Wake up. Get in school as soon as the doors are unlocked. Finish preparing for the day as long as I can and inevitably be cut short by a conversation with a teacher or student that needed to happen, but just wasn’t in the plan. Teach all day and occasionally grade a quiz, pick up photo copies, discuss an event with an administrator, call a parent, tutor a hardworking student, and “counsel” the student who did not cooperate in class that day. Coach. Eat. Grade papers. Prepare another lesson. Go to bed. Repeat.
That was my typical day for the better part of 14 years as a teacher. What a blessing that career was to me. I certainly hope it was a blessing to all of the students I taught! As a high school teacher, I didn’t see as many gifts around the holidays that I suppose elementary school teachers receive; however, any kind gesture was always appreciated in a way words can not express.
If you are planning on giving a teacher a gift this year, I have a few suggestions that do not cost a lot, but mean the world to a dedicated educator.
1. A thank you letter. This gift is the best, especially when you see the student (and/or parent) truly took the time to thank a teacher for a specific lesson or kindness. I can not emphasize enough how awesome it is to get a thank you card/letter from a student – especially from a junior high or high school student. It literally makes a teacher feel like they won the lottery – notably when the letter is detailed and from the heart!
2. A gift card. A 5 dollar gift card to Dunkin Donuts gave me a great morning! Any gift card is incredibly appreciated by teachers. If you were already thinking gift card – you get an A++!
3. For those who are artsy and creative – A pencil box filled with fun pens and pencils (I would have loved this because when a student once again told me he or she had nothing to write with I would have had something to offer them and not have been so “scroogey”).
This one from DaySpring is absolutely PERFECT!
If you want to go this route, I suggest asking the teacher if there are any supplies he or she finds to be buying frequently – and out of her or his own pocket. Another idea for the creative gift giver (I am not and will never be in this category – but I am sure some of you are!) was given to me by my son’s teacher. She said last year someone beautifully wrapped up at diet coke and a chocolate bar – and it made her day!
4. Chocolate – Here’s a little chocolate gift made just for teachers!
Remember, it’s ok to keep it simple – and it’s ok to not give a gift at all, especially if your budget is tight!