How to appreciate a teacher

All over the country, the school year is winding down.  Kids ache for pools and play dates, moms seek refuge from lunches, alarms and homework checks.  Most everyone is longing for a different routine (or, a lack of one).

Teachers, too, enjoy their summer break but some of us will miss your child an awful lot.  Parents are doing a great job raising kids and I, for one, have enjoyed the fruits of those labors.  Throughout the year, I have laughed daily with them, listened interestingly to their stories and observations and cheered them on to better work.  I have challenged their ideas, absorbed their critiques and tempered their moods.  They’ve written me notes, drawn me pictures, texted me questions and tagged me on Facebook.  All this time and energy your child has received has been done joyfully.

No doubt your child has had a teacher that has earned a thank you, but you’re not sure how to.  So, how do you thank a teacher?  Well, parents ask me so I thought I’d share with you what I share with them.

1. Take a cue from your child.  My students know I like my chocolate dark, my cake layered and my notes specific.  My favorite thank-yous are hand-written notes from the kids that recount some happy moment, an inside joke we share or a favorite memory.   I save them and take them out to reminisce.

2. During the school year, my evenings are spent grading and planning and my lunches are rushed affairs, often gobbled while standing up, walking to the printer or returning an email to a parent.  A gift card to a coffee shop or lunch spot is perfect because summer is when we catch up with friends or former students.

3. Since most of us are those who love words, a simple & sincere word of thanks is often more than enough.  A warm squeeze, big smile and a thank you is appreciated.

Teachers are always investing in kids’ lives and more than likely they’ll spend a good deal of their summer reading, gleaning for ideas and thinking about the fall and how to make it an even better year. Even if you don’t have kids in school right now, it’s never too late to thank a teacher who you had years ago.  As I tell my kids at the end of every year, I’ll always want to know how you’re doing.  I’m sure that’s true for your kids’ teachers, too.


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