Parents and children often like to show appreciation to their teachers with a gift at Christmas. It’s a nice way to say ‘thank you’ and show them how much they’re valued.
Any present from your child will be appreciated, and it’s certainly not about grand gestures - we don’t know any teacher who’d want parents to feel pressured into contributing to a class collection.
Here’s our guide to gifts that make teachers feel special.
Make time to say thank you in person or to write a thank you card. Tell the teacher what you and your child appreciate about them. It can be anything – helping your child settle in, helping them understand something they find tricky, or being really kind or funny!
Encourage children who want to write a card themselves to do so. The care and effort they put into making a card, drawing a picture or writing a poem will make their teacher's day.
Give the basics
We know that a growing number of schools now ask PTAs to fund classroom essentials like books, pencils and gluesticks. Some teachers even buy these basics from their own money so that the kids don’t go without. So if you want to buy a gift (individually or as a group), why not make it something practical that teachers can use with their class.
Ask the school if you can set up a Christmas giving tree. It’s no more difficult to organise than a collection:
- Teachers, TAs and other support staff provide a list of items they’d like to receive for their class
- Write the class number or name and one item from the list on tags and tie them to a Christmas tree (or make a tree shape from card and stick it to the wall)
- Parents pick what they’d like to buy from the tree and you keep topping it up until every parent that wants to, has picked a tag.
Give a little love
If you’d prefer (or your child really wants) to give a personal gift, make it something that will bring their teacher a little light relief after a tough day. Bubble bath, a voucher for a cake and a coffee at a local café, or a bottle of wine usually goes down well. If your child has their heart set on making something, suggest a small tree decoration or wrap a shoe box with Christmas paper and put together a little care package of wintery treats, like hot chocolate and marshmallows.
My favourite ever, was a brown paper bag with a packed lunch in it and some extra goodies like chocolates and a small wine. The tag was - you have looked after me every day, making sure I have everything I need, always showing me you care. Today is my turn to look after you and show you I care - Thank you.
Give your backing
What better way to show your appreciation than to back your teachers by getting involved at school or adding parent voice to teacher voice on the issues that matter. If you know the school is struggling with funding you could rally parents to all write individually to your local MP. If teachers need extra help in the classroom, make a book of ‘parent vouchers’ - each voucher promises an hour, half day or full day of volunteering time.
What do you think makes the best teacher Christmas gift and why? Share with us on Facebook @Parentkind.org.uk and twitter @Parentkind.