One of the most discouraging things as a teacher is the lack of respect and acknowledgement from the public and the parents of our students. I never expect gifts, they are expensive and that price adds up. I know, I have 3 kids who all have teachers. A simple specific thank you goes such a long way. I am a parent and a teacher and I understand the struggle of being a full time working parent and having 3 kids in school. It is not easy in any way.
Everyone knows that a teaching job is not a job to make money. As an undergrad, I knew that being a teacher I wouldn’t make a lot of money. But I didn’t completely realize. I was just in college and had a few bills and the thought of getting any paycheck was exciting. I was young and it was a job I wanted to do and I hadn’t started to price out life until I was actually on my own. So to say that a teacher knew what they were getting into before choosing their career, is an understatement in my opinion.
Your child’s teacher has their best interest in mind.
Anytime someone is taking care of your family, there needs to be some type of gratitude shown toward that person. It doesn’t need to be fancy; an email, handwritten note, a card, etc. You don’t even need to spend money. But showing appreciation that you noticed their efforts in what they are doing actually goes a long way. Showing gratitude is huge for teachers!
It doesn’t take any money to bless a teacher
Try being specific in your gratitude. Maybe your child came home from school and they just had an amazing day at school and they did this fun project. They could not stop talking about how fun this project was. You could tell that this was an extensive on the teacher’s part. Your child’s teacher probably put in a lot of time preparing this project. She/He probably spent their own money on supplies, put together templates, samples, and everything was well planned out in advanced. You can shoot the teacher an email stating, “My child had so much fun doing the …. project in class. She could not stop talking about it at home. Thank you for putting that extra effort in.”
Maybe your child fell down at school and they said that my teacher helped me get cleaned up, put ice and a Band aide on it. That teacher was mom or dad for your child and were there when your child needed extra love. Thank the teacher for loving on your child when they were sad. The teacher does so much during the day that a parent would never know, but they are a parent to your child throughout the day. When I was teaching, I gave constant hugs and encouragement to my students. I built their confidence and praised them, just ask my own kids because I was all out of hugs and encouraging words by the time I got home, and most of the love was used up!
If your child learns to read, thank your child’s teacher specifically by saying “Thank you for teaching my child to read this year.” That goes so much further than a Starbucks gift card (this is coming from a Starbucks addict).
If you are wanting to spend some money, here are some ways to help
I have made this survey (see bottom of this article) for you to print out and give to your child’s teacher. Or you can make your own so it fits your needs. It can be done at anytime of the year. It has questions on there such as: What is your favorite gum, fast food, scent, color, candy, soda, favorite coffee order, grocery store, snack, flower, treat, dessert, etc.
Go ahead and snap a picture of the completed survey and when you are in the grocery aisles shopping for your family; why not pick up your child’s teacher a pack of gum, a snack they like, etc. It doesn’t have to be during teacher appreciation week. What if some random Thursday morning your child shows up with a pack of gum for their teacher. It cost you $1 and you just blessed that teacher’s start of the day and filled their cup of appreciation.
I once had a parent email me early in the morning that her child would be late that day and would probably feel groggy, her child had gotten hurt the night before and they were up late at the ER. I responded back and told her that was fine and thanks for letting me know, I then expressed that I too wasn’t feeling well and my throat was really sore. Her child showed up with a sandwich baggie and it had 2 tea bags in it and a little thing of honey. It was the perfect appreciation for taking care of my immediate need as a teacher and it said to me, “Hey, I heard you and I sympathize with you and you are still taking care of my child even though you aren’t feeling well. I appreciate your efforts and what you do.”
From Actual Teachers
I did some research and here is a list of ideas from other teachers and ways
they wish parents knew they could help.
For Your Child
- Read with them (if they are young)
- Encourage them to read (if they are able to)
- Listen to them read
- Make sure they do required homework
- Clean out their backpack often
- Read notes that come home (paper or email)
- Make sure your child goes to bed on time
- Don’t lie or have your child lie about why they were absent
- Teach life skills (tying shoes, zipping coats, zipping backpacks, opening snacks, closing zip locks)
- Give your child a daily or weekly chore
- Don’t speak badly about the teacher
- Support the teacher (they have your child’s best interest in mind)
- Be honest about your child
- Respect Teacher’s Time After Work
Acts of Service
- Handwritten note of thanks
- Cut out lamination
- Staple books
- Sort books
- Sharpen Pencils
- Volunteer to help with class parties
- Bring in food for class parties
- Cutting or sorting papers
- Making copies
- Buying the classroom supplies (tissues, hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes)
- Cleaning up the classroom
- Be Posititve
- Teach an art lesson to the class
- Volunteer to read to the class
- Volunteer to help in the classroom
- Bring them dinner
- Restaurant Gift Cards
- Target Gift Cards
- Wine of the Month Membership
- Book for the class library
- Grocery Gift Card
- Barnes and Noble Card
- Amazon Gift Card
- Office Supply Store Gift Cards
- Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Cards
- Baskets of goodies
- Car Wash Coupon
- Flare Pens
- Bring in lunch
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