Spreading love and cheer to all the awesome teachers that teach, inspire, and encourage our children is a great way to let them know that you care. This can be done during Christmas, birthdays, or at the end of the year. It can also be done throughout the year to just let them know that you’re thinking about them.
Our PTO wanted to help make the gift giving and buying easy and affordable. So, at the beginning of the year, we sent an “All About You” questionnaire that asked teachers several questions about their favorites. Teachers returned their completed questionnaire to the PTO and copies were sent to families in each class.
We put this questionnaire together because we found that it took a lot of guess work out of trying to shop for teachers. We also found that many families wanted to know how they could bless teachers on their own throughout the year. So, for example, we have many on staff who love Starbucks and so families from time-to-time would bring them their favorite hot beverage. Others wanted to know when their teachers had birthdays and would get them a small gift based off of some of the things that they indicated were their favorites. Last year, for example, one of our teachers said that she loved all things unicorn, so our class was able to pitch in for her birthday and put together a super cute unicorn gift basket. Check out some of the things that we included:
In addition to this, we had kids help decorate her door using unicorn wall decorations, balloons, and white butcher paper.
One of the moms even brought unicorn cupcakes to share and used this adorable topper to decorate them.
We had another teacher who loved donuts and for her birthday the class put together a donut-themed surprise that really blessed her a “hole” lot! Here is what we included:
A gift card to her favorite donut shop
A new phone case to replace the one that accidentally cracked during a field trip
And to put it all together, one of the moms made an adorable donut hole cake tower for this sweet teacher and her students to enjoy on her special day.
In order to make the tower, she bought about four dozen assorted donut holes: glazed, powdered, cinnamon sugar, and sprinkles. She made the sprinkled donuts by dipping the donut holes in melted candy melts and then rolling them in sprinkles. She then took the donuts and attached them to a Styrofoam cone with toothpicks. We opted to do one large tree and one small tree. We also served hot apple cider and hot chocolate to go with the donuts.
At the end of the year, we made “Pause and Relax” gift baskets for our teachers. The baskets included anything that involved relaxation. We were able to personalize these fun gift baskets based on their responses to the “All About You” questionnaire. For our female teachers we included bath bombs, candles or chocolate, a gift card to their favorite restaurant or coffee shops, hand lotion, and their favorite color nail polish.
These bath bombs were great to use. We were able to put one in each of the baskets and wrapped them individually in cellophane bags.
The candles varied from class to class depending upon budget and teacher preferences. This one worked well due to the natural essential oils it contains. A perfect combo to go with a customized and handwritten thank you letter.
For the male teachers, we did game/movie baskets. We included movie tickets and restaurant gift certificates, games such as Resistance, Exploding Kittens, and Banaagrams.
The games that were included were a real hit with teachers.
During the fall, we hosted a tailgate luncheon for the teachers. Because it was football season, it was quite easy to find décor for the tables. Our menu included wings, hotdogs, chips, fruit and veggie trays, potato salad, a fall harvest salad, soda in old fashioned glass bottles, and lemonade. For dessert, we had glazed chocolate brownies, and chocolate chip cookies. To personalize the luncheon, students were invited to sign and write short notes of appreciation on banners that we used to decorate their break room.
In the spring, we hosted a garden-themed luncheon for the teachers. Given the time of year, decorations were easy to find. Part of our decorations were mason jar floral arrangements which all of the teachers were able to take to with them. Our menu was light and simple. We served quiche, chicken salad, a berry spinach salad, croissants, muffins, fruit tray, non-alcoholic baby bellinis, coffee/tea, and cheese tray. For dessert, we brought back our donut tower and served strawberry rhubarb coffeecake.
There are so many ways to say thank you to teachers and many of the ideas do not necessarily involve elaborate planning. A sweet hand written note or perhaps a handmade card created by your student and signed by the family is a thoughtful way to let teachers know that you are thinking of them and appreciate them. Another idea, (again this is where the “All About You” questionnaire comes in handy) is to bring them their favorite snack or candy bar. If you know your teacher’s favorite color, then the whole class can surprise her/him by simply wearing her/his favorite color at the same time one day.
John Steinbeck once said, “I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artist. It might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.” Let’s do all we can to thank these “great artists” who do so much in their partnership with parents to help educate and inspire their students to be the best that they can be.