I am constantly amazed at the commitment and patience of the saints that teach and lead children in schools. Whether public, private or homeschool tutorials, our educational institutions are filled with men and women who serve tirelessly to help our kids learn and grow.
Many parents look towards Christmas to offer a gift of appreciation to teachers and other beloved school staff. During the last part of the month of December, education professionals are inundated with adorably homemade cards, Christmas swag, treats, gift cards and Pinterest-found, personalized crafts.
And I don’t hear them complaining. I’m sure each and every gift means the world to their mid-year-weary hearts. But the pressure is always on to outdo last year’s gift or come up with something no one else would think to give. I don’t know all the teachers in the world but I imagine most of them just appreciate the thought. Christmas gifts are a beautiful way to show our gratitude to teachers and staff, but what if we instead, thoughtfully showed our thanks the whole season through?
November is a month set aside to reflect on those things for which we are most thankful. It’s the perfect time to show our appreciation for the people who are making a difference in the lives of our children. It’s an opportunity for us to encourage our kids to use words, thoughtful gifts and acts of service to express everyday gratitude to their leaders.
If you are looking for a way to show thanks to the teachers and educational staff in your child’s life, try these simple, everyday ideas:
1. 30 Days of Thanksgiving – Work together with your child to come up with 30 reasons you are thankful for his/her teacher or school staff member. Present the list before Thanksgiving break so recipients can reflect on their impact as they rest and refuel over the holiday.
2. Friday Fuss – Bring a treat or note of thanks each Friday leading up to Christmas break for one person who has made a difference in your child’s educational experience. Find out their favorite coffee or afternoon treat. Bake something or grab a $5 Starbucks giftcard. Your token of appreciation doesn’t have to be extravagant. It just needs to be thoughtful. You don’t need to bring something to the same person every week. Switch it up and make a fuss over a few people this holiday season.
3. Serve with Gratitude – Ask your child’s teacher or school how you can serve this month. Better yet, involve your kids. Maybe there is an after-school project you can do together. There is always more to do than any one teacher can accomplish on her own. Find out how you can take something off her plate this season.
4. Backpack Notes – Many moms love to sneak a sweet note into their child’s school lunchbox. How about taking this idea and using it to bless a teacher? Create a small note of encouragement and leave it for the teacher to find on your child’s homework or in his backpack or take-home folder. Words like – “Thank you for all you do”, “Hope the day goes smoothly today” or “Only a saint could figure out how to teach this math” will bring a smile to your teacher’s face and may even spark energy to get her through another day.
Though we traditionally lose focus on thanksgiving when December arrives, our everyday gratitude can continue as we celebrate the Source of every blessing we enjoy. Ask God to show you simple, everyday ways you can show gratitude to the teachers, administrators and staff who work so hard to help your children. Extend your thanks beyond Thanksgiving and pray your humble acts bring all the joy they need to carry them into the New Year.
Additional Thanksgiving resources from What’s In The Bible?
Jessica Wolstenholm is co-founder of Grace for Moms. After 15 years in the music and publishing industries, Jessica came home to be with her two small children. Although the transition from the corporate world to the playground has been an adjustment, she is learning every day to access the grace available to us through Christ as she navigates the full time job of motherhood. She is the co-author of The Pregnancy Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey to Motherhood and The Baby Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey Through Baby’s First Year. Jessica lives in Nolensville, TN with her husband, Dave and two miracle babies, Hope (6) and Joshua (3).