As the end of the school year is swiftly approaching, it’s time to reflect on the fact that there is an adult out there who spent every day with your child (and probably 100 or so others) because he or she wanted to. While many people give holiday gifts to teachers, the end of the school year is often overlooked and would be a nice time to thank those teachers for all that they do. So put away the craft fair wooden apples and anything that was made by a child, and start thinking about what you would want after spending 180 days, or more, with kids.
- A coffee shop gift card. It’s no secret that teachers love coffee, so grab a gift card and say thank you for a wonderful year. Better yet, buy some pastries or bagels and deliver them with the gift card.
- Your time. Whether you can volunteer to chaperone a field trip or show up and help in the classroom, teachers would appreciate your time and support.
- A book to support their own professional development. Teachers spend hundreds of hours each year supporting the growth and achievement of students, so thank them by showing you care about their professional learning, too. You’ll find thousands of books on Amazon or other retailers.
- A genuine “Thank you.” Stop by or send a quick email to thank the teacher for what he or she does. Often teachers hear everything parents feel they are doing wrong and not enough gratitude for all the things they do to support and challenge your child.
- A free lunch. Teachers get a few minutes to eat a quick lunch between classes, and sometimes it’s the same cafeteria food that your kids are complaining about, too. Cater in lunch for teachers or order some pizzas and have them delivered to the school.
- A nice bottle of wine. Need I say more? Teachers spends tons of their personal time in the evening grading papers and planning lessons, so thank them by providing an alternative way to spend those summer evenings at home.
- A weekend getaway. Do you have a cabin or a lake house that you don’t use every weekend? We all know teachers don’t have the highest salaries around, so offer up your vacation home for a holiday weekend or a few weekdays over summer break.
- Gift cards for school supplies. Did you know that teachers spend hundreds of their own dollars to buy supplies for their classrooms, which schools and districts can’t afford to reimburse? Give a gift card to Target, a local office store, Amazon, or a teacher retail store to help support these costs.
- Spa day (or hour). A relaxing massage, a pampering pedicure, or a fabulous facial are all ways to give your child’s teacher a moment to him or herself to unwind.
- Report to the principal. Sometimes the best thank you’s don’t go direct to the teacher, but to his or her boss. Stop by or send an email to the school principal or department chair and let him or her know how thankful you are for your child’s teacher.
Whether your budget is endless, nonexistent, or somewhere in between, saying “thank you” to the teachers in your children’s lives is a priceless act that should not be overlooked or reserved just for the holidays.