Small Tokens of Great Appreciation

After the cold gray winter months have passed, sunny days and blooming flowers are reminders that yet another school year is nearing its end.  It’s a time of great excitement for students both young and old as they look forward to graduations, promotions, and summer breaks.  It’s the time of year when teachers could use that much-needed pat on the back for a job well done!  The time is also appropriate for Teacher Appreciation Week.

As parents of an elementary school student, my husband and I have had our share of experience already with gift giving.  I would like to think that our experience as teachers has also given us insight as to what types of gestures are most appreciated.  In recent years we have tried to be creative and make a few of the gifts.  Homemade gifts can be special for teachers of any grade level.  A recent favorite was actually an idea I borrowed from fellow blogger Brian Thomas who did something similar for his children’s teachers.  We asked our oldest daughter to talk about her teacher and classroom while we recorded what she had to say.  I then entered key words and phrases she used into www.wordle.net to create a word cloud which we then printed and placed in a nice keepsake frame.  This was a huge hit and deeply appreciated by her teacher!

Ask your children what their teacher has mentioned throughout the year.  Chances are they may know the teacher’s favorite hobby, favorite color, etc. and you can use this information to springboard ideas for teacher appreciation gifts.  Small bouquets of flowers picked at home are always a welcomed addition to a teacher’s desk and our children enjoy selecting the flowers for their teacher’s vases.

We have given plenty of gift cards and gift certificates, but remember that the thought behind the gift is what is most important and most memorable.  Within weeks of using the gift card the teacher has likely already forgotten the dollar amount or the place of business, but if a thoughtful note was written in the card it can become a treasured keepsake.  You may think that a quick email is informal, but your message can be a thoughtful and personable way to convey your thanks as well.

Whether you have spent hours creating a special gift with your child or you are picking up a gift at a local store it will surely be appreciated! 

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What great gift ideas do you have for Teacher Appreciation Week this year?

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