Teacher appreciation week is around the corner. Sometimes, this week slips through the cracks. Parents often forget about it entirely. Of course that is understandable given our hectic, demanding schedules, but I would encourage you to mark this week on your calendar, and try to show your children’s teachers how much you appreciate them!
Why? Because in general, they are the ones who spend the most time with your children aside from you. We know most teachers are not in this job for the money, and Lord knows it is a career most of us couldn’t handle. I recently attended a field trip with my daughter’s class, and more than once I said to her teacher, “I don’t know how you guys do this every day.”
Every day, they act as educators, mediators, mother/father figures, guides, leaders and friends. Sure, this is their job and they collect a paycheck, but they are instrumental figures who invest in future generations in a very important and unique way. I still remember the positive impact some of my teachers made on my life. To this day, I am grateful. My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Deopp, is partially responsible for me becoming a writer.
And now, as my children enter the world of school, I rely upon their teachers to assist them with learning, not just ABCs and Math, but to help my children develop problem solving skills, confidence and maturity. So far this year, my children’s teachers have far exceeded my expectations. I am thrilled about teacher appreciation week, as it gives me the opportunity to show them in some small way how thankful I am for their influence in my children’s lives.
After speaking with some teachers, we compiled a list of gifts (to fit any budget) that New Orleans teachers are sure to love.
Maybe you know a particular restaurant your child’s teacher loves, or maybe you love a restaurant so much that you want them (and everyone) to try it. Gift cards to local restaurants make fantastic gifts. When I worked for a preschool, I was given a gift certificate to Superior Grill, and while I loved and appreciated any gift I received, that was my favorite. Some of our Northshore team members recommend K. Gee’s and Bistro Byronz.
I’m willing to bet most teachers enjoy either wine, tea or coffee (or all!) You can find a wide assortment of wines, spirits, and fun accessories at either Bin 428 or Pearl Wine Co. For the coffee loving teacher, a couple of our favorite places for coffee and tea are CCs and PJs.
Does your child’s teacher have a sweet tooth? Will a sweet treat brighten his or her day? You may want to check out the chocolates from Blue Frog or Sucre, or even treat your child’s teacher to custom cookies from local bakers such as Essie’s Sparkling Confections or Stephanie’s Bake Shop.
Who doesn’t love clever New Orleans shirts? Storyville carries a wide selection of fun, locally made shirts, often featuring design contest winners. You can also find great NOLA themed apparel at Monkey Hill Apparel or Dirty Coast.
For the female teachers, you can often find great pieces that won’t break the bank, and in New Orleans, we have no shortage of talented jewelers. Check out The Bead Shop, NOLA Meg Designs, and Sarah Ott for some unique ideas.
One of the things I love most about New Orleans is the art. It’s everywhere. Our homes, our schools, our downtown- you likely can’t go a few blocks without noticing local art on display. Even our utility boxes are adorned with custom artwork! Check out our friends at Home Malone for hand painted NOLA signs, or Kissyfish for some custom stationary.
For the teacher who wants just a little “me” time, (and really, who doesn’t?), how about a gift card for a manicure, mini-facial, brow waxing, or even a blowout or makeup application. You can find great options at Lovejoy Day Spa, Earthsavers, Chronos, Waxing the City, Hi-Brow Cosmetics, Blo and Katie Malone Makeup Studio.
Bath/beauty products are always a hit, and with a local spin on it, your child’s teacher will surely love it! Sweet Olive Soapworks, Mad Darling, NOLAS, and Cake Face Soaping all have New Orleans themed, fantastic smelling bath/beauty supplies or candles. I’ve personally received and loved items from all of those places.
Maybe you don’t know exactly what to get for your child’s teacher, but you want to give them something with some local flair. Visit shops like SoPo, Fleurty Girl, or Design A Latte for some fabulous gift ideas.
These are the gifts that cost little, but leave a big impact: fresh baked cookies, a handwritten note, a card made by your child. A teacher friend of mine said thank you notes from parents are some of his most treasured gifts he’s ever received. In this same vein, if you know a little about your child’s teacher, include that- if he or she loves Dr. Pepper, giving them a 6 pack will not only be appreciated because they love it, but because they know that you took notice of their preferences.
It is my hope that this list helps you think outside the “Target Gift Card” box to find something with a NOLA twist that your child’s educator will truly love. And hey, you may find a thing or three to add to your own list. Mother’s Day is coming up, after all!