Happy Teacher Appreciation Day! If anyone deserves to have a day devoted to recognizing their hard work, it’s a teacher. No one is exempt from being grateful for teachers, whether it be one who had a deep impact on us many years ago, or one who is currently investing in our child’s education –and life– as we speak.
Simple gestures go a long way. Many teachers feel they are constantly giving, investing long hours every week outside of the classroom to better the lives of their students in every way possible, yet receive very little in return (outside of the joy of seeing their students learn and grow, of course). In light of this special day, we encourage you to spend a few extra minutes, and do something special for that overworked, underappreciated teacher in your life. Not only will this give you an opportunity to do something together with your child, but it will also help your child see the value of his or her teacher, and grow in areas of thoughtfulness, generosity and respect.
We have asked some of our favorite teachers we know to share creative ways a student can show their appreciation – we have gathered the best ideas for you below!
Write a hand-written letter
In our digitalized culture, receiving a hand-written letter means more than ever before. Receiving one from a student, or even a parent, shows that you were willing to put a little extra effort into saying “thanks.” As you would in any thank you note, don’t forget to point out how her gift of teaching is benefitting your child, and include something specific your child likes about her class. As letters like these grow increasingly less common, yours will be sure to make it on the fridge.
Send in a treat
Who doesn’t love it, or feel loved when a delicious snack is involved? Next time you have extra baked goods, wrap some up and send them in to class with your child. This extra treat may be just what the teacher needs to get through a tough Monday morning, or an exhausted Friday afternoon.
Extra credit: try to find out if the teacher has any dietary restrictions, so you can send in a healthier alternative if necessary. There’s nothing worse than being given a mouth-watering batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies, and having to smile and simply give them away.
Volunteer in the classroom
Give the gift of time! Every teacher can use extra help, whether it involves helping make copies or aiding in crowd control. Even if your limited schedule only allows you to come for an hour every month, the teacher will still be grateful. Also, studies have proven that it helps promote a child’s educational success, so everyone benefits!
Give a gift card
When you don’t have time to bake goodies, volunteer, or make crafts with your children, simple gift cards are always a winner. They are easy and quick to buy, don’t have to cost you very much ($5-$10), and allow the receiver to use it when and how they please. Some ideas include, local coffee shops (Starbucks is not the only store), a favorite restaurant in your area, VISA or AMEX cards, or even your nearby grocery store.
Show them respect
While all these tangible gifts are awesome, the greatest gift any parent can give a teacher is the gift of respect. Our current educational climate is often teacher-blaming, and kids are becoming more and more disrespectful. No one has more influence in a child’s life, or power to help create a culture of respect towards teachers, than parents.
Where do we start? Practically, that’s viewing the teacher as a professional, and exemplifying someone who wants to partner with them to make the best environment for their child. It’s working with the child at home to remember expectations at school.
Respectful kids are the best gift, because that keeps the classroom safe, and helps everyone learn.
As most educators have a background in language arts, along with witty, tasteful senses of humor, including puns in your gifts will guarantee that they stand out from the crowd. And who doesn’t love a good laugh? Here are a few fun ideas to get you started:
Remember - you don't have to wait for a designated holiday to reach out to your favorite educator! Any day is a perfect opportunity to teach your child how to demonstrate a thankful heart, and the benefits can be reaped for a lifetime.
As you and your child think about ways to show gratitude for their teacher, take the opportunity to go over the basics of safety together! Our no-cost McGruff Safe Kit provides all the resources you need to learn these concepts in a kid-friendly way. Request yours today!