Monday, December 31, 2012

A craft made by Mrs. Frakes

I love me a good project. And earlier this month, my son's student teacher was graduating. She had finished her internship and was getting ready to move out into the "real world" of teaching. So of course, I had to make her something!

Have I mentioned before that I am a teacher? I say "am" because although I'm not in the classroom anymore, it's in my bones. It's part of who God gifted me to be. And I have a huge heart for the men and women who go into schools every day to mold minds, tend boo-boos, counsel, and yes, protect. Oh, and they also teach. Your kids, my kids, and even the children who are hard to love. Some of my favorite students are the ones whose name never made my short list on baby naming in my own home. Too many crazy teaching moments were associated with those names. And no, I won't tell you what they were, to protect the innocent. ;)

But back to sweet Miss B, who hadn't yet had to come up with money in her own family's budget to buy classroom supplies, or hide her kids under desks for a "stay put drill" while secretly shaking inside about what these drills represent. She has much she will learn, very soon, about children. About families. About parents doing the best they know how to do and not even knowing it's not enough. Teaching is hard work. It strains your wallet, your family (if you have one), your mind, your time, and mostly your heart.

So I wanted to send Miss B off with a gift with which she could always fondly recall her first group of little loves. I got one when I student taught and then went on to make one for myself every year I taught. 9 in all. The kids loved looking at them, guessing what they would look like, and coming back the next year to see how they would remain in infamy. So without further ado, let me share with you my fingerprint art.

I went in on a day Miss B was gone and took a canvas, a sharpie, and some tan paint. Each kid came one by one to put their "print" on the canvas, with me guiding their landing. Then I wrote their name underneath it and took it home.

There, I began turning these little blobs into people with personalities! I used a sharpie for that, too.

I filled in pony tails with sharpie, added a ribbon to the edges of the canvas, and wrote on the front in my favorite font-like handwriting.

I also added jewels to the corners because HELLO, who doesn't need some sparkle in their day? True story: I had a big sparkly chandelier hanging over my desk last year. It was the talk of the building (since we had no walls). I'm not sure if everyone thought I was kooky or cool, but it made me happy. And that made the kids happy.

See those little cutie patooties? I ran out of room, so I threw ones of those sweet little gals on her bff's shoulders. Perfect solution. What I DON'T have a solution for is how to turn these pictures upright. Grrr. See? An imperfect blog, written by an imperfect lady. Truth.

Then I added a ribbon by hot gluing it onto either side at about the same height. After I had the loop, I tied a bow on with a separate ribbon.

Do you know that when the kids surprised her with a party and gifts, she cried? Yes, she will make an excellent teacher. Her heart is there.

Miss B and my sweet little guy. Her favorite. I'm sure. Okay, okay, I know you're not supposed to have favorites. But if she did.... ;)

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