May 23, 2011,
J.S. asks from Hudson, OH on May 22, 2011
Retirement Gift for Teacher
My son's 2nd grade teacher is retiring after many, many years of teaching. My son's class will be her last (my daughter also had her 2 years ago).
The class wants to chip in and get her a memorable gift. We usually do an end of the year gift card, but we want this to be special because it is from her last class.
I can't think of anything that she will want to keep for years to come.
Suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks so much!
R.S. answers from Cincinnati on May 23, 2011
This might be hard to put together on short notice -- but wouldn't it be wonderful to make a poster sized collage of photos of all the classes she taught that you can find with a note about all the lives she touched. Even if its it not every class, it might still work.
Or you can have the children draw on a large roll of white paper -- each child doing a section -- then roll it up like a scroll and tie with a pretty ribbon.
J.L. answers from Los Angeles on May 22, 2011
Stuart crystal champagne flutes and a jeraboam ( sp.?) of Bollinger. A beautiful piece of artwork ( although personal tastes can differ so much). A scuba diving course so that her retirement kicks off with new adventure and learning. A hot-air balloon ride. A first edition signed book by a great author. :)
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L.A. answers from Austin on May 22, 2011
We gave one of the retiring teachers a rocking chair for her front porch. She loves her neighborhood and said she loved drinking coffee outside on the front steps.. It was one of the white wooden ones you see at the hardware stores.
Another teacher was given a weeks vacation at a vacation home owned by one of the parents. We were able to just donate money for her to spend, since they actually owned the home.
For a retired librarian who was having some health problems, we gathered a huge group of people and worked on her back yard and installed a "raised garden", since she could not kneel down.
A garden bench, signed by all of the students.
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D.B. answers from Charlotte on May 22, 2011
Does she garden? You can get a gift certificate from a large gardening center, one that will deliver plants and supplies to her home and give her a guarantee on plants through the season.
I did that for one of my son's teachers who was retiring.
D.B. answers from Boston on May 22, 2011
If you know enough about her interests to do something like a rocking chair or Adirondack chair, great - have the kids sign the BACK of it. Planting a garden in her home is great if that's along with her interests. You could have a ceremony and plant a tree in her honor at the school - have a plaque made that hangs on the tree or goes in the ground that says "In honor of Jane Smith from her grateful students..." or something similar, plus the dates of her service. The kids could participate in digging the hole or filling it - sometimes a local nursery/tree service or the town's Parks Dept. will assist since she's a town employee.
A scrapbook from current and former students is nice if you have time to organize it. It's a lot of work to assemble but if you have some creative parents, it could be done.
Our town does a graduation project where the parents supply a baby picture and a grad picture of their kids, and then they are hung up in a "then and now" display. You could do something like that for her to see current and former students, but then it would have to be organized into a book or taken home by parents - you can't expect her to display it.
A vacation home week sounds like a great idea, or money toward a trip. I would not do champagne - I don't think it's appropriate from 2nd graders. It's also not a lasting memory!
Some schools do a quilt - each kid does a square on muslin and them some crafty talented parent stitches it together with a border & backing. The muslin squares are pre-cut and then placed on a sheet of cardboard, edges taped to the back. Kids are given fabric markers and parents get instructions on what to do. They can do them at home so the teacher doesn't know, or there could be a parent meeting after school to discuss/review. To even out the number of squares, have some extras that can include her name, the date of retirement, the words "thank you" or her classic sayings, and so on. Some schools display them for different purposes (like honoring the teacher) but the teacher could take it home as a throw for those chilly winter nights when she can be warmed by the memories of her last class.
M.L. answers from Colorado Springs on May 22, 2011
When the lady who taught kindergarten to all my children retired, she was "partied" and given a scrapbook containing kindergarten-kid photos and letters/cards from as many of her present and former students as wanted to contribute. It was fun to see that some of her later pupils were children of her earlier ones, and she was glad to see and hear from so many of her former students.
Some teachers enjoy things like that more than something else they have to dust.
Another idea: is this teacher planning a trip of some kind after she retires? Perhaps a group contribution to that would be appreciated.
J.C. answers from Cleveland on May 23, 2011
My daughter's class makes a book at the end of each school year, for their teacher. (Our school's teachers move with their class from first through eighth grade.)
Each child has one sheet of nice, thick paper that they use (front and back) to draw a beautiful illustration and write their favorite memory of the school year and what they appreciate about their teacher. Then we bind it together with yarn. Our teacher truly appreciates it.
So I would suggest doing something similar to that, and seeing how many former students you can find to join in.
BTW, which teacher is it, and at which school? My nieces went to elementary school in Hudson back in the 80's, so they may have had her, also.
K.C. answers from Mansfield on May 23, 2011
When my mother-in-law retired from many, many years of teaching, she received a very nice clock to commemorate her "time" with the school.
L.H. answers from Dayton on May 23, 2011