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How to Thank Your Child's Teacher

Simple Gift Giving Ideas for You or Your Child to show appreciation for his teacher

Last fall, they were a virtual stranger to your child. But now, after three seasons of learning and growing, they have become almost like family. How do you thank a person who has spent so many hours patiently working with a class full of children including your special one?

Depending on the amount of time you want to spend and whether you would like to involve other parents and students, there are several ideas that don't take much time or money, but will leave a lasting memory for your special teachers.

From the Student

If you would like your student to send his or her appreciation alone, some suggestions that are sure hits with many teachers include:

  • Help your child put together a small book titled, "Why You are Such a Great Teacher." On each page of the book, your child can add their feelings and memories such as "You read books so good," which could include a drawing of the teacher reading to a class or "You helped me learn math" with a picture of flashcards.
  • Get an empty jar or can and a sheet of white paper. Cut paper into strips that will fit inside the jar, making the slips big enough for your child to write legibly. Have them write down special memories of their teacher and things they did. "It was great how you played dodge ball with us in gym every time you could" or "You really are nice when I feel sad." On the outside of the jar or can, attach another piece of paper or a label that says: "Reasons why you are the best teacher." If you like or you have time, decorate the outside of the container with stickers or drawings.
  • Make a trip to the dollar store and buy pencils, a box of tissue and a roll of paper towels. Get an empty paper trash bag and let your child decorate it whatever way he or she likes. Write "Thank you! Think of me next year." Teachers ALWAYS can use these items!

From a Group of Students

If you can get a group of parents together to talk to their children, here are a few suggestions from the National Parent Teacher Association:

  • Help students to decorate a cake or cookies with words of appreciation.
  • Students can make posters for teachers with a special theme. These can then be displayed at the school and library and at local businesses.
  • Middle school students can write a "recipe" with the ingredients and directions needed to "create" their perfect teachers. Elementary students can make a "bouquet of thanks," cutting flowers out of paper and writing a word or phrase that best describes their teacher.

From the Parent

While you may have helped during the school year as much as you could through volunteering and providing snacks, it is always nice to hear from parents at the end of the year.

  • Write a note. It doesn't have to be long or intense, but just tell the teacher how much you appreciated the time and effort he or she put in teaching your child and the rest of his or her classmates. If you can mention particular times that he or she went the extra mile, don't forget to add the memory.
  • Buy a gift certificate. The best kinds are from your local teacher store that the teacher can use for supplies. Certificates from discount centers are also appreciated as well as fast food restaurants.
  • If possible, visit the school on the last day or just before the last day of class and make a personal visit to say "Thanks." That alone is one of the best gifts you can give and that all teachers appreciate: your time.

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