The Coronavirus is still a pervasive threat in the U.S. Even so, many states are bringing staff and students back to the classroom this fall, with precautions in place. While you may fear sending your child to school, consider the stress teachers are under. It’s typically a challenge to corral kids and teach, but with a looming virus and complicated safety measures in place, their job gets even more exhausting.
To ease teachers’ re-entry, get them a gift to start their year on a bright, hopeful note. While there are always some do’s and don’ts to teacher gifts, there are even more amidst this pandemic. If you need inspiration, here are four thoughtful back to school teacher gift ideas and tips for giving them safely.
Supplies to Kick Off the Year
This one’s a mainstay. Teachers always need tissues, wipes, pencils, glue, and many more daily-use classroom items. Now more than ever, they need a healthy supply of cleaning aids to sanitize their space, plus enough single-use utensils to keep kids from reusing something others have touched. Give them peace of mind about the state of their classroom by making these supplies readily available.
This fall, rather than changing rooms every period, many schools will have students remain in one place for the entire day. The result: classrooms need a proper stock of activities to keep kids occupied during downtime. While they can’t borrow classroom books, the teacher can still read to them.
Buy your kids’ teacher some new classroom books to fill the likely demand. Try to choose books with uplifting messages that will encourage students during this stressful time. Bonus points if you procure stories that represent culturally-diverse characters, as well as books that promote healthy classroom conversations on race and culture.
A Class Plant
Throughout the year, kids crave a sustained classroom activity. Books help in this area, but providing a class plant is another thoughtful back to school teacher gift option. Though teachers must man the watering can, students can watch as the plant flourishes and flowers. This gift also provides a built-in, practical demonstration of plant life, should their class go over that subject at some point.
More important now than ever before, teachers want creative ways to teach social-emotional learning, or SEL. Posters are effective at getting across basic SEL principles. Beyond that, even connecting teachers with free, contact-less SEL games, conversation starters, and other activities will help. During this unprecedented time in teachers’ and students’ lives, these resources will matter, perhaps even more than their standard curriculum.
How to Give Teachers Gifts
It’s tricky to find ways to give a physical git without the risk of transmitting the virus. Always check with your child’s school before deciding to give something. One simple way to circumvent contact is by shipping directly to the school. If you can’t do so, ask whether you can wear gloves and a mask to transport your gift and arrange a drop-off area.
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❤️ Patient & RN Advocate
🖥 Blogger/Freelance Writer
🏥 Urban Zen Integrative Therapist