The significance of teachers in children’s lives cannot be measured. Educators invest their lives in nurturing, teaching and encouraging their students, and World Teachers’ Day, observed on October 5, offers the opportunity to show appreciation for all that they do.
Whether your child goes to public school, private school or homeschool, your family can acknowledge this holiday with meaningful gifts and activities.
Give a Gift Card
Although any present shows that you care, a gift card is an excellent choice for a teacher. With a gift card, teachers can enjoy a cup of coffee, grab a bite to eat or purchase classroom supplies. Take your children to the gift card rack of your local supermarket or drugstore so they can peruse the selections and pick out the gift cards they think their teachers will enjoy.
Make a Handmade Gift
Gifts don’t have to cost a lot to be meaningful. Children might enjoy coloring a picture for their teachers or picking them a bouquet of flowers from your garden. Gifts like these show that your child was thinking about his teacher and took the time to do something special in her honor.
Send an E-card
The World Teachers’ Day website has a selection of e-cards that can be emailed to teachers. There’s even space to add a personal message.
Donate School Supplies
A survey in Marketplace Morning Report found nine out of 10 teachers spend their own money on classroom supplies. Presenting your child’s teacher with a sack of markers, glue sticks and copy paper is a simple gesture that communicates your appreciation for all the little sacrifices he makes for his students.
If you’re not sure what your local school needs, it’s okay to ask; most teachers would be happy to provide a list of suggestions. Have your children decorate gift sacks that you can fill with pencils, stickers and tissues for the classroom, and send the bag to school with your child during the week of World Teacher’s Day.
Teachers are a voice of authority in your community and in your children’s lives, so it’s important to pray for them regularly.
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men; For kings, and for all those that are in authority. —1 Timothy 2:1-2
On World Teachers’ Day, set aside a special time to pray as a family for the many teachers in your children’s lives, at school, at church and in community organizations. If you are a homeschooling family, use this time to pray for guidance in your home educating endeavors.
Find out What the Teacher Enjoys
A simple questionnaire is a great way to personalize your gift giving. Ask your children’s teachers to fill out a page about their favorite things, such as restaurants, drinks and stores. The teacher will be touched when you give her a bag of her favorite snack mix or arrive with a cup of his favorite coffee. Premade questionnaires are available online, or you can design your own. If you choose to make your own, ask your children for input on the categories that should be listed on the page.
Write a Letter
More than anything, teachers want to know that they are making a difference. A simple note that says, “Thanks for all you do,” is a meaningful gesture. Making reference to a particular thing that the teacher did for your child is even better. Did your child spend the whole car ride home talking about how neat the hands-on science project was that day? Let the teacher know that her lesson was a hit.
Additionally, encourage your children to write their own notes to their teachers. This doesn’t have to be limited to classroom teachers; if your child’s Sunday school teacher or homeschool co-op instructor has been influential in his life, a letter is a great way to encourage her to keep up the good work.
This year, on World Teachers’ Day, take time to thank a teacher for all of his hard work, and encourage your children to do the same. Let teachers know that their investment in children’s lives does not go unnoticed, and you appreciate all that they do.