Teachers’ Day in Malaysia is celebrated on Sunday 16 May! If you do choose to mark this day with a small gift for your child’s teacher, just know that it will definitely be appreciated and will likely put a spring in our step for the whole day.
Having been a secondary school teacher for over fifteen years, I think I can safely speak for most of the profession when I say that this last year has been one of the toughest. But a big part of what has kept me going through all the challenges, is the support and encouragement from parents and students who recognise that I’m doing my absolute best. Here’s the tricky part though: what does your child’s teacher actually want, as a token of your child’s appreciation on Teachers’ Day?
How to find the perfect gift?
The best strategy is to think about what your child’s teacher needs – there are only so many ‘World’s Best Teacher mugs’ I can find a use for. The same goes for anything with an apple on it. After a few years of teaching, these kind of novelty items lose their appeal. Scented soaps and candles might seem like the perfect gift, but like the mugs, teachers tend to get quite a few gifts like this and it is difficult to get the right kind of scent, unless you know that person really well. As teachers we’ve all received slightly odd gifts in the past, which we would rather not have had. A friend of mine once received a half-eaten cupcake from a child on Teachers’ Day! At least it gave us all a good laugh.
Here are some great gift ideas
This year for Teachers’ Day, it might be appropriate to give a decorative face mask, hand sanitiser or hand cream – I always seem to be searching for these in the morning! Failing that, something edible from a shop is always a hit: one year I received two large punnets of strawberries from a pupil whose parents had a farm. Delicious.
My colleagues in primary school prefer it when parents club together to get one big decent sized present. This is great from a parent’s perspective too, since it only requires you to put in your share of the money. If you are lucky, another parent will organise the whole thing!
By far, my most treasured gifts are the ones that perhaps as a parent you might overlook. A handmade card, a little note, or something the student has written or created themselves are the gifts that I keep hold of. Once I received a card with a handwritten poem inside created by the student, and as an English teacher this just made my heart sing. Another time some pupils created a photo book of everyone in the class, so I would never forget them. I still have it over 10 years later. Some more ideas here!
At the end of the day, your child’s teacher genuinely enjoys seeing your child grow and progress and we are thrilled when they succeed as much as you are. Now that, is the best gift of all…