Sunday, April 22, 2012

Remember our Teachers

As the end of the school year is quickly approaching, many of us will take the time to write a note or give a gift of appreciation to our children's teachers.  (Don't forget Teacher Appreciation Week is May 7th-11th this year)  These men and women take great pride in what they do, put up with a ton of "other" children, (not mine and yours of course), and don't get paid enough. My boys get very attached to them each year and the last day of school is bittersweet. 

I wanted to offer some ideas that have come directly from a top secret source that will remain nameless to protect the innocent. 
(A retired teacher)
This post is not a hard and fast rule of the do's and don'ts of teacher gift giving.  It is mainly for some of us who might be stuck, in need of a little idea, or the first time mom who has been thrown into the world of "she gave what? to her teacher???"
Don't get stressed.  Every teacher would say it is the thought that counts.  Seriously.  
(and don't take my post too seriously)

1. Please, no apples, ABC's, 123's, chalkboards, rulers, or any other old fashioned iconic image.  I've actually heard it termed "apple crapple."  The ONLY exception is if this gift is an iPod or iPad.  Then the said apple is totally appropriate.  :)

2. No scents.  (i.e. candles, lotions, etc) unless specified by the teacher.  Everyone is different and Ms. Allen might not like the lemon-berry-grape-vanilla-sea-musk lotion as much as you do.

3. No mugs, Christmas ornaments, or anything shaped like an apple.  They. have. it. already.

4. No knick-knacks or anything that would collect dust or be in the next garage sale.

5. Nothing that says "World's Greatest Teacher" or "#1 Teacher." 
So, now that I've totally been negative, let's focus on the positive.  
The number one thing teacher's love certificates.
They are useful, generic, and hey, who wouldn't love a gift card?
Where to?  Well, I'm glad you asked.  Lakeshore, Staples, Mardel, Office Max, etc.  I was amazed when I learned how much teachers spend of their own money on their classrooms!  Also gift cards to restaurants, Target, WalMart, or Hobby Lobby.

The second thing is classroom supplies.  Cute post-it notes, sharpies, pens, pencils, stickers (if age appropriate), paper, colors, red pens, paperclips, etc. Anything that your teacher runs out of during the year and has to replace with her own money. 

The third thing is something I've done over the years and has probably gotten the most response and a few tears over.  Write an appreciation letter to the principal. Give the original to the principal and a copy to the teacher.  These actually go in their files. One of my sons' second grade teacher said in the 20+ years she has taught, no one ever did that for her.  Wow.  
Ladies, we need to do this.

Again, don't get stressed out and think that if you find the perfect gift for the teacher you know like a sister, you can't give it to her.  Do!  It's the thought that counts.  Sometimes our thoughts just need a little help.  Speaking of a little help...Search teacher appreciation on Pinterest.  My, my.  People are so talented!!

Hope everyone has a great week and maybe even write your teachers a short, unexpected note of thanks.  I promise it will brighten his/her day.

If you need a little extra to go along with above gifts, check out one of my Etsy sales that always gets a good laugh...


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