I was BLESSED to have some amazing teachers. I mean really and truly blessed! I attended a small elementary school, Pentland, in Newberry, Michigan and then went on to Newberry Junior High school and high school. I am very grateful for the instruction I received! Shouts outs to Avis Fretz, my fifth grade teacher, and to Ruth Hill, my high school chorus teacher and baton twirling supervisor!!!
Nowadays, with a fifteen-year-old in high school, I sometimes struggle with how to show appreciation to my son's teachers, who do so much for him. As someone with an autoimmune disorder (RA) I have been rather spastic in when and how I'm going to show my gratitude to my son's teachers. If I'm feeling lousy all during Teacher Appreciation Week I might never make it into the school that week -- it could be a month or later. But there are things we can do all year round to show some Teacher love.
1) Pray for them and their families.
2) Email them a note of encouragement or of thanks. I know I'm in the habit of emailing when I need help with something. But an email of how your child has benefitted from their teaching can be a nice surprise. On one of my recent facebook posts, my cousin Scott Davis, a teacher in Michigan, mentioned that a thoughtful note is always appreciated.
3) Give them shout outs at meetings or school. Let others know what a wonderful job they are doing.
4) Send supplies in unexpectedly during the school year, not just at the beginning. Also, I "think" some of the classes that aren't main classes don't always get supplies, just the home room teachers, at the beginning of the year.
5) Something personal, in your hobby area, can be fun. I'm a beader. So one year I gifted all of my son's teachers with my beadwork during teacher appreciation week. One of the ancillary teachers was really touched that I remembered her because so often she'd been left out. One of my Facebook commenters mentioned, however, that children's homemade gifts can be problematic because if a teacher gets too many it is hard to throw them out to make room for the new ones. Kind of like those cute Sunday school projects that come home and eventually you have to toss them.
6) A gift card for supplies or to one of their favorite places was the big winner on my Facebook post! Most folks mentioned gift cards as a great option. In our school district, our teachers have not been given their well-deserved raises since the Great Recession. If I could gift all my son's teachers with a huge gift card I would. Still, I find gift cards a little impersonal for certain times of year. And, frankly, I lose them or misplace them but the Facebook responders indicated that in particular for book gift cards, e.g., Barnes & Noble or Amazon, they usually spent those right away.
7) Local gifts. This year I bought some gifts from Yankee Candle factory which has a flagship store in our area. Depending on where you live, items such as locally acquired honey (aren't teachers sweet as honey?), artwork from a local artist, note cards of local landmarks (Shirley Plantation had beautiful cards as does Colonial Williamsburg), and maybe even local authors' books (like mine!).
Giveaway: GUESS WHAT? Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands will be releasing in a few weeks!!! It will be available online and in multiple retail stores and at independent Christian book stores. It includes my novella, "Dime Novel Suitor," which I had a lot of fun writing! Answer this question to enter: What made your favorite teacher your fave?