An apple for the teacher? No thanks. Teachers work harder than ever and often with little thanks from their superiors. So, as parents, we want to show our appreciation of all their hard work. After all, they are shaping the lives of our most precious possessions. And when we get a good one, I mean a really good one; we need a thank you gift that reflects our gratitude. A gift for someone we spend hardly any time with but our kids love them and they make their school day a joy. We can use the age-old traditions: Pens, chocolates, flowers, but do they really say ‘Thank You’, or do they say ‘Ta’?
In my ten years’ experience as a teacher, I’ve had it all. As grateful as I am for the gifts I have received, especially in some of the more deprived areas, it’s the personal touches that have stood out over the years. When a parent knows somehow (you haven’t told them) that you LIVE for cups of tea, you know that this child has taken in your jokes about it over the school year. Then they gift you with a selection of speciality teas because it had your name written all over it; it’s touching. When you receive a handwritten card shaped in your favourite animal, an owl; it’s heart-warming.
We can all recall that one special teacher that sticks in our minds, (we can recall the bad ones too, but let’s not). The one that gave us a sense of achievement, or the one that was there when we opened our GCSE’s and they cried with joy along with us. I wonder what that teacher did that the others didn’t. Probably lots of small, thoughtful gestures our memories have long since forgotten. But we remember, most importantly, how they made us feel. And that’s what sticks. Maybe that feeling is reignited when we get that same sense from our children’s teacher? Maybe it’s the small gestures we hear them do, through the words of our children, that tell us this teacher is really special.
A word of warning though; at school they might be known as ‘Mrs Smith’ but at home they’re ‘Julie’. So, when personalising, make a judgement call on where that gift will be most used and what personalisation it needs. And another thing; health and safety have destroyed the stereo-type of teacher’s wandering corridors with cups of coffee, it is travel mugs all the way I’m afraid.
So here are my recommendations that really get the message across: You’re doing an amazing job with my child, thank you.
A great sentiment, it might just be what she needs to read to remind herself she’s doing a good job. This rustic key ring is for the loving teacher; the one who wipes away the tears, cleans the grazes and makes them smile again.
Just what the teacher needs after a hard day’s work in the classroom. This gift says ‘relax, you deserve it.’ Who wouldn’t want to unwind with a hot brew? Maybe throw in a packet of biscuits for good measure.
With this gift, you’ve nailed it. Help her maintain some glamour, even if her hands have been covered in glue and paint for the best part of the morning. This handy, discreet and practical set is what every teacher needs.
She can’t cook. She won’t cook. But there will be a time in the school year when she’ll have to bake. You really can’t go wrong with this gift, practical and useful both at home and school. She’ll be the envy of the other teachers sporting this apron at the annual school bake-off, even if it is covered in flour and chocolate icing.
Yes it’s a cliché. Yes it’s what she needs! Coffee on the go is what’s on the menu for the busy teacher. They’ll need it to keep up with the bags of energy emitted from a class of 30 busy children. It’s creative, like her, and no one in the staff room can claim it’s theirs with its thoughtful personalisation.