It goes without saying that teachers have an incredibly important job. Yet they do so much more than simply teach our precious kiddos reading, writing, and arithmetic. Teachers play a key role in shaping the future of our society.
[Tweet “Teacher Appreciation Week is May 2nd-6th #thankateacher”]
Whether it’s pouring hours into lesson prep, spending their own money on classroom supplies that the school budget won’t cover, or staying up at night wondering how they are going to reach that one kid, teachers give of themselves daily. Teacher Appreciation week is the perfect time to honor teachers and show them how much we appreciate everything they have done for us and everything they do for our children.
The National Education Association and National PTA have joined forces to make 2016’s Teacher Appreciation Week extra special. Using social media, they plan to shower teachers everywhere with the honor and gratitude they so deserve.
During May 2-6th post using the hashtag #ThankATeacher and honor a teacher on social media. You can post a picture of a special teacher in your life, write a public message of thanks to your children’s teacher(s), or simply take a selfie with an affirming message for all teachers.
If you have children in school you may also consider giving your children’s teacher(s) notes or gifts of appreciation. Before staying at home with my kids I was an elementary music teacher. I loved receiving tokens of genuine appreciation from my students. Take it from me, appreciation gifts do not need to be fancy or expensive. The main thing is that it is clear someone put care into communicating sincere gratitude. As a former teacher I’m here to tell you please skip the teacher tchotchkes and homemade goodies that your well-intended but germy little one’s helped you bake. Here are some ideas for teacher appreciation gifts that are definite home runs.
- Hand Written, Heart Felt Notes – Any time a student gave me something I felt special; even if the student simply signed his or her name at the end of a stock thank you card. Still there is something incredibly touching about a heart felt message or illustrated card from a student. Those are the pictures that I pinned on the cork board next to my desk. Those are the notes I pulled out after a rough day of teaching. Those are the cards I still have saved in my files. Encouraging your children to make a special card for their teacher and even writing one yourself is always worth the effort.
- Coffee Shop Gift Cards – Most teachers, myself included, appreciate a good cup of coffee or tea. The joy of such a beverage is that it encourages one to take at least a brief moment of rest and every teacher could use that. A gift card gives one permission to splurge on that special latte or delicious smoothie.
- Book Store Gift Cards – I have yet to meet a teacher that didn’t love to read. Is your child’s teacher the type who appreciates shopping local or would the convenience of Amazon be a better fit? Either way you can’t go wrong with gift cards to book stores.
- “Treat Yo Self” Gifts – One of my favorite shows is Parks and Recreation. So for my last teacher appreciation gift idea I quote the sage advice of characters Donna and Tom: everyone should, “Treat Yo Self!” Consider giving an gift that enables your child’s teacher to do just that. Here are some ideas from Donna and Tom…
Now you’ll have to do a little detective work to figure out what “treat yo self” means to your little one’s teacher. Some of my favorite “treat yo self” gifts included lovely hand lotion, flowers, and restaurant gift cards.
Whether you show your teacher appreciation on social media (#ThankATeacher), by writing a card or by giving a gift, the important thing is that you and your child communicate genuine gratitude. After all teachers don’t just teach, they shape the future.
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Wife, work at home mom, and bassoonist, Laura Ankrum lives in Iowa City, Iowa. Prior to the arrival of her two children Laura taught elementary music and band in the Boston area. Now her home is her classroom and music studio. Laura is passionate about education, encouraging other moms, and eco-friendly living. She is the social media coordinator at Thirsties Inc and regularly contributes to First Time Mom.