Holiday Giving at School
Each year, many teachers receive thoughtful and heart-warming gifts from their students. Each gift is a token of appreciation, and is remembered fondly long after the holiday season ends. However, with families' budgets stretched tighter than ever before, it may not be practical for families to continue to give gifts as they had in the past, even if the children still want to. Not to worry! Here are a few no- and low-cost ideas for your child to consider if they feel they really want to bring something to school:
Many gifts can be made with items from around the house. Here are some ideas you could try using many household items.
Cards: Student-made cards are always a highlight in any teacher's book. Have students use their creativity and a piece of paper to express their feelings. Children can use any medium for their cards, including paint, glitter, markers, crayons, construction paper, and colored pencils; they'll have fun making them, and the teacher will love to receive them!
Letters: Allow your child to write a letter to their teacher. When children write their feelings on paper, they often express themselves beautifully. Have your child write a letter on special holiday paper, or if you have a computer available, you could let them type the letter and add computer graphics. Either one is a one-of-a-kind gift!
Baked Goods: Does your child enjoy cooking with you? Does your family have a favorite fudge or cookie recipe you'd like to share? If you have the time, help your child cook up a batch of a favorite recipe. Package it up with a pretty bow, and then attach the recipe to the package. The teacher will love the munchies, and will be able to keep the recipe to remember your thoughtfulness for years to come!
Collages: Do you have a stack of magazines that hasn't made it to the recycle center yet? Spend some time with your child cutting out words and pictures from magazines that you think would be appropriate for your child's teacher. Glue them together, filling up a piece of poster board or construction paper to make a unique and thoughtful gift.
Caring Classroom Giving
Instead of sending on a gift for the teacher directly, consider sending in items that would benefit the classroom as a whole. Teachers will be grateful for any assistance you can give, and you will be providing some special extras for your child's class!
School Supplies: Consider sending in pencils, pens, erasers, staples, crayons, tape, copier paper, or glue sticks for class gifts. Many schools run out of these items shortly after school begins, and teachers often replenish supplies at their own cost. Your gift would help the students' learning, and would also be greatly appreciated by the teacher.
Jennifer Cummings, has a B.A.in psychology, and a M.Ed. in special education from Framingham State College in Massachusetts. She has been an elementary teacher in Massachusetts for almost 10 years, serving both regular education and special education students. She has taught grades 1,4, and 5.
"I believe that families' involvement in their child's education is one of the key ingredients to creating a successful school experience for children. Keeping parents informed about school-related issues helps parents and teachers work together for the best possible outcomes for their children. Learning together makes learning fun - for everyone!" - Jennifer Cummings. Contact her at A Note from the Teacher .
If you have any school-related questions, please e-mail us and we may answer your question in a future column! A Note from the Teacher
Cleaning Supplies: There are many items that make teachers' and children's lives easier and cleaner, but which schools simply cannot supply. Items such as disposable cleaning wipes, disposable dusters, anti-bacterial hand wash, rolled paper towels, cleaning sponges, and hand soap are common items that teachers often supply themselves.
Gift Certificates: Consider giving your child's teacher a small gift certificate to the local office supply, book store, dollar store, or teacher products store. Even $5 can really be useful when teachers are in need of materials.
Whether your child brings in a physical gift or not, their effort and positive attitude are the best presents they can give to their teacher every day. Each individual, special child has the opportunity to make each day brighter for their teacher just by being there!
Best wishes to all for a happy and safe holiday season from the Families Online Classroom! See you in 2005!