How Do You Thank Priceless Teachers?

A couple weeks before school let out for summer break I received a note asking for money in order to buy my first grader’s teacher a thank you present. I love that the room moms take up a collection, as it takes the pressure off busy parents, and allows the teacher to score a gift worth more than a couple of bucks.

I am all for pitching in for the class gift, and sent in money right away. In addition, my daughter drew her teacher a lovely card and we shipped in a couple lei from Hawaii.

Honestly, my daughter’s teacher is so incredibly, out-of-this-world wonderful, I would have flown her to Hawaii and had shirtless male hula dancers lei her if I had the money to do so, but alas, the Powerball jackpot still eludes me.

So how do you properly thank a teacher who has made an immeasurable impression on your child?

In New York you donate $125 for a class gift.


According to my pal in Brooklyn, whose oldest daughter is graduating from kindergarten on Friday, parents are being asked to chip in $125 to purchase a thank you gift to be presented to the teacher on commencement day.

Yes, it is a private school. A private school with a kindergarten class containing 18 children. Do the math. If every parent donates the “suggested” $125, the room moms will be working with a $2,250 budget.

That’s one heck of a thank you gift. It better be.

Granted, things cost more in New York City, and there is a very good chance that only a few of the parents will be able to donate the full $125 (or anything at all) since they are not required to.

To put this in perspective, the note I received from our room moms asked for a minimum of $5 for the teacher thank you gift. In the end only $100 total was collected for the present.

Sure, times are tough and some parents may not have the means to donate their hard earned cash to show appreciation for their child’s teacher, and they don’t have to. There are dozens of other ways you can express your gratitude towards an outstanding educator, from baking a thank you pie to writing a thank you note from the heart.

But, getting back to the Brooklyn request; how much is too much when it comes to asking for teacher gift donations? Does $125 seem a bit much to you? What is a reasonable amount?

Related Articles:

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Trusting Your Child’s Teacher

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.