In between park outings and complaining about the weather, we've been busy preparing gifts for the girls' teachers. This was Jenna's last week of preschool, and Jenna was very clear about what she wanted to give her teachers.
"Cookies that are vanilla (i.e. no cocoa) with rainbow frosting," she said.
"Bookmarks - summer food for Mrs May,
summer things for Mrs Walquist,
art supplies for Mrs Anderson
and sewing things for Mrs Strain."
"And paper flowers -
in their favorite colors".
We put them all in baskets lined with tissue paper, and Jenna laboriously signed thank you cards.
On Thursday, she solemnly delivered them to her teachers and reported later to her dad, "Mrs Walquist was the surprisedest."
Emily continues with kindergarten till early June. She's giving her teacher one of those crazy morphing wallet totes.
She took mental notes all year on her teacher's favorite things and chose to do owls
tucked inside a hand-drawn wallet.
"Those are an easel, a pointer, a whiteboard marker and a glue bottle", she enlightened me.
Having seen Jenna's gift baskets, she's decided her teacher might like cookies and flowers, too.
When I was a teacher, there were strict guidelines for the kinds of gifts we were allowed to accept from students. Flowers and cards were OK, as was anything handmade. However, anything of substantial monetary value was out, for instance. So no gift cards, jewellery, appliances, things like that. There were declaration forms to fill out and submit to the Ministry of Education, who would then decide what we should do with the items. When I was in 6th grade, a group of us saved 10 cents each day for months, and at the end of the year, we all went shopping and presented our teachers with Wedgewood. Wedgewood! Our teachers had to hold a conference to decide how to deal with the situation. In the end, they bought us all small toiletries bags, which reduced us to tears, we were so touched.
So I'd always been a little hesitant about what sort of things to give teachers, and if they are even allowed to keep the gifts. It took me a while to feel comfortable presenting them with gift cards and not worry that the department of education would confiscate them. Now that I know that teacher gifts are limited only by one's imagination (and one's children's fixations), we are happy to shower them with all kinds of wacky and wonderful things, because we are so thankful for what they have done for our children.
What are your kids giving their teachers?