By Melanie Williams
Besides being an educator, cheerleader and coach, your child’s teacher is the person who gives you an eight-hour break from the intensity, the never-ending questions and the constant messes your little angel creates every minute of every day. While a shiny apple may have been an adequate thank-you a century ago, and a gift card may have sufficed a decade ago, today’s teachers need and deserve more. Rather than give your child’s teacher a cheap and individual gift, organize the parents in the classroom so that you can give your teacher a gift she’ll really appreciate.
The following four teacher gift ideas are perfect if you want to give the person who gives you a break every day a little break of her own.
Put your feet up
A few well placed emails or a couple of calls on the classroom phone tree are all you need to organize a spa day for your favorite teacher. Depending upon how many parents you can get involved, you can give her a day’s worth of treatments or buy her a gift certificate that she can use for anything from a manicure to a haircut. As long as she gets a chance to put her feet up, she will thank you.
A relaxing night at home
You are not the only parent who is scratching their head and wondering what an appropriate holiday gift for the teacher would be. When the other parents receive your email declaring that you’ve found a solution, they will readily give you a check, and let you organize a relaxing night at home for your teacher. Give her the night off from cooking with gift cards to the best Chinese delivery in town, and offer some dessert or gourmet snacks to munch on from one of the holiday gift baskets from FTD. Every teacher needs a bit of respite from long evenings spent grading papers, and this is the perfect way to give that to them.
The ideal staycation
If a lot of the parents in your classroom are business owners, you can create a fun gift using donations from their companies. Send your teacher on the ultimate staycation with vouchers for local restaurants and entertainment venues, and make sure she looks good with a free haircut from little Johnny’s mom and free drycleaning from little Susie’s parents. Fill in the gaps using cash from the parents who don’t own businesses. To make collecting donations easier, try using a service like Paypal that allows anyone with an email address to send money to anyone else with an email address.
Teaching the teacher
Your child’s teacher makes your child light up with excitement about learning every day, and you can give some of that excitement back to when you give your child’s teacher some lessons or classes. Find out where her interests lie and follow through with that. Chances are your child’s teacher would love a cooking class, some private time with a guitar instructor, or a guided tour of the local museum. If you have parents who teach lessons, this is an easy gift to organize.
Melanie Williams is a stay-at-home mom who runs a marketing consulting company.