May 5, 2015

5 Out Of The Box Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

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Teacher Appreciation Gifts

It’s the first week of May and for many that means Teacher Appreciation Week. It’s a time to let those who spend hours with our children ever week know that we appreciate them. And hopefully, an opportunity for our children to say thank you to the men and women who are trying to make a positive difference in the lives of our children.

Every year teachers spend a great deal of their money on supplies for the classroom, and to me that’s appalling. That we don’t have the resources for them and our children is terrible. Many teachers spend countless hours, unpaid, ensuring our kids are safe and cared for before and after school. They tutor, free of charge. They counsel parent, students and co-workers, without asking for comp time. And when it comes time to thank them, the school sends home a flyer asking for glue and pencils and markers and tissues and paper towels and stuff like that.

All of that is really nice, and very helpful. But for some teachers it’s not possible for their families to make those kind of donations. For many teachers, the parents of their students can’t put dinner on the table every night or buy kids new shoes when they outgrow the one pair they have. For many teachers, there are no boxes of chocolates or gift cards. For others, there are so many gifts it takes multiple trips to the car.

I want to share something new about teacher appreciation. To talk about how teacher appreciation is not just for the elementary or middle school teachers, when we’re more involved. I want to remind those of you with kids in high school that those teachers are often the last to hear words of appreciation. Parent involvement tapers off greatly by 9th grade and the only time teachers tend to hear from parents is when there is a problem. Imagine never hearing words of gratitude in your jog? It’s got to be rough. But each and every school day they show up and do their best to teach our kids.

So I’ve come up with what I think are 5 Out of the Box Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas that will make a difference.

1. A note from your child – regardless of grade, a short note of thanks to a teacher means so much more than we believe it does. For younger kids, they can draw a picture too. For older kids, even a few words of gratitude can make the whole year worthwhile.

2. A note of thanks from you – especially for the higher grades, it’s important for teachers to know that we value their work with our children. You don’t have to buy a gift to say thank you, how about just saying it?

3. A note to a former teacher – sometimes it’s not until our child has moved on that we understand how much a teacher meant to us or our child. It’s never too late to say thanks!

4. A gift to a teacher at an underprivileged school – If you can afford to get your child’s teacher a gift, consider giving a gift to a teacher at an underprivileged school in the teacher’s name. A few years ago I bought donuts for the teachers at my daughter’s school. Instead of buying enough for each teacher to have 2 donuts, I donated half to the teachers at a nearby school known to be in a lower economic area. You have no idea how grateful they were to be remembered. My daughter’s teacher doesn’t need 20 more rolls of paper towels to add to the existing 15 she already has. But there are teachers at other schools who do need these. Be generous in honor of your child’s teacher!

5. A donation to a cause the teacher is passionate about – Sometimes we know a teacher’s outside interest. While others are giving the teacher lotions and shower gel, why not make a donation in the teacher’s honor to a cause he or she cares about. Show you care by supporting something the teacher is passionate about.

Of course, if you want to send along a treat, these Apple for the Teacher cupcakes would be pretty spectacular. And don’t forget the best pencil sharpener ever is always a hit too.

Sara

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