By Lexi Walters Wright
Want to thank teachers or specialists for going the extra mile to help your child? Skip the thank-you mug and scented soap! Instead, consider these simple ideas to show you appreciate their dedication and skill.
A handwritten card or letter still goes a long way. Try to be specific about what the teacher or specialist did that was so exceptional for your child. For example, you might write: “Because of the way you took the time to read before school with Amy this year, she’s so much more excited about books now.” You may also want to note how the teacher helped you: “I always felt like you had my back in IEP meetings.”
Encourage your child write or draw her thanks. Use paper or note cards, or try an unexpected canvas: a plain tote bag, for example, or blank cardboard coasters. (Your child can decorate the bag and the coasters with permanent markers.)
Work with other parents to create a custom photo book full of pictures and messages. Consider including the students in your child’s social skills group, for example, or her peers from adapted physical ed. (Just make sure you get parents’ permission to use their child’s photo.)
Give class supplies that teachers tend to run out of each year. Those might include permanent markers, dry-erase pens and pencil grips. You may also want to consider getting your child’s teacher a set of monogrammed pencils. Supplies are less likely to disappear from a teacher’s classroom if they are clearly marked with her name or initials.
Does your child’s teacher love to garden? Give her a new pair of gardening gloves with some seed packets tucked inside. Is your child’s reading specialist a dog lover? Her pooch will appreciate a new Frisbee or chew toy. These kinds of gifts show you care about these people as much as they care about your child.
Go in with another parent or two to buy a gift certificate for a soothing massage or a pedicure. Get a gift card for a movie theater or bookstore. Another nice option is to give your child’s teacher a membership card for a local museum.
Bring in a pan of your famous lasagna with instructions on how to reheat or freeze. Or deliver breakfast to the classroom when you drop your child off in the morning. (You just need to know of any food allergies or restrictions beforehand.) Or purchase a gift certificate for a local restaurant, café or drive-through.
A gift card for stores like Whole Foods or Target can buy essentials (groceries, toiletries, home items) as well as goodies (cheese, wine, sweet treats). Another option is an online retailer like Amazon. Teachers can choose from digital music, books and lots of other items.
Find out if your child’s school has rules that prevent teachers from accepting gifts over a certain value. That goes for group gifts, too. But the rules might not apply to items donated for the classroom, such as new books or materials. Check with your board of education or state ethics commission for teacher gift regulations.
You want the best for your child, and sometimes you and the teacher may disagree. But too much friction could impact your child. Use these tips to improve your relationship with your child’s teacher.
Talking to your child’s teacher about dyslexia is important. It’s the best way for her to understand your child’s challenges, strengths and needs, so she’ll be able to work with your child successfully. Here are eight tips to help you have productive conversations.
A veteran writer and editor for parenting magazines and websites, Lexi Walters Wright has a master’s degree in library and information science and is proud to serve families at Understood.org.
Apr 07, 2015
Apr 07, 2015
Checklist: Questions to Ask at Your Parent-Teacher Conference
Finding Alternatives to Required Courses for High-Schoolers With Learning and Attention Issues
Download: Contact List for Who to Call at Your Child’s School
14 Tips for Making the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences
5 Topics to Go Over With Teachers Early in the School Year
9 Tips for Improving Your Relationship With Your Child’s Teacher
As we celebrate LD, ADHD and Dyslexia Awareness Months, we’re launching a special campaign to help you and your child #BeUnderstood.
How does the brain of a child with dyslexia work differently? Watch this video to find out.
Bedwetting can be a problem for kids with ADHD. An expert explains.
Find out which learning and attention issues affect time management skills, and how to help.
Oct 25th at 1:00 pm
School was a struggle for her son. And saying “have a good day” seemed to make things worse.
Follow the steps to learn what documents you need and what order to put them in.
Learn the role of hot and cool executive functioning skills and how to help your child build them.
A Houston newspaper reports that Texas has denied special education services to thousands of students.
Sign up for your weekly email newsletter, for you and your family.
This email is already subscribed to Understood newsletters. If you haven't been receiving anything, add firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe-senders list.
Don’t worry—we saved what you wrote.
Sign up to get personalized recommendations and connect with parents and experts in our community.
Only members can view and participate in conversations.
Child’s nickname is private and only you can see it.