do.

How will you wrap up this school year? What predictions will you make about your students? What are your particular points of pride about this recent school year? We’d love to hear from you here.

Y is for…

Y is for...

 

Thank you for yearning to teach us to say YES to today without yielding to yesterday.

We are so thankful for the remarkable community of educators that have devoted their lives to the betterment of their students. Teaching is a calling, a yearning to share your expertise with the world, and it takes an extraordinary individual to fulfill that passion. By teaching, you create bridges between academic education and personal growth, lifting us to be even better than we were yesterday. Teaching is one of the most important professions, yet you lead your day with a smile and never yield under pressure. Thank you for saying YES to teaching, for you improve the quality of life for countless students each day.

Z is…

Z is...

 

Thank you for zeroing in on each of us with your zest to reach all of us as we zoom through the year together.

Teacher Peach’s “Thank You Letters from A-Z” series has come to a close, but our appreciation for teachers continues on every day! To “zip” up this series’ final letter, we present to you, the letter “Z”.

By zeroing in on a different aspect of each lesson, you continue to give us the highest quality of education. Your zest for learning is contagious, and your positive mental attitude makes the classroom feel like home. While you zoom through your school year, please take a moment to remember that teachers make the world a better place—and you forever have a place in our heart for it.

Don’t forget to take advantage of all of the A-Z FREE printable posters as a reminder of how appreciated you are!

For all that you give, and all that you do, we have a special sale, just for you! The first official Teacher Peach 72-Hour BOX Sale starts at noon CDT May 6th through noon May 9th. SAVE $10 on each Once Upon a Box for HOME with Coupon Code BOXSAVE10 and receive a FREE tote bag with your box order!

We Appreciate Teachers EVERY Week of the Year!

We Appreciate Teachers EVERY Week of the Year!

 

Teacher “Thank You Letters!” Tribute

Since early April, Teacher Peach has been expressing our thanks to the millions of teachers who are out there working so hard for kids with an A to Z Collection of “Thank You Letters” Graphic FREEBIES. We’ve been sharing this alphabetical adventure as a tribute to the powerful contributions teachers make in the lives of their students and their families, as well as to their schools and communities. We call these letters FREEBIES because they are yours to download, display, pin, post, and project on a whiteboard—FREE. We’ve already received great response to this tribute. There’s one I’d like to share with you.

Two days ago, a team member came into my office. “Randi, you’ll want to be involved in this. A Professional Development Specialist in Phoenix, Arizona would like an advance copy of the remaining letters in this tribute—before we release them. In fact, she wants them NOW. She loves them and has been printing them out and hanging them up in her department for all of the teachers to enjoy.  She’d like to display the entire alphabet for Teacher Appreciation Week that will be going on before we will have released the last few letters. What do you think? Can we share these with her now?”

What do I think? I think this is exactly why we created this tribute! I think it is fabulous that teachers are excited about these FREEBIES—hanging them, posting them, sharing them, pinning them, and generally treasuring them as much as Teacher Peach treasure teachers. Of course, we shared the letters immediately.

Please meet Julie B. and check out the beautiful display she created in her office with all 26 letters of the alphabet. Isn’t it stunning? Bravo, Julie.

As an extra thank you for Teacher Appreciation Week, we have a colorful alphabetical screen saver—just for you. To register at teacherpeach.com to receive your very own screen saver of all 26 letters!

At Teacher Peach, appreciating teachers is not a one-week proposition. We appreciate teachers 52 weeks a year—every year. It’s our mission and it’s also just how we’re wired around here. Every action we take is about teachers. Every product we create focuses on what will work for teachers, what will spark teachers, and what will help teachers help their students. We ask ourselves endless questions: “Will teachers be proud to carry this tote? Will kids understand what this card means? Is this sticker cool enough? Will this bag hold enough? Will this cup keep a teacher’s cherished cup of coffee warm enough all morning long? Will receiving this product as a gift bring smiles to teachers? Will it delight you? Will our products help teachers know that people truly appreciate all that you do?” These are just a few of the many questions we ask as we tackle our work each day.

Teacher Appreciation Week Does Matter
At Teacher Peach, we think one week a year is an excellent start. As for us? We’ll be here valuing teachers and the profound work  teachers do—this week and every week, 24-7, as always.

Randi
The Chief Peach!

W is for…

W is for...

 

Thank you for waking us up to the wonders of the world with your wisdom.
 

Thank you for making the classroom a place of joy and making learning exciting. By sharing your knowledge you ignite our sense of wonder, driving us towards the next “Ah-ha!” moment. With your help we are collecting moments and gaining wisdom, allowing us to create something wonderful in the world that was not there before. Every day we wake up knowing that we can conquer the world with the gift of education you so generously gave to us.  For these reasons, and so many more, we thank you.

Wear the wisdom you share with Teacher Peach’s Words to Grow By Deluxe Canvas Tote Bag with Rolled Handles, or gift this stylish tote to a teacher whose wisdom inspired you.

X is for…

X is for...

 

Thank you for your many Xs—from x-factors to your x-ray vision, you are x-ceptional!

Teachers—you are x-ceptional!  There are not enough words to express our gratitude for all that you do. You give us the power of education—the ability to read, write, solve mathematical problems, and beyond. We grow in your hands and your influence has no bounds. You are a superhero, predicting our needs with your x-ray vision! You help us discover our unique x-factor, inspiring us to love what makes us special. Through academic and personal growth, you are there every step of the way. Thank you.

For x-cellent teacher gifts check out Teacher Peach’s Once Upon a Box series! There just may be a sale coming up 😉