Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's Genius!

Have you ever stumbled upon an idea that completely transformed the way you do something? As teachers, that's what we're always trying to do, right? We're always looking for better, more fun, more exciting ways to teach, to decorate, to get organized, AND... the list could go on and on. Case and point... Pinterest! That topic right there could be an entire blog post but we’ll save that for another day. Let’s talk about class parties.

I don't know about you but two phrases that come to my mind when discussing them... fun for the kids… a nightmare for teachers. Being totally honest here, I love seeing the kids enjoy a class party but I definitely do not enjoy planning and attempting to maintain control during these "blessed" events. <Sorry about the sarcasm!> Maybe it's just me but when it comes to class parties, I have always struggled with figuring out the best way to decide who brings what. For example, my first year teaching, I just told my class, bring whatever you want to share with the class for the Valentine's party. I took the total "laidback" approach with that one and, well, that worked... kids brought stuff to share, but we ended up with a bunch of cookies, candy, and cupcakes. The kids were pumped but it was a total sugar overload. Yes, the idea worked, but was it really the best way? Definitely not.

 I think as teachers this is constant thing for us, trying to get from the good, to the better, the best. I am not satisfied with something being ok. If it’s worth doing, I want to do it in the best way possible!

Anyway, back to this genius idea. This discovery came from my small group at church. Once every week we meet at someone's house in our group and have Bible study and prayer meetings so people volunteer to bring snacks or dessert by emailing the host what they want to bring. This wasn't working at all so my friend discovered a website called SignUp Genius where you can make an online sign up list that gets sent out by email. People can see everything that is needed for the event and sign up for whatever they want to bring. Then the creator of the sign up gets an email every time someone signs up! What's also really cool about it is that you can set it up to send email reminders 2 days before the event so people actually remember to bring what they signed up for. Are you seeing how awesome this could be for events that require people to bring something??

Seriously, the first time I used it for a class party, I got parents raving to me about how easy and convenient it was for them. And as the teacher, I could go on and on about how easy and convenient it was for me too! Win. Win.

Check it out. Play around with it. It’s genius!