One thing that everyone loves, though is a sincere compliment...and even better if you share it with their boss. As part of Firecracker's Christmas gift to her teacher and class aide, I wrote individual letters about them to the principal and included a copy with the card and small gift. Firecracker's teacher really appreciated it and the next time ran into the principal, the principal told me how much she'd appreciated the letters and that she had passed them on to the superintendent.
- Be as specific as possible. Think back to lessons that made a particular impact on your child, things your child came home excited to tell you, things that went over and above expectations etc. This turned out to be harder than I thought the first time around...not because Firecracker's teacher isn't wonderful, but because things kind of blurred together. Now I try to make a mental note about things that are especially impressive. Some of the things I mentioned in my recent letter was her good use of the science time available, flexibility in working things in to challenge Firecracker in reading, and good discipline and helping Firecracker manage her behavior better.)
- Ask your child for ideas...I tell Firecracker I'm writing a letter to the principal about her teacher and ask what I should say. It's cute to hear her answers.
- Include a compliment for the principal as well. (i.e. Thanks for running such a great school...I really appreciate the way you support your teachers...
- Send or deliver the letter inside a card to the principal (and maybe the superintendent too).
- Include a copy of the letter inside a card to your child's teacher with a note telling him/her that you've sent the letter to the principal. We just made informal cards that Firecracker decorated with cardstock rather than buying one.
- You can include a gift too...or not...I can just about gaurantee that the teacher will remember you letter more than your gift. Our gift this time around is just a small potted flower (I let Firecracker choose it.) with this little note (just the printable, not the fancy stuff).