This is my 9th year teaching, and I have had some amazing teacher appreciation weeks and some that were a little more lame. If you send your kids to school, chances are, you’ve got some appreciating to do. If you have time to read this article, you probably have time to make a teacher feel like the 7 more years of student loans they have to pay off are worth it.
Here is your comprehensive guide for truly appreciating the teachers who daily teach your offspring;
- Don’t count on the school doing the appreciation for you. I have worked in 4 different school districts and they’ve ranged widely in how they celebrated teacher appreciation week. At one district, they brought in a masseuse, provided lunch, and hosted a happy hour. Another one gave us a pen that said “I appreciate you.” The worst of all was an email from the admin that said, “my secretary forgot it was teacher appreciation day, so the donuts didn’t make it for breakfast, I’ll bring some next week.”
- If what you are thinking of giving a teacher resembles, in any way shape or form, a knickknack or trinket, STOP! Check out some other great ideas that teachers actually want/need here.
- Don’t forget the other teachers in your kid’s life. They also have PE, art, music, maybe speech therapy, maybe french. These people need to be appreciated, too!
- If you have the means, buy a gift card. As my fellow contributor wrote, Starbucks gift cards are great. Also consider target, a liquor store, a spa, etc. Any of these things would be a most welcome treat.
- If you have the time, make lunch. One of the most thoughtful gifts I ever received was from a parent who brought lunch to the whole grade level team, about ten people. They let us know ahead of time, so we knew not to pack our lunch for that day. They made a lasagna and included a dessert. Another grade level had a parent who ordered Chinese delivery.
- If you don’t have the means for a gift card, no problem! Sit down with your kid and write a sincere thank you card. What I mean by “sincere” is, write specific examples of things the teacher has done that has enhanced your child’s educational experience. Include a list of your kid’s 5 favorite memories from the school year. Tell him or her you appreciated the care that went into planning the field trip. Or if they gave you extra grace when you forgot the treats you were responsible for at the class party. Tell them you will miss them, tell them how much you appreciate their time, their care, and their career choice.
- Above all, please just make sure your child’s teacher knows that the work they do is seen.