by Olynda Smith, AMS Certified Montessori Teacher and Simplicity Parenting Family Life Coach
“A teacher nourishes the soul of a child for a lifetime.”
This quote is true of all teachers, but is especially true of Early Childhood teachers. We may only see someone setting up snack, wiping noses and reading story books with groups of kids. But, do not be fooled, these teachers are likely the most influential ones your children will ever have.
They are charged not only with giving a child’s first lessons, but more importantly with mindfully guiding children as they become the best version of themselves at an incredibly important time in their lives.
This takes an immense amount of inner preparation and work!
On the brink of teacher appreciation week, you may be wondering how to show these teachers you appreciate all they do for your child and your family! Here are a few quick ideas that will likely be enjoyed by your child’s teacher and line up with strong sustainability values:
- Give a living plant. Head on over to the local nursery or farmers market and get a seedling for your child’s teacher. If you know they don’t have outdoor space, see about an indoor plant. Want to really do it up? Make a hands on educational afternoon out of it by Get a lovely pot (or have your child decorate one) to repot the seedling before gifting it. This will support local farmers or nurseries, and if you get an herb of some kind it will cut down on all those plastic containers used when we buy these from the store.
- Give the gift of relaxation. Did you know bath bombs are really easy to make? It’s a wonderful afternoon or weekend activity to do with your child. Here is a great basic recipe from Learning Herbs. You can change out the essential oils for ones that you think your teacher will like best.
- Choose your own (Local) adventure. Gift Cards are always welcome, even in small amounts. Send a message to your child about lining up your spending and your sustainability values by buying local. Bookstores and restaurants are usually always a hit. But for extra credit, get to know your teacher and get a gift card to someplace they really love!
If you can, include a heartfelt note of gratitude with examples of how your child is benefiting from their teachers. Teaching is not glamorous or well compensated work in our American mainstream culture. These last few years have been especially demanding for teachers due to Covid. Most teachers do this work because they love it, and they love to know they are making a difference. They work hard to fill each child’s cup - and teacher appreciation week is a perfect opportunity to fill theirs in return.