Gifts are wonderful things. We buy them for anniversaries, valentines day, weddings, and birthdays. However, you don’t necessarily need a big event to buy someone a gift. Sometimes, a present can be an excellent opportunity to show someone how much you appreciate them.
While we might be home educators, I think that – at least following lockdown, many people are going to agree that one of the people most deserving of a gift is anyone involved in your child’s education, even if it is only for a few hours, or particular sessions per week.
So, how do you know what kind of gift you should give?
When To Give Teachers Gifts
The first step in picking the right gift-giving strategy for your child’s tutor or teacher is deciding when you’re going to give them their present. A good option is usually at the end of the school year, when your child is about to go on their 6-week break and relax away from their groups and activities for a while.
You don’t need to wait until the end of the year to show how much you care, however. You can offer gifts to your teacher after a big exam, or a tough period in your child’s life. A teacher friend recently received a lovely gift from someone as a thank you for still working with her disabled child throughout lockdown, for example, and it was such a lovely and welcome surprise.
How to Give the Right Gift
It’s always a good idea to put some extra thought into a teacher’s gift. Remember, teaching is often a thankless profession. Even angelic children don’t always show their appreciation, and I often think our maths tutor must have been a shepherdess in a different life, the way she manages to wrangle small groups of children who aren’t used to classrooms and structured learning. A thoughtful gift shows that both you and your youngster appreciates their educator.
Good gifts can include things that the teacher might want to use or put in the classroom, like a new coffee mug, or a selection of colored pencils. Memorabilia gifts often hold an important place in any teacher’s heart. If you can get your child to make a gift, that could be a great way to make something even more meaningful. Also think of gifts that biodegrade with time – when my great grandmother died, we found boxes and boxes of thank you cards and pictures from her classes that she had treasured for years, but in the end they were able to go into the recycling, rather than landfill.
Remember, great gifts don’t have to be related to teaching either. A spa voucher or a gift card for a free facial could be just what your child’s teacher needs to relax and unwind after a long year.
Avoid Common Gift Mistakes
Giving a gift to a teacher can be an excellent way to show them how much you appreciate their hard work. However, it’s also easy to make mistakes with this kind of gift-giving. For instance, giving a teacher a present will not make up for your child’s bad behaviour. It’s also not a way to try and bribe a teacher into better grades or extra help.
If your child needs extra help at school, approach the teacher, and ask what you can all do together. If you successfully overcome a problem with that teacher’s help, then you can consider giving a gift as a thank you.
It’s also worth remembering that it’s best to keep teacher’s gifts as appropriate as possible. Although gag gifts can seem like a fun idea, particularly when your student is a little older, they can sometimes come across as offensive or inappropriate. If you’re not sure whether a present will come across as being in bad taste or not, it’s best to avoid it.
Make Sure the Gift Comes from the Child
Finally, make sure that your teacher knows that it’s the child giving them the present, not just you. They’ll see that you probably had some hand in inspiring your youngster, but it means a lot more for a teacher to get a present from a student than from a parent.
Even if your child doesn’t do much to pick out the present, have them hand-write a note to the teacher in a card, and hand it over themselves. This will make a world of difference to how meaningful the gift really is.