Make Teachers’ Gifts Practical, Personal

Teachers play a vital role in shaping young minds and guiding the guardians of the future.

It is a hard and often thankless job that can test even the kindest person’s patience without much remuneration. Even a little token of appreciation can mean much. As the school year draws to a close, take a little time to get a thoughtful and heartfelt gift for your children’s teachers.

Alicia on individualization:

Because your child gets individual attention from the teacher, your gift should be specific, too. You might call the teacher for an end-of-the-school-year conversation about how your child did and what he or she might need to do over the summer. Try to ask a few innocuous questions that will lead you to picking out a unique gift: hobbies, summer plans and the like. Then ask your child what specifically he or she liked about this teacher and mention that in the card.

Sarah on teaching opportunities:

Make sure your child is there when you present your gift. Your child will see you being gracious and giving, as well as communicating with the teacher about your child’s past and future. Not only will your child see that teachers need to be respected, but that parent and teacher are on the same team, which in turn helps your child respect the teacher.

Here are a few tips.

#1. A team effort
Staying with the theme of teaching your kids to respect and appreciate teachers, work on the gift together. For instance, you might buy a gift and have your child make the card. That can mean anything from old-fashioned card stock and crayons/markers to using a computer design program and printing it out. If your student knows that the teacher likes dogs or cats or pandas, then that can be incorporated into the card.

#2. Stress: out
Teaching is stressful, so a stress-relief gift might be just the right thing. Going off what you learned in your phone conversation, there are any number of great gifts out there. For the cerebral, getting a little time to read a favorite book is something that many look forward to, so a nice hardbound edition of “Pride and Prejudice” could be perfect. For the more active, a few yoga sessions can help melt the stress away. Almost any teacher would love to get a half-hour massage. If you want to team up with another parent or two, you could pitch in for a spa day.

#3. Lending a hand

Nothing helps ease the burden like taking on some of the work. At the end of every school year, the teacher must go in and take down all the classroom stuff and pack away a plethora of items. What better way to say thanks than by offering to spend a day helping wrap up the school year so the teacher can start his or her summer that much faster.