If you’re considering some kind of teacher gift, I have a suggestion. Homemade cookies are always thoughtful, but the problem with cookies is that the teacher will eat them. And there's also all the other cookies and cupcakes they are given by the rest of the class. Then they will like you for giving them cookies, but hate themselves for eating all of them.
Get them a book. Maybe your favorite book. The book you want to share with someone. That will let the teacher know you and your child actually consider the teacher to be a human--something they need to be told. They like being considered human.
Or ask your kid what the teacher is interested in and get them a book about that subject. The teacher will be surprised and delighted that someone was paying attention in class. And it makes sense to return to them some of what they are giving - it shows you take their work seriously. We gave books all the way through our kids’ education. It was a connection that has stayed, far beyond the years our boys had those teachers. They remember our kids by the books they gave, if not by their perfect behavior.
Suggestions for books? I asked my friend Pete Cowdin, who runs Reading Reptile, one of the best children’s books stores in America, in Kansas City, Missouri. Here are his suggestions:
- A GIFT OF DAYS: The Greatest Words to Live By (by Stephen Alcorn) - perfect teacher gift for nearly any grade level.
- WHEN YOU REACH ME (by Rebecca Stead) best 9-12 novel of the year - Newbery Award frontrunner and deservedly so.
- IT'S A SECRET (by John Burningham) a great picture book by a legendary picture book maker.
- FUNNY BUSINESS (by Leonard Marcus) - good interviews with funny authors kids like - a nice addition to any intermediate classroom library.
Teachers will remember your kid. I’m not guaranteeing a free pass on the unfinished homework, but it will make a difference. Especially if you also give them some cookies.