It’s the end of the school year. But before you completely switch into summer mode, take a moment to think of the (kind, patient) people who’ve taught your kids – and maybe you – all year.
Teaching is one of the most important (and sometimes unappreciated) jobs there is. Teachers teach reading, writing and arithmetic, of course. But they also teach ethics, responsibility, sportsmanship, healthy living, creativity and how to have fun. And they wipe noses, apply bandages, share snacks and find lost baseball caps at the bottom of the lost and found bin. At the end of a long school year, teachers deserve some thanks – not just the teachers who teach your wee ones, but those who teach junior high and high school, too.
While you’re at it, think of the other people who teach your family and you. Did your child have a great soccer coach or art instructor? Did you take a cooking class, learn how to build a webpage or network with a mentor at your office? Did your friend spend extra time tutoring you on a particular subject?
Once you start looking, you’ll see that teachers surround us.
You don’t have to spend lots of money, or any at all, to say thanks to a teacher. Teachers don’t expect gifts from their students, but they’ll always receive them gracefully, even if they already have more coffee mugs than they know what to do with!
Here are just a few ways you can thank the great teacher figures in your life:
- A heartfelt, handwritten note. This is one of the best gifts you can give a teacher. If it’s for a child’s teacher, make sure the child contributes, either by designing the card, signing their name or dictating a few thoughts about their teacher. Be specific and let the teacher know exactly why you appreciated them this year. Was it the great field trip they organized, the Halloween costume they wore or the song they taught for the holiday concert?
- School supplies. Teachers can always use more supplies. Things like markers, stickers, sticky notes and highlighters might not be abundantly supplied by their school, so extras go a long way. You could also consider giving a gift card to an office supply store or crafting store so the teacher can buy the items they need most.
- Gift cards. If you know where a teacher likes to get her caffeine fix or which mall he lives near, consider giving a gift card for that outlet. You know it won’t go to waste and you won’t risk getting the wrong size or flavour.
- Group gifts.Do you know the teacher’s other students, or do you have a class list? If so, offer to buy a group gift with whatever contributions the others want to make. Some might give $10 and some might give $20. The amount doesn’t matter – it’s the thought that counts. Again, a gift card for a nearby mall or favourite store is a good bet for a group gift.
- Charitable donation. If you don’t know what causes your teacher is passionate about, a donation in their name to an education-based charity would likely be welcomed. Some charities to consider include Right to Play International and World Vision. Another good choice might be an organization like KaBOOM!, which helps build playgrounds to ensure that all kids get a childhood filled with balanced and active play.
- Social media shout out. If your teacher is active on social media, tag them with a shout out. And if they’re not, create a hashtag of your own to express appreciation for all the teachers in your life: #TeachersRule.
Remember, gifts are not mandatory, but a sincere word of thanks means a lot to a teacher. And don’t forget: If your school has great administrators (such as principal, vice-principal, administrative assistants) or specialty teachers (such as librarians or gym teachers), show them some love, too.
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416458 CAN/US/UK (06/18)