Hi Happy Scrappers!
We hope you’re having a wonderful weekend and that you’re able to celebrate iNSD with lots of scrapping and fun!
Teacher Appreciation week starts tomorrow and if you’ve got kids in school, you might be wondering about ways that you can show your kids’ hard-working teachers that you appreciate them. If you do a Google search for “Teacher Appreciation Gifts” you will undoubtedly come up with thousands of adorable, clever and thoughtful crafts to create for teachers. Making these creations (or having your child make them) is a great way to take time to show that you care about teachers. As a teacher for over 20 years, I have received many of these homemade gifts and have cherished every one of them. Today, I want to introduce you to a few other ways to celebrate and appreciate teachers that you may not have considered. These ways might not be as personalized or cute but as a teacher I can almost guarantee that they will be loved and appreciated by almost any teacher. A caveat: I teach kindergarten so most of my suggestions will probably lean more towards elementary but I imagine most of them can apply to higher ed too.
1. Gift cards:
It is no secret that teachers spend tons of their own money on things for their classrooms, curricula and students. For instance, a few weeks ago I had my students dissect owl pellets (we are learning about owls). I didn’t want them pulling apart mouse and rat bones and fur without protection. The school only provided the pellets so I spent 25 dollars of my own money on masks and gloves for them to wear. Our school also does not provide wipes, tissues, soap or hand sanitizer so I buy those, too. This is just a tiny fraction of the money I spend each year, so any support with that spending is always appreciated. Here are some places teachers usually spend money frequently: General stores like Target, Walmart, CVS, etc. Book stores like Barnes & Noble, Scholastic, Amazon, etc. Craft and Art stores like JoAnn, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, etc. And if they’re a bit more hands-on: Home Depot and Lowes. Most of these gift cards are easily available at any supermarket so they’re a snap to pick up at a moment’s notice.
2. Check Donors Choose:
There is this great website where teachers post projects they’re trying to fund and anyone can donate money toward them. It’s easy to do a search for your child’s teacher but this is also a great way to fund any teachers’ project. Or, you can plan your own funding project by asking your child’s teacher if there is anything they would like for the classroom. Then you can contact other families in the classroom to see if they would like to contribute as well. This might take some time but it’s probably the same amount of time you might use to create a personalized mug, etc.
If you have a quick discussion with your child’s teacher about what s/he might want, you will be sure to get them exactly what they would appreciate. For instance, there is a website called “Teachers Pay Teachers” that is filled with activities that teachers have created and uploaded for other teachers to purchase so they don’t have to create it themselves. I checked and they allow gift certificates for purchase but it looks like you have to create an account and log in to do it. To bypass this, you could just offer a bit of cash for this purpose.
4. If nothing above meets your needs, a heartfelt card is always a sure thing!
I’ve gotten tons of sweet things over the years from students and their families, from bouquets of dried playground grass to $1000 in credit at a local bookstore. I cherish them all. However, the thing I appreciate the very most from students and families is a heartfelt message in a note or card. I love it when families write a few sincere words of appreciation about the work I’ve been doing with their child. It warms my heart to know that they notice the efforts I’ve been making and it’s also a nice thing to keep to include in my teaching portfolio.
Whatever you might choose, thank you for considering doing something kind to show your child’s teacher that you appreciate them. There’s a lot that goes into teaching and it’s nice to get a little back every once in a while.
Have a lovely week!