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"Truly one of the best gifts is a note from the student telling the teacher what he/she enjoyed about the year—as long as it was something beyond recess and lunch," says school librarian Michaela Freeland, a mom of two preschoolers in Oklahoma City.
Encourage your child to write about a memory from the year or draw a picture. Send a thank-you note yourself, but don't be tempted to dash off a quick, "Thanks for a great year." Instead, put a little thought into it. "Make it sincere," says Pam Shumway, a mom of six in Papillion, Nebraska. "Include something you noticed. Maybe the teacher worked with your child on long division and you write, 'You made it click.' Maybe it's even about a reprimand. 'You talked to David about using a loud voice and we appreciate that as it's been a problem at home too.' And end the note with, 'Thank you for choosing to be a teacher.'"
Spread the thanks: In these days of cutbacks, be sure to send a copy of your thank-you note to the principal as well.
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