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Show Appreciation for Teachers
By Stacy DeBroff

With a short countdown to summer and the end of the school year, it's time to invest some thought as to how best to recognize a teacher who has gone the distance for your child over the course of the school year. Small tokens of thanks mean a great deal, and if they're homemade by your child and you, even better. Some tips to help you express gratitude for nurturing your child in an important year of development:

For gift ideas:

~ Have, or help, your child make a card.
~ Bake something delicious with your child, attach the recipe if a special one, and make the pretty plate it comes on part of the gift itself.
~ A bookmark, ornament, or other craft item created by your child
~ A book for your school's library, dedicated to your child's teacher. If possible, choose a book in an area about which the teacher is passionate.
~ Small luxuries, like candles, bath salts, soaps, and stationery
~ A photo album, scrap book, or picture frame
~ Items the teacher can use to decorate her classroom, including posters and assorted markers.

For a truly fabulous teacher, write a letter to the principal and school committee with a couple of specific examples to illustrate the teacher in action. Make a copy for the teacher. So often, all that reaches supervisors' ears from classroom parents is concerns, grievances, and complaints. Nothing is more powerful than concrete positive feedback written in a letter. Like the letters of recommendation we all still cling to from college, make your letter part of the teacher's scrapbook for a career fully realized.

Stacy DeBroff is President and founder of Mom Central, Inc., a company devoted to providing pragmatic tips and advice to strengthen busy families and enhance the home environment. She is the author of several best-selling books on household and family organization including The Mom Book: 4,278 Tips for Moms; Sign Me Up! The Parent’s Complete Guide to Sports, Activities, and Extracurriculars; and Mom Central: The Ultimate Family Organizer. For more information, visit www.momcentral.com

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