Do you give gifts to teachers at the end of the year? In the years I worked as a teacher, I was always touched by how generous and considerate my students and their parents were with their gifts. I taught mostly high school students, so their gifts were often a bit playful. Like the student who thoughtfully bought me an electric battery-operated pencil sharpener after I had spent the entire year sending students into the classroom next door every time my classroom sharpener broke. Or the student who gave me a magic wand cause he figured, and rightly so, that I had required a bit of witchcraft to keep his rowdy classmates in line that year.
One of my very favorite gifts, though, was a simple handwritten thank you note from the student. (Notes from parents certainly meant a lot as well, but there is nothing quite like reading your student’s own words. )
Those of you who followed my old blog might remember how much I love a good thank you note.
Anyway, it was an easy choice for me when, at the end of last school year, we needed to decide on a gift for the boys’ teachers. Now, I think the end-of-the-year thank you note will be a family tradition.
Thanks in large part to Evan’s wonderful teachers, he was able to write his thank you notes entirely on his own this year. It took him a few days to write one for each of his three teachers. I have learned to start a good week ahead of any real deadline when we are writing thank you notes. It is just not worth forcing the process and the boys are more than happy to do it as long as they can do a little bit at a time. And Evan loves writing these days so it only took a small suggestion from me for him to jump right into the work.
Clayton and I worked together on his notes, of course, since he is still too young to do them on his own.
I asked Clayton what he liked best about each of his teachers and wrote what he said in the blank notecards that he had chosen. Just one sentence was really enough from a little guy like him.
Then, I asked him to write his name on a sheet of paper. I offered to write out the letters for him to trace, but because of his perfectionism, he got too upset trying to make his letters look exactly like mine. So, he just did them free-form, which really is more fun anyway. Since it takes so much effort (emotional and physical) for Clayton to write his name, I only asked him to write it once. I scanned his writing and sized it to fit on the inside of the card under the note I wrote for him. Then, I just printed enough copies of it and glued one into each card.
Finally, I repurposed a painting that he had made last week and cut out the letters to spell “thank you.” Once I had the letters cut, Clayton glued them in order to the fronts of the cards.
He was quite proud of his work!