For that special someone who loves your child like his or her own, here are some easy and inexpensive ways to show your child’s teacher some love. Because for those hours when they are at school, that teacher if your child’s surrogate mom or dad!
When my oldest daughter entered elementary school, I had all the normal worries and fears – would she find her classroom? Would she make friends? What if she needed to go potty when it wasn’t bathroom break time????
But above all these, I worried most that she would not have a teacher who would be nurturing and loving and treat her the way I would. My sweet girl was over 4 feet tall so she is always the tallest in the class. But she is so affectionate and loving and I knew she would respond best to a teacher who would accept her that way and reciprocate.
Well, my prayers were answered because she got the most amazing teacher and assistant. As the year went on, I started to realize that I was slightly obsessed with her teachers – in a good way! I watched as my little girl came home each day with something new learned. I watched as she went from struggling with reading to picking up every book she came across to read. I saw her face light up when she talked about her teachers. And I could see during each and every parent-teacher conference that her teacher’s face lit up the same way!
It made my heart happy. And I realized that it was sad but true – teachers are perhaps the most important but highly undervalued person in our child’s life, outside of their primary caregiver.
So to show my appreciation, I came up with this list of things I do periodically to make these wonderful teachers feel a little extra special!
1. Send an Email – This is completely free and takes only a couple of minutes. Just thank your child’s teachers for what they are doing. Try and name something specific you noticed – a new skill your daughter learned…the awesome bulletin board they put together…the extra effort the teacher put into craft day. Anything – just tell them you noticed and say thank you.
2. Surprise Them With a Treat – It doesn’t need to be elaborate. The other day I had baked some peanut butter cookies and wrapped a few up and grabbed an iced coffee for each of the teachers. It was majorly appreciated on a Monday morning.
3. Volunteer in the Classroom – I know this one can be hard because as busy moms we are trying to multi-task and get so much done while our kids are in school. But it doesn’t have to be a lot of time and it doesn’t even have to be on a regular schedule. An hour every week or so just to help the teacher get a break or a planning period would be greatly appreciated.
4. Volunteer OUT of the Classroom – Teachers’ work days don’t end in the classroom! They take homework home to grade, work on class projects, and on and on. This is a great option if you have younger children that preclude you from volunteering in the classroom. Offer to help her grade papers, cut out shapes for a craft, etc. This will allow her some quality time with HER family!
5. Tell Him or Her Thank You! That seems silly I know but all the wonderful feelings we have about our child’s teacher are worthless if we don’t voice them!
6. Brag About the Teacher to the Principal or Vice Principal – Who doesn’t love a shout-out to their boss?! And teachers operate so independently much of the day that it’s quite possible their principal doesn’t even know how great they are!
7. Bring in Classroom Supplies – Teachers are always running out of supplies and most use their own money to buy new ones! Offer to bring in a few things that may be running low.
8. A Small Giftcard to Target/Walmart – These are generic enough that any teacher will find them useful! It doesn’t need to be a lot of money – $5..$10. Just to let them know you appreciate all they do.
9. Speak Highly of Your Child’s Teacher – Kids pick up on everything so if you have an issue with your child’s teacher, please address it with that teacher. Don’t make sarcastic comments at the dinner table or to other moms while your child is in earshot…and they are ALMOST ALWAYS within ear shot! If you show the teacher your respect her, so will your child. This is a fundamental foundation for learning in the classroom.
And my favorite and easiest way to show your child’s teacher some love…
10. Be an Active Participant in Your Child’s Education – Read with them, help them do their homework, find everyday ways to reinforce their lessons, show up to parent-teacher conferences…with notes! Show your child’s teacher that you know their job is important by nurturing that child at home and reinforcing the lessons learned at school.
Because at the end of the day, if you don’t care about your child’s education, no teacher in the world can help them learn.