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This holiday season, thanking educators for their service is more important than ever. As parents, the 2020-2021 school year has been tough, but long before the school year began, teachers, principals and school staff were hard at work coming up with ways to adapt everything from lesson plans to desk setups to ensure our kids could learn during the COVID-19 pandemic. Arkansas teachers worked all summer to get everything ready this fall, whether virtually or in-person, to face infinite more unknowns. Needless to say, this year more than any other has taken a toll on our teachers both mentally and physically.
Although they would never expect to receive presents from students or parents, a great way to show our appreciation is to give them gifts they can really use, and love. That trip to Barbados, extra snow days, or a day that everyone turns in their homework would be great, but let’s be practical.
10 Great Gifts for Arkansas Teachers
1. Gift cards. For a restaurant, a coffee shop, a bakery, a local eatery, or a place where they can grab their favorite hot or cold drink after school. Let’s keep teachers hydrated.
(Photo taken prior to Covid)
2. Flowers. A big, fresh bouquet from the local flower shop or a small bunch of simple blooms in a glass jar. This is a present that brightens their day, and their desk.
3. Notepads. Teachers are making notes and taking names. They need notepads for school and notepads for home. Let us provide them with a never-diminishing supply of paper that can fit into bags and pockets.
4. Customized lists. A sibling to the notepad, customized lists have the structure and organization all ready to go for a productive school day. These handy tools come with pre-printed lines, bullet points, a place to write the date, a heading, or a vertical row of boxes to check off the everlasting teacher tasks.
5. Sticky notes. A cousin to the notepad and customized list. Teachers and administrators use bright notes, big notes, small notes, sticky notes with lines, and sticky notes with grids. Make sure the ones you purchase for the teacher in your life are good quality.
6. Homemade cards. Made by the children, that is. We purchase thick, small booklets of square craft paper with various patterns and use it over several years’ time. The paper can be folded fancy, origami-style or simply serve as a surface for a child’s artwork and signature.
7. A donation to their classroom fundraising effort. Teachers are all over social media when it comes to spreading the word about classroom and teaching supplies.
No student of your own? No problem. Search on sites like DonorsChoose and AdoptaClassroom.org to find a teacher in your area whose request you would like to support. Everything from student earbuds for computer lessons to reading materials in support early literacy: the tools of online fundraising get an “A” when it comes to the ease of putting funds in the classroom.
8. Their favorite markers, pens and pencils. The next time you’re in your child’s classroom, play a little Eye Spy to see the favorite brand and style the teacher prefers.
9. Books for their classroom. Ask for a list of what they need.
10. Razorback-themed (or their alma mater) supplies. Lots of local shops around Arkansas specialize in Razorback or other colleges designs with options for monograms.
A few things you might should to avoid:
Mugs, unless they’re useful in some other way, such as, a travel or USB mug
Classroom decorations, such as wreaths, wall hangings, and posters
Also, don’t forget other educators and school staff. We are all in this together.
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