No matter how you started school off this year, the school year has begun in some way or fashion! Many of you may know, but some don't, that I am a public school art teacher. I don't think I have to tell you, but yes, in my 14yrs of teaching, this is the strangest year yet! Not only am I a teacher, but I am also on the other side as the parent of four school-age kiddos. So, I often see things from both sides or perspectives. I realize how different this year will be for teachers, parents, and even the kids. Different doesn't always mean bad. I see many positive things happening! As a teacher and parent, I encourage you to keep that positivity going. Not only is it going to help your children, but when a positively encouraged child enters the classroom, it makes a world of difference in a teacher's day!
My youngest is starting Kindergarten, and even though I know it will not be the same as all my other kids, he doesn't know that it's different. Inside, I'm heartbroken that I won't get to walk him to class on his first day and then go to my van an ugly cry. He will never know that because I'm going to encourage him and tell him that he will have a wonderful day because I know that is true. I know the teachers at his school and that they will make his first day awesome! I also want my kid's teachers to remember that I care about them too. A teacher who feels cared about is a teacher who will do a fantastic job! Don't you want your kid's teacher to be the best she can be? One way of helping to nurture both your children and their teacher is the giving of teacher's gifts! I've been on both sides, and I'm telling from experience it makes a major difference when you feel like the parents care about you!
I have featured some of my ultimate favorite gifts to give as well as get!
- Gift cards for coffee or loaded teas. I will go to my local coffee shop, which I know the teachers can quickly get to when they finally have some free time.
- A creative coffee mug. Pick a cup that features the teacher's subject or one of their favorite things. I love having art-themed mugs on my desk. It's a conversation starter to introduce artists or topics!
- Send an encouraging message! That message can be through a print with a positive word or reminder. You can even send a positive, supportive thank you card! Getting a thank you for the days spent with their students will brighten up their day.
- Candles are great too! I've used candles, wax melts, and essential oils in my classroom for years. Not only does it help me feel good in my class, but the students love it too! There is something about entering a good smelling classroom that makes the kids feel welcome. One of my favorites smells, Nag Champa by BlackJack Wax Co., you can find it at The Paper Moon, along with some of Wildwood Wonder's gifts! http://Papermoonclothing.square.site/
- Handpicked flowers. This is one of my favorites, come spring I always have a student bring me daffodils! I keep a small vase in my room for such occasions, the same homemade vase I created for my own kid's teachers. My oldest and I took mason jars, hot glued a ribbon around the top, and filled it with zinnias for a beginning of the year gift!
- Office supplies! Teachers don't get a budget list until Sept, so they end up buying supplies needed for the start of the year with their own money. Simple stuff like post-its, tape, paper clips, and pens are more than welcome!
I hope this gives you some great ideas to put some nurturing energy into the world this school year! By nurturing your teachers, you are helping to create a nurturing environment for your kiddos too.
Keep nurturing others,