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One of my scrapbooking friends shared this tradition and I thought I’d pass it on to you!
When her son was young my friend purchased a copy of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss. Throughout the years she secretly gave her son’s teachers the book to sign at the end of the school year. They left notes, poems and some just signed their name. When her son graduated from high school she presented the book to her son at his party. With the party going on all around him he poured over it, going over each page, each signature, each note.
I have one of these special books started for each of my boys and plan on not only having their teachers sign the book but also any other special people/teachers from the school. (A great suggestion made by Basaltine in the comments is to have Scout leaders sign, too! How about coaches?) We switched from a public school to a Catholic school this year and I wish I would have had a few others sign the books last year before we left. I plan on having the school principal, priests, gym teacher, librarian, etc. sign the book next year after they have a chance to get to know the boys a bit more.
I think this would be a great book to give a new mom, along with a note explaining the tradition. I’ve heard from a lot of friends that wish they’d heard of this earlier. I think it’s never too late to start! If it’s convenient you could always go to the teachers and have them sign the book after the year has ended. It will be a special gift, even if you aren’t able to capture every teacher they had!
My friend first learned about this when she was asked to sign a copy of this book for one of her students. She then “stole” the idea for her own son. I invite you to steal the idea, too!
Updated December 30, 2011
This blog post was mentioned on A Sprinkle of This...A Dash of That and I've had some people contact me about the tags. I didn't come up with the idea for these (visit A Sprinkle of This to see her tag idea & for some cute shower gifts to go along with the book!) but I did put something together in a digital scrapbooking program that you can print off & add to your gift.
Click on the tag to download the file.
I’ve had a few requests for a blank tag so here you go!
Click on the blank tag to download the file.These are both originally 4x6 so you can easily print them on your photo printer or upload it and have it printed where ever you print your photos. You can also import it into a Word document and add a text box with a "From" line or add it by hand.
Here is a link to the Dr. Seuss font I used.
I’ve also had some requests for the letter I send with the book. I will be honest and let you know that I usually simply send an email a day or two before I send in the book that goes something like this (my boys go to a Catholic K-8 school):
I’m sending in a copy of “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” to the office and am hoping you’ll write something in it as a surprise for James.
A friend of mine bought this same book for her daughter and had each of her daughter's teachers write a little note and sign it at the end of each school year. She then presented the book as a surprise to her daughter when she graduated high school.
I started this tradition for James with his Kindergarten teachers and hope to continue – at the very least until 8th grade graduation.
If you wouldn't mind, could you write a little something to James in his book? Anywhere in the book is fine, except for the dust cover. Even a favorite Scripture verse would be great!
When you are done could you send it to the office & I’ll pick it up there.
Here is a poem I have saved on my computer – I did not write it and do not know who did but I think it’s darling & hope to use it this year!
Dear Teacher, very grateful to you I would be,
if you would please, please do this favor for me.
I started this gift when James was small,
and plan to complete it by the time he is tall.
Each teacher who helps him along the way,
I hope will autograph –that is to say-
Please add a note, a picture or song,
A special memory can never be wrong.
You have helped make him the person he is
and you can take credit when they call him a whiz!
I will present it to him on commencement day
in honor of you who are so special today.
I don’t know which direction he’ll take – North, South, East or West,
but I do know he thinks his teachers are the best!
Edited to add: I've never had any type of negative reaction when asking someone to sign my books but do think it's good to always try to make teacher's lives easier (not just regarding these books!) Please consider sending in your books early to avoid contributing to the end of the school-year madness!
Updated June 2015
I saw this blog post on Joyfully Thriving & LOVE IT! I think I'll add bible verses to some of the pages.
You can order a copy of "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" at Amazon.com