Being a teacher is often challenging and thankless. Teachers join the education profession in hopes of making a difference or positive impact in someone’s life. Showing your appreciation as a parent or student is a great way to give back to them. Any token of gratitude is encouraging and priceless to an educator. Consider these options for your favorite teachers!

More often than not, faculty and staff are there to offer your children words of encouragement throughout the education process. A teacher is a guiding hand – someone who is there for the good and bad days of your child’s life. Some of the best gifts a teacher can get are positive words and feedback. A simple “thank you” for what they do and positive influence on your kids goes a long way. A smile from a young student can brighten an educator’s day. As a parent, staying informed about upcoming events and requirements is another great way to support educators.

Here are what some of the local educators have suggested as far as showing your support and appreciation for what they do.

Gifts from the Heart

They might not be the prettiest, but not everyone is an artist. It isn’t about the design; the thought and effort put into handmade gifts or handwritten notes are what matters. Whether it is coming from the parent or your child, teachers like to know that they are doing something right. Send a genuine note with your student, thanking your educator. These gifts and notes can be looked back on later in the school year during the tough days reminding teachers why they come to work every day. The gentle reminders are great encouragement and inspiration!

It may seem like a small thing to parents or students, but it means the world to me.

Marshall Kambestad, Southwest Middle School, 6th Grade Language Arts

Get Crafty

Create a pencil vase that can be used for multiple purposes! This simple craft requires little effort and is a fun way to show appreciation and support. First things first, buy a flower arrangement. Place double sided tape around the vase, and stick pencils all the way around it. If your teacher is in need of colored pencils or markers, switch it up and use them instead! Apply the finishing touch by adding a patterned ribbon or bow around the classroom supplies, and there you have it – a customized vase that can be taken apart when your educator needs an extra pencil.

Simple Route

If you and your kids don’t have a lot of time for crafts but still want to gift your teacher, there are a lot of great phrases that can be applied with simple gifts. Thanks for helping me grow can be posted in a succulent pot, or thanks for helping me bloom can accompany flowers. Thank you for coloring our lives can be gifted with markers, crayons, or colored pencils; hands down you’re the best teacher around can be placed with hand soap or sanitizer. Another cute phrase to pair with a candle or air freshener is, this year has been “scent-sastional”. Pinterest has a lot of great ideas if you’re looking for something unique that will still speak volumes to your student’s teacher!

The greatest appreciation is when a parent brings in extra supplies saying, ‘We know you had this on the list and you only said you wanted one or two bottles, so we bought this much extra.’

Sandy Crown, Hermosa Elementary School, 1st Grade

Actions Speak Louder than Words

Sometimes though, gifts don’t display the message you want. Instead, volunteer! Be a classroom monitor for the day or offer to chaperone for a class field trip. Educators appreciate gifts, but on more than one account they’ve recognized volunteering and participation as what really makes a difference in the classroom.

Just having the kids show up, being present with a positive attitude and outlook as well as doing their absolute best is one of the greatest ways to show support and appreciation.

Barb Paulsen, Custer Elementary, Principal

From the student’s aspect, teachers love when they take responsibility. It’s easy for kids to chalk up excuses for unfinished homework such as I didn’t understand it and my parents weren’t home or no one was able to help me. Teachers just ask that students do their absolute best and ask the tough questions. If your child needs help on an assignment, have them ask their teacher. They are more than willing to put in time and effort to assist them!

WORDS & IMAGES:  SARAH RICHARDS