The Teacher’s Gift

Today, I had planned to write (once again) about affordable teachers gifts, but Friday’s tragedy has changed how I feel about that.

Who spends as much (or more) time with our kids as we do?


Every school day, we give our precious children to teachers who care for them and help them grow. Not just academically – teachers influence who our children are as people.

They take a massive amount of material and devise a way to cover it with children at various skill levels, while balancing requirements thrust upon them by the school and the state.

They come to school with enthusiasm and smiles for our kids who look up to them, who crave their attention and guidance.

On Friday, teachers and administrators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT made the ultimate sacrifice in an attempt to protect the children at their school. They did what I believe all teachers would do in that situation – be brave and rise to the occasion.

It made me ask myself why I ever even wrote about affordable teachers gifts when what I should have been writing were ideas for a truly meaningful way to thank our teachers for the unbelievable contribution they make to our children’s lives.

Do I have several teachers for whom to buy? Sure. But as a parent who can provide a nice Christmas to kids who already have so much, I can no longer look at the teacher’s gift as an item on my to do list that needs to be managed as cost-effectively as possible.

I am sort of jolted by the fact that I ever even did view it that way, but I know how it happened. As a mom, my life is an endless list of things to do. And, during the holidays, it feels like we are spending money left and right.

But, in light of recent events, I not only want to hug my kids, I want to hug our teachers. And thank them.

So, this holiday, our teachers will be getting letters from me and from my kids, telling them what they mean to us. I plan to send a copy to their principals, too, to ensure they get a glimpse of the value those teachers bring.

A friend who used to be a teacher once told me that most teachers spend their own money on things for the students and the classroom throughout the year. So, I think I am going to get gift certificates to go with the letters.

Not sure what to buy, I consulted our room mom. It turns out many schools provide lists of teachers’ interests, which can be helpful. And if money is tight, that’s okay. It’s not about the amount of the gift – it’s the intention that is key.

Despite busy schedules and a long list of things to do, it all seems different now.

A world that is bigger than “my own little world” has seen fit to remind me, through horribly sad events, what a gift the teacher is to us all.


4 Responses to The Teacher’s Gift

  1. Penni Drake December 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    Point well taken. When my child starts school, I will NEVER skimp on teacher’s gifts. This is a reminder we all needed. Thank you

    • Heather December 17, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

      Thanks, Penni. What I realized is that should be meaningful. It shouldn’t just be something I strive to check off of my to do list. I need to recognize the time and the effort my children receive from teachers and stop. Just stop, and really focus on these particular gifts.

  2. Kathy Alred December 17, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

    Very well said as usual Heather.

    • Heather December 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

      Thanks, Kathy! Hope you guys are having a great holiday!

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