Never enter a parent/teacher conference empty handed!

I had Mags’ parent/teacher conference today. I didn’t NEED to have one. She’s doing fine. But, it’s conference time, and I always like to take my allotted ten minutes to sit across from the women that spend more hours a day interacting with my kid than I do.

Take a minute. Have you thought about that? If your kid sleeps ten hours a night like mine does, and they’re at school for about seven hours, that leaves all of seven hours hours to spend with me. And during MY time she’s bathing, getting ready for school, doing her homework and quiet reading. Ya, I don’t get much face time.

So, those women who see her all day. They are IMPORTANT. I need to appreciate them. I need to thank them for the time they are investing in my kid.

So, I NEVER enter a parent/teacher conference empty handed. Never. Ever.

Today, I tweeted this picture:

It caused quite a stir on my Instagram (kathill29), Twitter (kathill) and Facebook pages. Tons of moms telling me it was a good idea. Tons of moms scrambling to see what Starbucks drink is their teacher’s favorite. (Hint: I emailed mine a week ago to ask. I’ll now keep it in my phone so I have it for future reference.)

But, what if you don’t have a local coffee shop near you?

How about walking into the conference with:

  • Flowers
  • Gift card
  • Chocolate
  • Hand-written thank you note
  • Candle
  • Freshly baked cookies
  • Yummy smelling hand sanitizer
  • Fun pens
  • Lunch from a local deli
  • Post-its
  • Cute notepad

You get the idea. There’s really no perfect gift for a teacher. It’s the thought that counts.

By walking in with a small gift, you are saying “You matter to me and my family. We value your contribution.” And, THAT is what every teacher needs to know.

Isn’t it what we all need to know?

What have you taken into a parent/teacher conference?

16 thoughts on “Never enter a parent/teacher conference empty handed!

  1. Kathy, I have two moms that, every now and then, bring me a Starbucks or a treat when they bring their child for therapy…it totally makes my day…not just the coffee, but the fact that they are thinking about me BEFORE they get there and appreciate what I do! I’ll be doing the same for my daughter’s teachers!!

  2. It’s an awesome idea! Having worked on the educator’s side of things, most people don’t realize that teachers usually work 12-14 hour days on conference days, without breaks, so treats are generally well received! It’s great to see someone appreciating the person that doesn’t just invest so much in your own child’s future, but it doing it for (on average) 28 kids at once!

    • Roni – So true! As a former teacher myself, I always appreciated a thoughtful gift of something I couldn’t just run out and get for myself during the day.

  3. You’re absolutly right! You should get to know and appreciate your kid’s teachers. They are, after all, raising your children. “I don’t get much face time”? I’m sorry.

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  5. Thanks for your candor and gratitude. If more parents (especially me) spent time looking for ways to honor and thank teachers, we could look forward to connecting better and increasing our chances of positive meetings. Additionally, if our children see us honor and thank their teachers, then they will have a much higher chance of learning all their teachers have to offer. These 15 minute meetings are best served building relationship and setting the right tone for all future progress report cards.

    • Good point Liz. When our kids see us being respectful, they too may be led to be more respectful. Relationships are so important. I think our kids need to see that in action every day!

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  7. I’m known for my baking and cake/cookie decorating, so I try to bring in a fun treat. Sometimes my kids will have helped me, so it’s a little something from them to their teacher, too. Always well received:)

    P.S. I like your blog!

    • Thanks for popping by Mindy. I LOVE to send in home baked treats, especially in the fall. There is nothing better than homemade pumpkin bread. In my opinion anyway. Hmmm… I’ve got some pumpkin in the pantry…

  8. As a teacher getting ready for conferences I was blown away by your thoughtfulness! I have only had one parent ever bring me something on conference day and it just made me smile. Teachers are so much more than just educators these days, so a little something or even just the words thank you mean so very much!

    • Amy Lynne,
      I can tell you that the teachers in my county got many more treats this time around. I had several friends reporting back what type of Starbucks is their teachers’ favorite. THAT made me smile. 🙂

  9. My daughter’s 2nd grade teacher is always handing out treats for the kids for good job, winning a game, returning a paper,etc. I brought a big bag of Smarties and tootsie rolls to my parent teacher conference!!

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