the minimaList: school’s out for summer


As we find ourselves in the last month of the school year, the minds of parents often drift to thinking of buying an end of school year gift for your child’s teacher. For our family, this practice started two years ago when our oldest started preschool.  At the time, he had two lovely teachers and we gladly put together gifts for each of them to thank them for such a wonderful year.  Ditto for the next year, as he was at the same school and had the same delightful teachers.  This year, my son is in kindergarten and again has two teachers.  As I was beginning to consider what sort of gift to buy for each of these two very different people, one of the class parents put together a proposal that money be collected from parents who wanted to participate in a group gift.  She proposed that the gift would consist of a gift certificate for each teacher, as well as a digitally-created memory book that contained photos of the children and some of their personal artwork.  And the amount for all of these fabulous gifts? Only $20.

Let me tell you,  I did a small dance of joy when I got that email.  Here’s why:

  1. The value of this gift is going to be priceless.  The children will each be creating their own work of art with the teacher in mind, and their personal words of thanks and appreciation will be included in the photo book for the teacher.  I can’t speak for the teacher here, but I know if I was given a gift as thoughtful as this, I would be crying like a baby.
  2. Time spent not shopping will be better spent elsewhere.  I will not be required to spend any time shopping for gifts, or any time traveling to a shopping centre where I would surely have spent a considerable amount of time deliberating over whether my gift was “enough.”
  3. Gift cards as gifts means no packaging or wasteful wrapping.  The gift cards will be chosen for each teacher based on their lifestyle or personal interests – one teacher is a young mother and would probably relish a day a the spa, and the other is passionate about music and would love a gift certificate to indulge his passion.
  4. More bang for my buck.  There is no way on earth I could have put together such a fabulous gift for $10 per person.  It just wouldn’t be realistic.  The reality is I would have probably spent a lot more money than that trying to accomplish the same thing, but not coming anywhere near as close to the level of thoughtfulness that the proposed gifts will achieve.
Needless to say, I’m thrilled and I’ve already put in my twenty bucks.  Can’t wait to put the time I would have spent shopping out at the park on a sunny afternoon with my kids.  I think I’ll do that this afternoon.

Now that we’re nearing the end of the school year, are you buying or making anything to thank your children’s teachers?  If you homeschool, do you take the time to acknowledge your own contribution as parent/teacher? 


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