Blog Series: Back to School Prep with A Thoughtful Place

I was lucky enough to have crossed paths with Courtney of A Thoughtful Place at the San Francisco blogger gathering earlier this summer.  Not only was she funny & bubbly she was a wealth of information about everything relating to design in general.  And let’s be real peeps, she has an AWESOME name….that alone would have insured her a spot in this blog series.  But honestly, Courtney’s knack for finding fun, simple and thoughtful ways to kick off the school year with your child’s teacher was the REAL reason I invited her to participate.  Check out her fun projects that will definitely get your child to the head of the class…..

Having met Courtney at a blogger meet up in San Fran, I was over the moon when he invited me to come share some tips on starting the school year off right! I taught fifth grade for over ten years so the first day of school is no stranger to me! Teachers work extremely hard to get the room and curriculum ready to go. My advice to you is to take your child’s teacher a little something on the first day of school. The key to this, though, is a LITTLE something. If you go too big it may be perceived as trying to kiss up be too generous! 

Idea Number One: Fresh Flowers

Teachers have spent hours preparing for this first day of school. There is nothing like a fresh pop of color to place on their desk that first morning. Keep it simple and PLEASE do not bring flowers that are not already in a vase or jar {they don’t have time to deal with that!}. I use my pasta jars as vases. They are cute and chic and cost nothing. Trader Joe’s is a great spot to pick up some daises for only $5. In fact, you can put together two separate bouquets with just the one bundle. That is a price performer. Add a splash of personality with some scrapbook paper. It only takes a little bit of effort to show that you when the extra mile. 

Idea Number Two:  A Little Something Sweet

Why not start the school year off with something sweet. For this treat, I started with waffle cookies form Trader Joe’s and simply dipped them in melted chocolate chips. 

The extra effort comes in the packaging. It only takes a few minutes to pop them in a clear bag and top with a folded piece of scrapbook paper. I simply staple each side to keep it together. You could really fill these treat bags with anything. If you don’t have time to make something, how about a handful of store bought chocolate covered blueberries?  



No matter what you choose to give the teachers on the first day, a hand written note is a very thoughtful idea. Just a simple note with your gift that says you are looking forward to the year and thank you for preparing the classroom. 

Sharpened pencils and the smell of new crayons tops the list as one of my favorite parts of back to school. My daughter begins Kindergarten this year! Such a milestone. I will definitely be handing her teacher one of these little gifts. Happy school year to you all! Thanks for having me, Courtney!

Thank you Courtney for these awesome ideas!  Taking a little extra time to introduce yourself and your child with these treats is a great way not only to introduce your child to his/her teacher but also to introduce yourself as a parent.  Most of my friends who are teachers complain that they rarely hear from parents unless there is an issue, so imagine how surprised and delighted they will be to get one of Courtney’s awesome gifts!

So tell me, do you do something special for your child’s teacher at the beginning of the year?   Leave a comment and let me know!  And guess what, the party doesn’t stop because tomorrow, I am tickled to have Shannon Berrey share her perspective on back to school prep!

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13 thoughts on “Blog Series: Back to School Prep with A Thoughtful Place

  1. Thank goodness mine aren’t old enough for school yet! I’m not sure I’m ready for the pressure!!! But when the time comes, you can bet I will be grateful for this sweet tip and so will their teachers! (c: Courtney (both of you), you never cease to amaze me!

  2. Great ideas – I found you over at a Thoughtful Place and will definitely be checking back with you! I had never thought about a beginning of the year gift! I will have to plan something! Thanks for the inspiration. By the way, my younger son is starting kindergarten this year too!

  3. Love the special touches of the packaging. It’s all in the details! I think I’ll try those waffle cookies just for fun!

    Remember that one time you and Court had the same business cards with the same font?! Good times (;

  4. Such fantastic ideas! My oldest is starting pre-school in a few weeks and I will for sure be doing something special for his teacher. I love the idea of a hand written note, along with flowers in an old pasta jar…the little details really make it special.

  5. Pingback: Blog Series: Back to School Prep with Simplified Bee | Courtney Out Loud

  6. Pingback: Working with your Child’s Teacher | Katherine Simms

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