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Here is a suggestion for an easy homemade gift bound to please any teacher.
Snowman card When your child makes this snowman card, in addition to making a gift for his teacher, he will be practicing cutting, drawing and writing.
Directions: Fold the piece of card stock or construction paper in half. Tear or cut three white circles from the white paper for the snowman's head and body. On the head, use the hole punch to make two tiny black eyes (or draw two eyes), cut out or draw a red mouth and use the orange paper to make a carrot-shaped nose. Glue the circles to form the snowman on the front of the card. Before the glue dries, tuck the pipe cleaner or twist ties under the middle circle to serve as the snowman's arms. Cut out a small, black hat and paste it on the snowman's head. Write your holiday message on the inside of the card.
By GreatSchools Staff
Marcie Wollesen, a third-grade teacher in San Francisco, suggests that parents consider purchasing their gifts through scrip organizations. Scrip brokerages, such as eScrip, are groups that coordinate merchants and schools for mutual benefit, with a percentage of the profits going to the school of your choice. "Scrip gives money back on purchases, so that makes so much sense to me," Wollesen notes.
If your school isn't already raising money with scrip, consider starting a scrip program so that parents can buy from participating retailers and see a portion of their money go back to the school. Parent groups can work with merchants directly or through a scrip broker who does the coordinating in return for a portion of the profits.
Be sure to choose your scrip broker carefully by checking credit references and contacting other parent groups. In California, the Central California Better Business Bureau has suspended the Fresno-based Scrip Advantage after getting complaints that scrip orders weren't being delivered and sales reps were unreachable.
Peggy Mannion, an eighth-grade social studies teacher in San Francisco, remembers one especially meaningful gift:
Many teachers told us their favorite gift was as simple as positive or grateful words. As one Oregon teacher noted, don't underestimate the value of praise.
"A supportive, positive letter, with a copy to the teacher's administrator and/or school board would be a wonderful gift," the teacher wrote. "And don't forget those marvelous 'Letters to the Editor' in newspapers."
"Heartfelt letters mean the most," said Washington teacher Sandi George. "I always keep them in my teaching album," she said. "It's important for parents to let us know how much they appreciate all we have done. We work hard at what is often a thankless job."
Florida teacher Cynthia J. Bradford wrote:
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