This time of year, Pinterest and other social media sites are drowning in cute and clever gifts for your child’s teacher.   Finding the best way to say thank you is not easy especially when you are on a budget or pressed for time.  I’m here to to give the hard truth.  It’s not about the gift.  While I and my teacher friends would often remark on the great gift card we received or the nice present, I will tell you what means the most.  That is a heartfelt note written from the parent and the child.  I’m not talking about,  “Thank you for being my teacher” or “You are the best teacher ever!”  Those are nice but the ones that mean the most are notes that specifically state the impact the person has made on your child.

Being a teacher is an increasingly difficult job and there are days in every teacher’s career when they feel low and need some encouragement.   It’s during those days that I would dip into my personal file of kind notes.  I would pull them out to remind me of the reason that I became a teacher.  It wasn’t for the “summers off” or the perceived “extra vacation time”.  It was to make a difference.

In the course of a school year, administrator receive many complaints.  It’s important to recognize and encourage goods work as well.

Taking the time to write a specific note is also an excellent opportunity to better your relationship with your child’s school (even if, and maybe even more importantly, if the school year has been a little “bumpy”).  If someone has been especially kind or helpful, in addition to the handwritten note, take the time to email the person with specifics about how they made a difference and “cc” their superior on the email.    In the course of a school year, administrator receive many complaints.  It’s important to recognize and encourage good works as well. ( As an added benefit, these emails often can be added to the employee’s file.  This is much appreciated.)

So if someone in your child’s life has made a difference, take the time to say so.  I promise you it will be the best gift you could give.

Don’t forget there are many people that can positively impact your child’s day at school.  Below, I’ve linked to a document I created showing various school staff member and their supervisors. Some schools may vary slightly but this will get give you a starting point.   If your child’s school has already ended, it’s not too late!  Send an email anyway.  “A kind word is never wasted!”

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