Monday, November 16, 2020

Gift Ideas for Teachers When You're E-Learning

 Whatever you call it: remote learning, e-learning, digital learning, is all the same.  Many students this year are e-learning due to either their parent's choice in an effort to keep them safe or the school having to go to remote learning because of rising Covid-19 cases.  

A common misconception is that teachers are doing nothing during e-learning.  The truth however, is that teachers are still working and probably harder than they had to when they were in the building!  Lesson videos have to be made, every student checked in with, paper packets made for students who don't have internet, assessments changed into digital format, classwork still needs graded, parents and students have constant questions, etc.

As we roll towards the winter holiday season, please don't forget your child's teacher.  Gift giving can be hard when you aren't going to SEE the person.  Ordinarily you could just tuck a gift in your child's backpack and send them on the bus.  But what do you do now when there's no way to get a gift to the teacher?

Here are some ideas for gifts you can give your child's teacher this Christmas that they will love and that honor the social distancing rules.

1. Target gift card. 

Is there a gift list that doesn't include a Target gift card? LOL  Everyone loves them. These can be very easily emailed to the teacher and I've always had luck with the recipients getting the email.  Bonus: There's no physical card to risk getting lost!

2. Teachers Pay Teachers gift card.  

This website allows teachers to get many things for free but there are also items that cost money.  Things are reasonably priced, many at $1-5.  Teachers can get extra games, activities, and lesson ideas from this site.  In fact, I don't know any teacher who doesn't use TpT at some point in the year.  A $5 gift card would go a long way and just like the Target cards, these are digital and simple to email.

Elearning gift ideas for teachers

3. Write a note telling them what you appreciate about them. 

Be specific: the funny video they sent your child when he was sick and they wanted to cheer him up?  How organized they have been through e-learning?  That they still found a way to honor your child's birthday while e-learning?  That they always have a smile on their face?  

Find some specifics and write them down.  Email it or write it by hand and snap a pic that you send.  This gift costs nothing but will mean the world to the teacher. Trust me.

4. Send their boss an email and CC the teacher.  

Let the principal know how much this teacher has done for the students.  It doesn't have to be long "Dear Principal Pat, I just wanted to say how much Jimmy has enjoyed being in Mrs. Great's class this year.  Even though we've had to distance learn, Mrs. Great has found ways to build a relationship with Jimmy.  He talks constantly about what book she is reading to them and is always eager to log in for his daily Zoom.  Signed, Parent."

Bonus tip: This is a nice way to acknowledge specials teachers too.  Gym, art, library, music---those teachers love your kids too!  

5. Coordinate some parents to create a book.

If you are able to contact the other parents, you could ask them to do #3 (write a little card/note about what they appreciate about the teacher) and snap a pic of their child with the card.  Parents will send you the photos and you can assemble them into a Google Slides presentation that you then share with the teacher.  The teacher will be able to print the pages and make themselves a book.  Alternatively you could make the book  yourself with an app like Shutterfly, though then you couldn't deliver the book to the teacher digitally.

Gift ideas for elearning teachers