What do teachers want?

Tracy's a big believer in the gift card as an end-of-year thank you, but this year, she thinks something extra-special is in order.

Photo by madlyinlovewithlife via Flickr.

It’s that time of year again. As Anna’s first real year of school wraps up, it’s all about field trips and kindergarten graduation plans (Limo? Corsage? I’m kidding!) and convincing Anna that her indoor shoes will last just a few more weeks. I can hardly believe that she’s about to join the ranks of grade-schoolers.
I also can’t believe how much we lucked out this year with having the best senior kindergarten teacher we could have imagined. If you’ve been following along here over the years, you know that Anna has a very spirited temperament. She’s full of fun and bursting with ideas and energy, but she tends to be a “my way or the highway” kind of girl when it comes to social situations. She’s quick to get frustrated and not shy about letting anyone — everyone — know how she feels.
We had no idea what to expect in a formal school setting (she was at a preschool previously). Would she thrive or flounder? Luckily, the former, and I believe a huge reason for that is her amazing teacher. This woman runs her classroom like a tight ship — she’s all about structure and routine and all the kids know exactly what’s expected of them. Because of that, the environment is calm, controlled and conducive to learning (with lots of time for fun, of course). Maybe this isn’t every parent’s cup of tea, but I can assure you that it is exactly what Anna needed, and because of it, she has had an incredibly successful year. Anna’s teacher has made herself very available to chat with me about any concerns, or just to share updates on how Anna is faring in the classroom or tell me about the sweet things she does.
Because, you see, I’m not the only one who adores Anna’s teacher. Anna writes her notes that say “I love you” and made her a special card for Mother’s Day. She picks flowers from our garden to bring her. When something happens, she says, “I can’t wait to tell Mrs. D! She’s going to love this story.” She tells me that she’s going to miss her so much when school is over. Clearly, Mrs. D has touched my daughter in a very special way, and for that, I will always be grateful.
So, the consensus among my friends is that gift cards are the way to go for teachers’ gifts. I’m inclined to agree; it’s great to be able to go out and get something you really want, isn’t it? But I can’t help but feel that I want to give something extra-special to this teacher, who has had such a positive, empowering impact on my daughter this past year.
Do you have any ideas for a little special something? What do you plan to give your kids’ teachers as an end-of-the-year thank you? 

Photo by madlyinlovewithlife via Flickr.

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