In honor of this teacher appreciation week, I wanted to share my favorite gift of all time! I’ve been in education for over 10 years now, so I have received my fair share, and there’s one that always wins by a landslide!
Like most teachers, I don’t really expect gifts and accolades for doing what I do. I teach because it’s a passion of mine, I think early childhood education is important, and because I genuinely enjoy it and have a knack for it. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate an acknowledgement of what I do, though . . . I’m only human! 🙂
I’ve received a variety of presents as a teacher – for holidays, teacher appreciation week, and end of the year gifts. There have been coffee mugs and chocolate to satisfy two of my vices, gift cards to make my life easier, and beautiful flowers to decorate my home and classroom (and that’s just to name a few). I can honestly say I have loved each and every gift my students and their families have given me. But those examples don’t even compare to the gift I cherish the most.
Despite the semi-dramatic build up, my favorite teacher gift isn’t anything expensive or over-the-top. It is a simple thank you! It can come in the form of a hand-written note from a parent, a colorful child-drawn picture, or just a heartfelt use of the words “thank you!” This gift, no matter how basic it might seem, absolutely means the world to me. I can state for a fact that I have every single thank you card and drawing I have ever received. They make me smile every time I see them. They’re also a great pick-me-up during those days when I feel like I wasn’t the best teacher.
There’s just something about an earnest “thank you” that touches my heart each and every time. They make me feel appreciated. They make me feel like my students’ families understand what I put into my job as a teacher. They make me feel validated. It’s a gift that any family can give – no matter the family’s income, home language, ethnicity, composition, etc. A note, a card, a child’s drawing, or a few simple words may seem small – but it’s those gifts that have the biggest impact on me as a teacher.
What are your thoughts when it comes to teacher gifts?