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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Tsapakis

Teacher Appreciation Week: What Your Teachers Really Want

It is a special time of year for teachers. The year is quickly coming to an end, and everyone is looking forward to a break. Your teachers have most likely been burning the candle at both ends, working long days followed by evenings of grading papers and making/revising lesson plans. If you have ever wondered what your teachers really want for a Teacher Appreciation gift, we have a few suggestions!

When polled, most teachers will tell you the gift they use the most is gift cards. This could be a gift card to a local coffee shop, the grocery store, Amazon, or you can even ask them where they like to shop for themselves (this helps ensure they do not use the gift card on their own children or more classroom supplies).

Below, we have some more great ideas to help make your teacher feel special.

I understand that it is a lot of pressure to try and make someone feel special, especially someone who is responsible for educating and helping to raise your child. Bottom line, teachers just want to know that they are making a difference. I can confidently say that a handmade card with sincere words that give a specific example of how a teacher has touched the life of a child is the single best gift we could receive! Even if you are planning to gift your teacher with a larger gift, don't skip the card. I have a binder full of them that I have received over the years, and I flip through them sometimes when I need a little encouragement.

When I was teaching elementary school, our parent's association had the brilliant idea of publicizing a theme for each day of the week. This meant teachers got gifts every day of the week for five straight days. It was incredibly special, and the gifts were practical and affordable.

Daily Theme Ideas:

  1. Thank You for Sticking with Us: Post-It Note Theme. I purchased personalized note pads for myself when I became a teacher, and I LOVED them. They were great for notes to students and to send home. Etsy has lots of choices!

  2. A Little Treat for Someone Sweet: Baked Good Theme. Homemade treats are *always* appreciated. Even store bought baked goods... we're not picky. Your child likely knows if your teacher is a chocolate lover or loves any other type of treat.

  3. Sip Sip Hooray!: Coffee Gift Theme Whether your teacher drinks coffee, tea, or another drink, this gift is great! You can do a gift car to a local coffee shop, personalized mug or glass, or purchase their favorite drink.

  4. Anyway You Slice It, We Appreciate You: Pizza Theme Who says adults don't love pizza parties?! Everyone loves pizza, and everyone loves to be treated to lunch.

  5. Mark My Words, You're the Best: Pen/Pencil Theme I would be willing to bet that your teacher enjoys office supplies. Colored pens or markers (the thin tip ones) are great for grading, and we go through them quickly.

Other Gift Ideas:

  • Gift Cards

    • Favorite stores

    • Restaurants

    • TeachersPayTeachers (TPT)

    • Etsy

  • Flowers

  • Fruit/Chocolate/Cookie Basket

  • Snacks

  • Public Recognition (social media is a great way to do this!)

  • House Cleaning Service

  • Free Babysitting (if you have older, more responsible students)

  • Classroom Clean-up (A parent offered to wash my legos one year. It was so kind!)

There are endless possibly ways to show your teacher how special they are to you. Just remember, the thing we all want is to know we are making a difference, and words are the best way to communicate that!

Happy Teacher Appreciation!

-The LD Expert

Taking it to the next level:

Get the Most out of Your Read-Aloud:

Now that we have touched on the importance of reading-aloud to your children, let's discuss how to get the most out of your time together! Here are some additional things you can do to engage your child, keep their attention, and ensure they are learning as much as possible:

1) Get into it! Make sure you are using lots of inflection in your voice, and changing your voice for the different characters. Speak louder or softer to keep your child's attention and build suspense.

2) Take Breaks. After a few pages, take a break and talk about what you read with your child. Discuss which characters are their favorite, how characters might be feeling, and make predictions about what could happen next. Be sure to do this after you are done reading as well!

3) Make mind movies. You can help your child better understand what is being read by encouraging them to make a movie in their mind about what is being read. You can model this by sharing what your mind movie looks like along the way during your breaks. You can even have the doodle about what is happening as you read.

4) Enhance vocabulary. Reading with your child is a great way to teach them new words! If you come across some words with meanings you think your child may not know, you can talk about them during one of your breaks. Try not to interrupt the flow or imagery of the story by stopping mid-sentence to discuss a word meaning. Try to find a natural place to pause and discuss new words and mind movies. Later, you can give incentives to have your child try to use them in sentences or during their day-to-day routines.

You got this parents, and we are always here to help!

-The LD Expert

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