Since I am responsible for the original message these are my thoughts in
response to your question:
-I agree with you, handmade gifts are the best!
-I guess I do not really think of Mother's day as a holiday art
opportunity. I do stay away from holiday projects for Christmas,
Halloween etc. but I teach in a Catholic school so some religious holiday
art is a given.
-As they painted, I actually did encourage the kindies to think of how
much their work would be enjoyed by their Moms/families/loved ones- but I
think, as you said, that it should be my choice to create one gift per
class that integrates or is used by classroom teachers - not their call.
-You are also right that I was flattered to have them think so highly of
the results, but I was hearing the unsaid message that if I could do this
for them they wouldn't have to waste their time worrying about coming up
with a Mother's day gift...you would have to know the climate of our
school. I am working to change that. I have tried to make K art more about
the process and the experience than the project but this was the grand
finale. I should keep the kids in mind through all of this. I did brag
about them, which is how this all got started.
-my family still laughs about the "pot holder" that I made in
1950something for a kindergarten art project. It was a giant cotton gauze
"pad" - not unlike a double-wide kotex, the edges, whip stitched with RED
yarn. We discovered it in the bottom of a drawer when my mother died. You
just can't buy those kinds of laughs and memories.