You all know that my husband is a teacher and that he works long hours, coaches several seasons of aquatics, referees two seasons of waterpolo and picks up other work opportunities in the summers to provide for the fam. You all know the debate about teacher pay, teacher work schedules, teacher benefits and the troubles teachers have to put up with in the schools these days. I don't intend to whine and complain that for the amount of education my husband has he should get paid more-- I do think that but we also knew when he went into the profession that the pay was never going to be great. He didn't go into to teaching for the money. He did it because he loves working with kids and helping them shape their future and become responsible, knowledgable citizens.
I think (hope) that's why all teachers go in to the profession, because they love working with kids, and that's why I am a devoted end-of-year teacher gift giver. I think, after caring for, helping, molding my child's mind for a year the least I can do is say "Thank you" with a small token.
Dave, my hubby, enjoys getting these little things from his students. Sometimes it might be a new hot cocoa mug or a T-shirt. Usually it's something smaller like a gift certificate to Jamba Juice or Starbucks (for hot cocoa, of course). Once he was given a $50 gift card to Macy's! Just a personal Thank-you note is nice, sometimes the best, gift to be given. Because I know how much he appreciates these little bits of recognition from his students I am always sure to do the same for my kids teachers.
Sometimes I will make a homemade goody. I have given bags of white chocolate candy corn, Mother-Lode chocolate-caramel brownies, chocolate-chip cookie towers, and Cream Cheese frosted cinnamon rolls. Other times I have given gift certificates to Barnes and Noble, Baskin and Robbins, Cold-Stone or McDonalds (McDonalds was that teachers favorite-I wasn't being tacky!). I've also given potted plants/flowers and books-teachers LOVE books.
I know some people like to be super creative and give out whisks with a note that says "thanks for whipping up a great year" or spatulas with a similar note "thanks for serving up a great year" You could just attach these with a pretty ribbon to the top of your homebaked goody.
Here are some other great ideas from Disney's Family Fun Magazine and from the website Teacher-Appreciation.
Friday is the last day of school and this year I am going to send Cinnamon Rolls for the teachers. I picked up some small foil pans, the perfet size for 4 cinnamon rolls, at dollar tree. I'll be sure to send them fresh and hot, just a little undercooked, and I'll use my super strong Korinje cinnamon (the same stuff used by Cinnabon). I'll wrap it in a pretty bow and I could put a note on that says "You're a sweet teacher!" but I'll leave that up to the kids, a personal note from them is more important.
What are you doing for your teacher this year?