Friday, August 15, 2008


We have to reward the teachers for coming back to do their job?

This email really bothered me today. It's from the PTA at my daughter's school. They are trolling for donations for the teachers/staff's "Welcome Back luncheon." Let me get this straight. You just had 2+ months off. I'm running to every store in America to make sure you have enough Purell to clear the germs from the world's largest bathroom, enough tissues to soak up the Atlantic ocean and enough sharpened pencils to reach to the moon. And now you want food?

Gas costs $4 bucks a gallon. We haven't turned on the AC in two weeks, after the first electric bill in this new house, which is smaller than any house we've ever had. My kids are climbing the walls. I'm stuck to the ceiling trying to avoid them.

And now I have to FEED YOU LUNCH AS A REWARD FOR COMING BACK TO DO YOUR JOB!????? Homey don't think so!!!



Dear Parents, The PTA will be providing a welcome back luncheon for the staff this year onMonday, August 25th at 12:00 pm. In order to keep our costs to a minimum and still have a festive luncheon, the PTA will be providing sandwiches andside dishes. We are hoping that our parents may be able to donate eitherbottled water or desserts. We realize that everyone is busy getting the last bit of fun out of thesummer vacation and want you to know that we appreciate any help you areable to offer. If you are able to donate, please email us with what you will be providingby Tuesday, August 19th at: or Additionally, if you are available to help set up or serve, we could alsouse some help. You may drop off your contributions in the cafeteria between 10:30-11:30 amon the 25th. Again, thank you very much.

(PS) If you're a teacher, before you rip me, let me tell you that I bought 27 Lenox China votive holders last year as teacher/aide gifts. I treat my kids' teachers like gold, because they work so hard. This is an issue with the stinking PTA - which I'm guessing doesn't include many autism Moms.....

40 comments:

~Miss Nelson said...

I am not a teacher, but I do work work in public schools here in CT. In one school where I work, the principal provides a welcome back lunch/staff picnic on the day before school. The superintendent provides a continental breakfast on the day he gives a welcoming address to talk about the school year (just as a courteousy).

AT THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR, the PTA gives an appreciation luncheon to say thank you. I have never heard of a lunch to welcome them back at the start of the year in which parents are involved. (Let them do something first.. ha ha!)

Kim Stagliano said...

I always participate in the staff appreciation luncheon mid-year. I bake treats - no crappy grocery store treats from me.

Um, you won't out me, Miss Nelson, will you. I'm already out - believe me, plenty of teachers come into this blog.

Welcome. Pack a lunch....

~Miss Nelson said...

Well the fact that you said you don't bring grocery store treats means that I won't out you! Otherwise...

ha ha!

Enjoy the start of the school year!

Kim Stagliano said...

Be careful or I'll bring you GFCF cake....

Cathy said...

I have the same letter!

Kim Stagliano said...

Cathy, what was your reaction? Did you run to Poricelli's for beverages? Or did you roll your eyes? :)

cathy said...

I want to say the second choice, but rolling my eyes wasn't exactly what I did.

Anonymous said...

PTA moms have no clue what it is like to raise a child with autism. I raised 4 children, one on the spectrum, and helped out at their school when I could. Unfortunately, I didn't always meet their expectations. I give you a lot of credit for baking goodies for school events and providing classrooms with supplies. Baking in our house?? I'm still finding hardened cake mix batter on the undersides of tables and chairs years later!!

Amanda said...

In our school we can't even get the parents to help fund raise for the kids let alone treats for the staff! LOL!! Good luck with that one!

My kids go to a special ed school and I would not have a single average word said about the staff let alone a bad one, they are all so fab! And yes like you Kim I spend a fortune on end of term gifts for all 17 that work with my girls

Anonymous said...

My favorite are the $90,000-$100,000 per student ABA centers that continue to cry poverty and convince the gullible parents to fund raise and donate more of their own money and time. You have to wonder if a lot of this money goes right into the pockets of the Directors. Parents are so brainwashed into thinking they must do this for their child to maintain a spot. Asking for more donations should not be permitted at all since parents are under enough stress both financially and time wise and these people who run these places continually take advantage of parents.

Kim Stagliano said...

How about Autism Speaks - hitting up autism parents for donations. That's a choker, ain't it? I just got an email about a small CT school (I think) "fundraising" for Autism Speaks and I laughed out loud. Why, so they can pay for their million dollar website? Puh-leeze...

Kim Stagliano said...

I should point out - this isn't an autism post. I'd be frustrated if my kids with NT in regular programming. A back to work luncheon - the concept just plain bothers me. GO TO WORK AND BE GRATEFUL YOU HAVE A JOB! Lord, I'm getting old and curmudgeonly, aren't I?

Anonymous said...

Most of the small ABA centers are associated with Autism Speaks. Goes to show just how clueless they are and how little they really give a crap about the kids. It's all about fundraising. Such a scam.

Anonymous said...

"last little bit out of summer"

My personal summer "bits"...
Fear of the neighbors pool silently summoning my child, when I am not looking.

Bug bites that last all summer long.

Neighbors lawn mowers sending your child into a chant of noises so loud that it makes your dog howl.

Freakin ice cream trucks. (Why do they have to stop out front of MY house and keep the chime going of "It's a Small World After All"? Yes, it is a small world and getting smaller by the minute.)

Oh and the fabulous, wonderful topping of all "bits" ....drum roll please...Family Get Togethers! Where you have to tactfully, seriously, threaten your relatives (who love and adore your child) NOT to give them cookies, ice cream, cake, brownies, puddings etc etc. OR explain WHY your child doesn't play with the other children. Or WHY your child doesn't talk, give kisses, hug or show affection, to strangers. Or Why your child does that funny little hand flap, spin or look out of the corner of their eyes THING..."That's just so, so, interesting"

It is really telling how school districts don't have a clue as to the "bits of summer" that we have to endure. If they did, I am sure they wouldn't be taxing parents emotions, stamina and patience on luncheon hand outs.

Or would they?

Yes, be grateful that you have a job indeed.

Anonymous said...

I am a mom to a son with autism and also the PTA treasurer for the second year. I am still wondering how I got here? LOL It takes a lot just to "try" to manage our own day to day tasks with our son between therapies, supplements, and special food. I don't even have time to balance my own checkbook, but somehow I find some time to help out. I wish more families who do not have to deal with autism could say the same at my school district! Don't feel bad about helping, most families don't. Too busy with life I guess. I would like to see an episode on Wife Swap where a pampered wife could swicth with a mom dealing with autism plus PTA! LOL I would make the time to watch, how about you?

Kim Stagliano said...

OK, anon PTA Treasurer/autism mom... I'm now hanging my head in shame. Well, not really. I do participate in quite a bit at school - I supplied the classroom with enough GFCF bake mixes to have social skills baking classes for months.

We're digressing - the point is the fact that there IS a welcome back luncheon, not who's helping with it.

K

drama mama said...

Uh, I am a teacher. And an autism mom.

It's a nice gesture. You don't HAVE to donate.

Oh - and those two months - those are designed so that we don't go into a post office and open fire.

On the other hand, as an autism mom, I hear you.

Kim Stagliano said...

Hey, Drama - we appreciate the non-postal moments. Truly. And I know you cover both sides of the razor wire fence. I'll give you a broad smile on August 28. A note wishing you a fine year with my darlings. All the supplies you could ever wish for. GFCF mixes, free books, I'll organize the autism awareness month thingamajig for you - I'll do it all! I won't throw a luncheon for you. Now WHY does this bother me so much? I have no idea. I really don't.

K

Anonymous said...

I know why it bothers me....because what other occupation would people throw luncheons for you just for showing up and doing your job after two months off? Give me a break.

Kim Stagliano said...

I removed a comment. No throwing stones at me readers and/or blog buddies please. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Too funny! I am a teacher, and we are so spoiled by our great parents year round - and we don't have a welcome back luncheon. Our PTA celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week mid-year, with a week's worth of lunches and brunches. It's awesome and very much appreciated! As a parent, I am constantly giving little gifts to my daughter's teachers throughout the entire school year. To all of you autism mommies - my heart goes out to you! I primarily work with kiddos on the spectrum, and I know how hard it is for you. You're amazing!

Anonymous said...

This is my first time commenting on your site. I am a teacher and was definitely insulted by your blog and picture of pigs eating slop. I don't know where all this animosity comes from towards teachers. Yes we did have a 2 month break but we didn't get paid and many of us had to work a 2nd job to get by. You act like we are getting tons of treats and gifts and that it is unfair. Believe me, most teachers did not go into teaching for the chips and 1/2 a wrap.I've heard people complain that they have to donate $5 at Christmas. I give my garbage man 420 for Xmas to say thanks. A teacher is the most important person in a child's life next to the parents and I enjoy any opportunity I get to thank them. Next time if you're asked to donate a snack, ignore it but enough with all this complaining.

Anonymous said...

I am a mother with a grown son with autism and a teacher. When I began teaching some 30+ years ago we had pizza lunches at faculty meetings purchased by the principal. We didn't expect this kindness. We also bought kleenex, paper towels, etc. for our classrooms. Donations were gratefully accepted but never solicited. Over the years, I've noticed a growing sense of entitlement among my colleagues for lunches, supplies, etc. I am embarrassed by this attitude.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I firmly believe that teachers deserve a nice lunch once in a while. A teacher spends more time with a student than any other person in the entire calender year. Teachers are the most important people other than family members in a student's life. As a teacher in another school district, I think that it is a wonderful gesture on the PTA's part to have a lunch provided for the hard working and very much underpaid professionals. Remember, PTA stands for parents and teachers association. PTA members provide numerous hours of free service to the schools, all of which are without compensation. These people can be doing other things with their FREE time, but instead work endless free hours providing great things for our children. If we have to splurge for a couple of lunches a year for our great teachers, then I am the first to line up and pay my money. If you do not want to put money in for the lunches, then simply do not put in money.

Anonymous said...

Regarding special ed. teachers and therapists, while some are very good and dedicated, I have found the majority of them to do as little as possible and have even had a couple of them actually reveal that they went into the special ed. field because they know that they can get away with not doing much and just blame lack of progress on the child's disability. The education field in general has gone down to the drain due to the prima donna attitudes of many of the teachers and therapists. Sorry, but that's the feedback I get from a lot of parents and what I see at MANY IEP meetings I attend.

Kim Stagliano said...

Anon Angry Teacher: Too bad. It's ridiculous to have a "Welcome back" luncheon as if you've all just had babies or returned from an illness. Come back. Do your job. I'll continue to appreciate every one of my kids' teachers.
Even if you're one of them. And my "Are you kidding" is directed at the PTA, not the teachers. The photo is my style - I always for for the jugular in my photo choices. Guess I hit it but good this time! If I see you in the halls, feel free to oink so I'll know who you are....

Cheers.

Kim

Kim Stagliano said...

Anon with the crummy sped teachers: Wow! My girls had three of the very best SPED teachers I could have dreamt up last year. Well trained in autism, devoted, knowledgable. We had a great year. I'm sorry you've had less luck. And that's what it boils down to with teachers - luck of the draw. They're so important, but we don't get to choose them, like a doctor. I think teaching is a noble profession and that they earn every nickel they make. If we can pay a dingbat millions to whack a ball and CEO's bazillions to lose money every quarter, we should be able to pay teachers a hefty salary for working with our kids.

I still hate the lunch. ;)

Kim Stagliano said...

Good lord, 2nd to the last anon. I always participate in the teacher appreciation lunch - mid year or Christmas, whenever it is. It's the Welcome Back part that roiled me.

Who knew this post would be so raucous! I love raucous! Have at it, friends!

Anonymous said...

The seemingly angry Anon. says that, yes they have a 2 month break but she has to work a second job during those months. Ummm....don't most people in the real world have to work year round and not have a two month holiday? Are we supposed to feel sorry for her?

Kim Stagliano said...

Frankly we ALL need second and third jobs right now. I know many teachers who work all summer - at ESY programs, tutoring, other jobs. I don't blame anyone for working extra hard.

Anonymous said...

I love the new nickname and I guess you can call me sensitive that I get upset with being compared to a pig at a trough. All I can say is the appreciation I feel as a teacher on this blog is overwhelming.

Kim Stagliano said...

Then you haven't been reading this blog for long or past one post, dearie. You don't get me. You don't get my humor. You don't have a clue what I go through as a mother of three kids with autism. Enjoy your lunch.

Anonymous said...

I found your comments about the welcome back luncheon, for the teachers, to be very offensive. I have worked in the Trumbull Public School system for over 8 years in the special education and SRP program. There is not one of us there who cares about a welcome back lunch. We care about your children, first and foremost, and then feeling appreciated for the work that we do with them. We are all there because we truly love being with the SRP children. We are not there for the money, especially the ABA Paras who work one-on-one with these children on a daily basis and earn well below the poverty level for the state of Connecticut, or the perks of Lenox China candle holders. The picture of the pigs eating slop and of Bozo the clown were completly over the top and extremely offensive. You are highly mistaken if you think that all we do is sit around and eat and goof off all day. We may not know what it is like to be the parent of an autistic child but we do have a grasp on what it entails to work with them and with their families. I can honestly say that as a parent of a child with special needs, who went through the Trumbull Public School system, I feel outraged that you would take such offense to the PTA wanting to provide the teachers with a lunch to show them we appreciate them and all they do for our children. What other school districts have you been through with your children? Obviously, not many or this wouldn't be an issue. It costs tax payers well over $10,000.00 per year, to accomodate each Special Ed. child and get them the appropriate services they require. As a parent of a child with special needs, an educator in Trumbull and a tax payer, I feel thankful everyday for the teachers that worked with my child to help him succeed and graduate high school. If I am asked to provide them with a welcome lunch, I feel it is the least I could do to show them my small token of appreciation. So, yes you are right, we may not know what it is like to be parenting an autistic child but we do know what it is like to work with 6-8 of these kids in one class at a time and also what it is like to work with 20+ children in a mainstream classroom, with at least one SRP student and many others with IEP's. Parents have an illusion of what it is like to be a teacher and have summers off and weeks during the year but they don't know what happens behind the scenes. The amount of work and time that goes in to each child and class as a whole that parents never see because it is done at home or before and after school, would astound many of them. In closing, please let me say that if you didn't want to contribute to the luncheon you didn't have to but that posting such comments on your web page was over the line.

Anonymous said...

While I understand how much financial hardship parents, especially parents of children with autism, are faced with, I do not understand the lack of respect and crude comments towards education professionals. As many bloggers have said, it is perfectly acceptable and understandable NOT to donate, but to lash out at a community of parents and teachers who work passionately and selflessly for children and families in such an offensive way is disturbing. Teachers are notoriously teased for having "dream" jobs, always underestimated for the amount of time and energy they put into their work. Time taken away from their own family members and loved ones. We work around the clock, taking our students everywhere with us. Do you know that the average teacher spends 1-2 thousand dollars a year of her OWN money on her students and classroom? These are gifts, instructional supplies, cleaning supplies, books, materials, etc. I can only imagine how much more special ed. teachers invest as they are always given the short end of the stick. We spend our hard earned money buying presents for our students, and often parents as well to honor and appreciate THEM during special occasions! We love our job, the families but mostly the students. Plenty of jobs treat their employees regularly to perks like lunches. The difference is that in the field of education, there is no money like that lying around, and we as taxpayers occasionally contribute when we can. The PTA (who are a hard working group of parents and teachers who DO have lives and do not deserve the criticism you give)are much appreciated along with the parents who are able to give, as well as those who are only able to give thoughts of appreciation for our hard work. Times are tough - we as teachers know that better than anyone. Our budgets continue to get crunched, and we are forced to reach into our own pocket to do our job well. You ABSOLUTELY shouldn't donate if you can't - we would never want or expect that! But don't demean us by insinuating we are fat, lazy and greedy pigs. We are far from that.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I have to agree with Kim on this. Welcome back to work lunch? I can understand things like this at the holidays but at the beginning of the year? I just don't get it.

Anonymous said...

One more comment and then I'll drop it. I actually have been reading your blog for over a year. I think you are a talented writer and I usually do get your sense of humor. I don't have a child with autism but a child with special needs. I don't think you are being honest with yourself in that the picture was a joke and you are directing your blog to the PTA. As I read in other comments it is not just me who feels insulted and can feel your anger/resentment towards the people who are teaching your child everyday. Maybe you can explain the humor in comparing the teachers that work so hard with your children to hogs.

Anonymous said...

I also agree with Kim.

This discussion is not about teacher appreciation, at all.

It's about the timing of the luncheon, and requested donations.
We're all busy getting our children ready for back to school, or off to college. Or both.
Shopping for supplies, added classroom donations of wipes, soap, and tissues. I, personally, make a special run to Costco to stock all of my children's classrooms.

I admire the Trumbull teachers. I adore the special ed teachers. I make it known every chance I have to show a small token of appreciation. I've gone above and beyond, and have done many things for the teachers and the classmates to show how grateful I am for their time, and true dedication. I'd like to add, the principal of this school has my utmost respect. I’ve known her for many years, and I think she's brilliant.

But with that said--the scheduling of this is wrong. I'm too busy to bake for a luncheon. Too overwhelmed to shop and purchase a case of water. That also adds an extra car errand for me, to have to drop it off in person. And yes, it's my option not to. But I feel guilty about not being able to contribute, and I assume I'm not alone in those sentiments.

It's not an attack on the teachers. Nor the PTA. It's a question of timing this a day before school begins. Why? Give it a month or two. Let the parents settle the children in. Figure out the bus route, class schedules, and sign all those papers that have to be handed in.

I feel as though it's one more thing the PTA invented to add to the already chaotic back to school events. If they can't afford to provide dessert and water to the limited number of people, they shouldn't have scheduled this.

It's all about the timing, that's all. This is simply a bad idea and an unnecessary burden for parents who do respect the teachers immensely.

If it was three weeks from now, name your dessert. I’ll even make two.

Anonymous said...

Once again I will comment on this. Maybe it is a timing issue. It isn't the best time of year for anyone to add extra burdens to their plate that is already full. However, when is a good time? Lets face it, the economy is terrible so the price of gas to run to the store will always be an issue and also the price of food will always be an issue and lastly, time. When the kids are back in school there is still so much to be done with them and for them that once again we find ourselves overwhelemed with adding one more thing to do. All Kim had to do was state her opinion of how busy she feels people are and that a later time would be better but instead she insulted and belittled the very teachers that work with her children and are choosing to work with her children. One does not work in SRP or special ed if it is not truly their choice. EVERY teacher I know that works in this field does so for their love of your kids. Kim very well could have made a statement about timing without offending anyone but instead chose to add degrading pictures and comments that just aren't necessary. She has got to wonder what the teachers in her daughters schools and especially the ones that work with her children directly, will feel about her and the nasty comments she has made. I think she needs to think before she speaks and posts blogs that are offense to those who work so hard to help her children on a daily basis. Since I know the teachers that work with all three of her girls, I know they are all very caring, compassionate, professional and always give 110% of themselves to those girls and the rest of the children in their classes. These derogatory statements will not have an impact on the way her children are worked with because of the professionalism of the teachers. I understand the frustration of parents and what they are asked to do during the year but I really believe that things need to be thought through before they are said and can't be undone.

Anonymous said...

To the "offended teacher" Anon. Really, just drop it. Clearly your ego was bruised. The more you comment the more you are living up to this statement by one of the other commenters who was a teacher herself:


Donations were gratefully accepted but never solicited. Over the years, I've noticed a growing sense of entitlement among my colleagues for lunches, supplies, etc. I am embarrassed by this attitude.

Kim Stagliano said...

Anon, please stop. You've made your point. It seems to me that if you know my kids you'll be the first one to be whispering, "Did you READ what she wrote? She's a terrible person." I'd suggest you avoid that situation and its veiled threat. You're becoming creepy.

Once again, - it's the timing. The back to school timing. Not the reward for a job well done. The pig in the trough is a visual about EATING - I was not calling all teachers pigs. Give it a rest. It's a blog entry, not the NY Times..... yet.