My friend tells a great story about her perfect teacher gift! Short on time (we know how holidays creep up), she had to think about what a Kindergarten teacher may need. Not sure if you’ve ever experienced a full day with twenty plus kindergarten students , but I have and my gosh it is exhausting. Knowing what they go through, she quickly decided on the perfect present and stuck it in a gift bag to head into school. As she watched her five year old fumbling into the building with a bottle of Bailey’s in one hand and a backpack in the other, it hit her that maybe you aren’t supposed to send in alcohol to school. I am sure that gift quickly went into the teacher’s car!
We have all had great teachers that we’d love to show appreciation to at the end of the school year, but thinking of what to get the teachers isn’t always so easy. Additionally , I want to beg you to remember the classroom teaching aides and specialists who work tirelessly in our schools.
1. A Personalized Note: I am not talking about a quick thank you, but rather a personalized note from the heart. Point out specific examples of how the teacher has personally impacted your child’s life. Better yet have your child write the personal note including a portrait of their teacher. Nothing tickled me more than to see the student’s vision of me!
2. Classroom Supplies: Sadly many of our schools are completely underfunded and only given basic supplies. Teachers pay out of pocket for many of their materials. Children respond to having motivating items in their classroom. Some of my favorites scented markers, classroom games, playground supplies, chart paper, smelly stickers, Kidz Bop Cd’s, and colored pens.
3. Gift Card: Spa, restaurant , coffee, or bookstore gift card. Select a local restaurant and cover a nice dinner or lunch, a spa certificate for a pedicure (only if you know they’d use it), book stores work for self or class, or a coffee certificate which works for any teacher but me!
4. Handpicked Gift: in my jewelry box, I have a bracelet which eventually broke in two pieces from my student Audrey. That year her mom let her spend a bit extra to select something very special for me. She was bubbling over when she presented it to me. I wore the bracelet till it broke, five years later. I also have a special shoe figurine bought at the dollar store by my student Marrissa. Was it my taste ? No, but it was perfectly her taste and she was so proud. Teachers are a rare breed of people and will treasure those specially selected gifts. I don’t mean let your kid just grab something, this is more an example of a gift from the heart!
5. Letter of Recommendation: I have been so fortunate to be gifted many of these, which hold a special place in my portfolio. A teacher’s job is not full of enough praise; on the worst days it can feel quite thankless. Nothing gives a teacher more honor than a letter to the principal, superintendent, or school board detailing just how special your child’s experience was due to the teacher’s efforts.
Remember that it does not take any more than time and a pen to create the perfect teacher gift!