Teacher Appreciation Week 2010: Give the Gift of Cash!

Sheri Reed
10

chalkboard school
Flickr photo by Cory Leopold
This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, and tomorrow, May 4, is officially National Teacher Day. Think what you will, but what every teacher wants and needs is a little cash to brighten her day -- yep, we're talking cash gifts and gift cards, folks. Step away from the teacher trinkets, scented candles, boxes of chocolates, and bath lotions.

Of course, that doesn't mean your Teacher Gift can't be special, too!

Read on for ideas for making a cash gift or gift card personal and special for that super-cool teacher!

Some parents will never learn. Or they have some compulsive need to buy their kid's favorite, beloved teacher some crappy tchotchke gift.

They see a #1 Teacher brooch with an apple and a schoolhouse and think, Perfect! They come across a chalkboard mouse pad, and they can't resist. They weep with glee over the idea of Mrs. Smith opening her very own apple-shaped cookie jar.

MAKE IT STOP!

(Oh, how I fantasize about a world where people finally STOP buying this junk, which, in turn, would keep manufacturers in faraway lands from making it.)

SO STOP. DO NOT BUY THAT TEACHER YOU ADORE AND RESPECT A MUG, CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT, OR ANYTHING SHAPED LIKE AN APPLE, CHALKBOARD, SCHOOLBUS, OR BOOKWORM. RESIST, I BEG YOU. AND YOUR CHILD'S TEACHER SILENTLY BEGS YOU TOO.

4 Ways to Make a Cash or Gift Card Gift Special:

  1. Take a single, anonymous collection for the gift so families can donate whatever they can. Present the teacher with one heftier-sized cash gift or gift card from everybody.
  2. Choose a gift card for a local shop that you know your child's teacher loves, be it a cafe, a restaurant, a bookstore, or a sporting goods store. 
  3. Have your child or the entire class work on a homemade card for the teacher. It's nice if kids can include personal thoughts about their teacher, even if you have to help them.
  4. Handpicked flowers are a nice addition. At my son's preschool, we're setting up a vase for each teacher, and kids are adding flowers to it every day of the week.

See? A cash or gift card can still convey the sentiment you were going for when you almost bought that teacher's apple stamp dispenser.

What are you buying your teacher(s) for Teacher Appreciation Week?

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