Many first-year teachers have a difficult time getting started in their new profession. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, one in five new teachers quits her career within the first three years. Giving your first-year teachers a gift lets them know that their hard work is appreciated.
Giving the teacher an apple is a cliche. But there are now food baskets available for gift giving that take this idea to another level. You can order these gift baskets online or at a local store and have them sent to your teacher's classroom. Otherwise, you can purchase one yourself and have your child give it to the teacher in person. The foods in the baskets range from fresh fruit to cookies, chocolates and candies.
Scented candles always make for an inexpensive and practical gift. You can give your teacher a nice scented candle to put in either his home or his classroom. If you or your child has noticed that his teacher burns scented candles or has other room-freshening devices, try to get a candle that's reminiscent of that scent.
Clipboards are useful for teachers when going over checklists, collecting assignments or any other number of miscellaneous classroom tasks. One fun gift idea is to get your teacher a customized clipboard with a photo collage on the back. You can cut out pictures and glue them to the clipboard, then cover the entire area with transparent contact paper. This will keep all the pictures in place while still allowing them to be seen.
There are many different books you can give your teacher, so put in the time to figure out if there's one she's been wanting or would like. If you don't know offhand, some good ideas might be books on being a new teacher, such as "The First-Year Teacher's Survival Guide" or "The New Teacher's Complete Resource Book." Of course, there are always classics like "The Giving Tree," "The Little Prince" or "Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul."
Oftentimes, new teachers are still finding their own teaching style and are in the process of creating their classroom environment. Help them fill in the empty space on their walls by giving a poster or picture to hang. There are almost limitless options, but some good places to start would be inspirational posters, a poster of the college they graduated from, decal stickers or a collage of your child's class.
Thomas McNish has been writing since 2005, contributing to Salon.com and other online publications. He is working toward his Associate of Science in computer information technology from Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla.