1. Think beyond school supplies. For a specific occasion, like appreciation week or an end-of-year thank-you, give your teacher a gift card to a retailer that sells more than just school or craft supplies. Our teachers spend lots of their own money to keep their classrooms stocked with pencils, glue sticks, etc. Thank them with a gift card that they can use for all those items, plus a little something for themselves.
2. Ask them if they need anything. It's nice to check in occasionally to see if the classroom is running low on supplies like tissues or anti-bacterial wipes. If you have the means and the opportunity, offer to pick up some extras the next time you're out shopping for your family.
3. Offer to help with "busy work." After a long day of teaching and lesson-planning, it can be a drag to come home and staple 75 individual sheets of paper into 25 mini-books on the water cycle. If you have time to spare, tell your teacher that you're available to help with some of these tasks if they ever need an extra pair of hands.
4. Don't corner them at the grocery store. If you run into your child's teacher outside of school hours, resist the urge to bring up any concerns you may have unless you get the go-ahead. Your teacher might be glad for the chance to have a mini-conference without setting up a meeting - or they might just really need to get home and make dinner. Follow their lead, and be respectful of “off-duty” time.
5. Perform a “random act of kudos." If you think your teacher has done something really wonderful, tell them so - and be as specific as possible. "Great job" is always nice to hear, but "thank you for taking the extra time to help my son with his handwriting" means even more.
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