“If you can read this message, thank a teacher!” Anonymous
At some point in every person’s life, they have had contact with a teacher. Some of us remember teachers as being saints right here on earth. Others of us remember teachers as being from some other place meant for monsters. Regardless of your experience, please know that being a teacher is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Sure, we get the summers off and we spend days talking and planning lessons, but that is only a piece of our jobs.
As an educator, I can attest that teaching is much more than planning lessons, delivering content and testing what was taught. In fact, that is the smallest portion of our job. We spend more time being a confidante, a counselor and sometimes, a parent to our students, than anything else. Even with all of those hats, we still love what we do! Thus, during May 3rd through May 7th, we enjoy being appreciated.
While gifts are not necessary and we will love anything that given, knowing the best and most effective gifts for teachers is a benefit. No one wants to waste money on something that will not be used. So here is the information that I have amassed through the years. The following list is meant to help guide gift buying for teachers.
1. The best gift is a simple card that says thank you! A card can be made or bought. Regardless to the method of creation, the card must reflect a sincere and heartfelt message to the teacher. Hallmark cards are great for this reason. However, if a student chooses to create the card, try writing a poem or a letter to the teacher within it. Those cards are kept for years!
2. Gift cards are awesome. With some many options for gift cards, a student can spend as little as $5 and still make a meaningful statement. Here is the hint; you have been in class with a teacher all year. Think about what that teacher does, eat or drinks. If you have seen the teacher come in with donuts and Starbucks every morning, a great gift card will be to a Starbucks or a donut shop. Likewise, if your teacher is always looking for pens, pencils or dry erase markers, Wal-Mart or Staples’ gift cards work well!
3. Flowers are gorgeous this time of year. Most teachers are females, so flowers are a safe bet. However, if you have a male teacher, shy away from this gift and opt, instead for a cookie flower or a piece of candy. Regardless, it is the thought that counts and I am sure that any teacher will appreciate a fresh bouquet or a single sentiment. Try buying the seasonal flower. These flowers are cheaper and can be picked up from Kroger, Albertsons or Wal-Mart, the morning of school. (Please know if your teacher has any allergies before buying!)
4. Candy comes in handy! Teachers often have a stash of sweet treats in their drawers. Therefore, candy is often a safe bet. Like the gift card scenario, know what your teacher enjoys. If the teacher always looks for gum, buy that. If the teacher eats one piece of chocolate a day, go for that. Just know your educator and cater to their needs.
5. When in doubt be the best, most well mannered child for the week! Maybe you cannot buy anything; or maybe you are not creative enough to build something. You can always be a good- no a great- student for the week. A teacher values peace and serenity. Giving your teacher a break without needing to nag you about homework, correcting ill behaviors and/or calling parents for quarrels, goes a very long way with a teacher. Just behave, try your hardest and wait for a big teacher smile!