At the end of another year of study, it’s increasingly common for children to present their teacher with a gift and card in recognition of their hard work and encouragement throughout the academic year. It’s a practice that the shops and supermarkets identified as a growth market some time ago and they are now able to charge premium prices for their ‘Thank You Teacher’ lines.
However, ask any teacher which gifts are their favourites and they’ll all say the same – those gifts that have been lovingly designed and crafted at home. They are gifts and cards which have been lavished with time and skills developed and perfected at school.
The gifts and cards can be the result of one pupil’s hard work but for maximum impact, try thanking teacher with something the whole class has produced.
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Faces on a Plate
Purchase a large white platter from a supermarket or kitchen store and a set of porcelain pens in a variety of colours. The pens are comparatively expensive but if this is a class activity, costs can be kept to a minimum. Each member of class is asked to draw a simple doodle of themselves with their name underneath. Remember to mark the platter with the date so the teacher will have an everlasting reminder of the class of that year.
A similar effect is achieved using a white canvas and bright fabric paints. Each pupil makes a hand print and marks their name below with a fabric pen. This idea can be used for a tablecloth, apron, tote bag or even a deck chair.
Memories are Made of This
Readymade scrapbooks are fairly inexpensive and a plain book can be beautifully decorated with photographs and cuttings. The easiest way to create a class scrapbook is to buy a ring-binder. Each child then contributes a page. To make the pages last, each page is laminated. The scrapbook is more effective if it has a specific theme. Good ideas include:
- The things you taught me.
- My favourite day in class.
- Things I’ll miss about you.
- I will never forget…
Each child is free to craft their page in any manner. They may choose cuttings, drawings, photographs, a poem or a story.
A Potted Plant
A really lovely and appropriate idea for a teacher’s gift is a potted plant. It’s ideal for someone whose vocation is to grow and nurture children. Choose a pretty plant that is easy to care for and buy a plain terracotta pot. Before arranging or re-potting the plant, decorate the pot with personal messages or pictures. This is really easy to do with bright acrylic paints and a thin layer of clear varnish to fix the work.
A Simple Thank You Teacher Card
Teachers prefer homemade cards to shop-bought versions, they are more personal and heartfelt. A simple thank you card for a teacher starts life as a piece of folded black card, edged with lolly pop sticks to create a blackboard effect. Write a simple message with chalk on the card and fix with a light spritz of hair spray.
With a little thought and a few simple craft ideas, teacher will be very happy to receive a homemade gift or card. After a year of crafts and art in school, it’s really special for teachers to take home a tribute to their hard work at end of term.