Many times, a parent wants to show a great teacher his or her appreciation, but isn't sure how to do it. While a teacher will certainly appreciate the sentiment behind a #1 teacher magnet or t-shirt, veteran teachers often have a stack of similar items in a storage box at home. Instead, why not show support and provide something that benefits your child, too?
School book fairs typically have a lot of gimmicky items like novelty erasers and funny pencils, but they also have a small selection of reference books and some excellent literature choices for each age group. Many teachers browse through the book fair shelves along with their students and develop quite a wish list of books for the classroom. They rarely can afford to buy all of the great books and materials they see and will post a wish list of items they could use in the classroom or put a stack of books they want aside until the end of the book fair in hopes that someone will ask if there is anything they can buy for their classroom.
During the book fair, students can select an item from the wish list and buy it for the classroom. The librarian or school volunteer helping with the fair fills out a book plate that identifies the student making the donation and gives the book to the teacher to add to the classroom library. (Some of the books on the teachers' wish lists can be pricey, which is why many book fair programs also offer gift certificates of amounts as small as a dollar that students can purchase for their teacher to use to buy materials for the classroom.)
Don't have a school book fair? Try buying a gift certificate to a local teacher store or asking the front office staff if the teacher has expressed a longing for any new materials that the school can't provide.