Give teachers what they really want! From our own Jeannie Evans who has been classroom teacher and tutor for years and has received her share of apple ornaments and other other apple-themed decor.
Most of her gift suggestions will cost you little if any money, but they will make a huge difference in the morale of these special people who are nurturing and educating our world’s future leaders – your children.
Here are ideas for meaningful year-long teacher gifts:
Speak Respectfully about Your Child’s Teacher – Even When You are Frustrated
Most teachers invest much time, energy, care and their own money in educating their students. Teachers are definitely not perfect, but please choose carefully the setting in which you choose to vent your frustration about a teacher. When parents express disrespect for a teacher in front of a child, it will likely be reflected in the student’s attitude in the classroom. Request a parent teacher conference to address your concerns, the old saying applies in most public settings “if you can’t find something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Turn in Requested Forms, Papers and Money on Time
There is no telling how much valuable instructional time is spent when teachers have to spend extra time and effort tracking down things which parents don’t send in. As much as possible, try to return things the day after they come home, so that they don’t end up lost in your stack of things to do.
Do Not Slay the Messenger
The expression “slaying the messenger” derives from the ancient practice of a messenger being sent to deliver a message of bad news and being killed by the receiver of the news. Teachers are usually the ones to share the observations that a child is struggling and may need extra help in a particular area, Understand that teachers are on your side and want to work with you to make your child a successful learner, so please don’t take out your frustration about the message on the messengers who deliver it.
Offer Assistance in the Classroom
Most elementary school teachers have many things waiting to be cut out, copied, or otherwise prepared, if you can share some time to work on these tasks at school or home, let your teacher know that you are willing to help.
Respect the Teacher’s Time
Teachers need time at the beginning of the day to do last-minute tasks in the classroom and to get their students settled for the day. Send a note or e-mail to request a conference time, instead of trying to talk when you bring your child to school.
Say, Write, and Share Positive Words about Teachers with Others
Notes of encouragement from parents to teachers mean the world to dedicated educators. After long and tiring days of teaching, seeing positive words from a parent can make a huge difference in a teacher’s attitude. If you observe your child’s teacher going above and beyond what is required, please tell other parents and the principal what you are seeing that teacher do and how much you appreciate it.
And just in case you’re still looking for some ideas of wrap-able gifts that teachers really do enjoy:
- Classroom supplies (or gift cards to Staples, Kaplan’s, or other school supply stores)
- Coupons offering help in the classroom
- Notes and pictures from you and your child
- Something handmade by your child
- Gift cards for coffee, favorite restaurants or stores
- Donations to a favorite charity
Enjoy your holiday season … and keep giving those year-long teacher gifts to the special ones in your life!