Students probably do not know their teachers personally but will know when she has experienced a grave loss. Teachers will appreciate thoughtful bereavement gifts from students and their parents, and students will learn important lessons concerning giving and compassion. With a few ideas and planning, you can find an appropriate gift for a grieving teacher.
When a teacher experiences a range of emotions, students and their parents may want to give a bereavement gift. The Mayo Clinic explains that "most people experiencing normal grief and bereavement endure a period of sorrow, numbness and even guilt and anger, followed by a gradual fading of these feelings." Some gifts are therapeutic to this grieving process. Self-help books or a collection of bereavement stories are thoughtful. A blank journal can aid in healing as well. If you write a sincere note on the inside cover, your kindness will contribute to healing as well. Plus, the teacher will have a personal reminder of your kindness in years to come. Your teacher will also appreciate a reminder of why you enjoy her as a teacher; bookstores sell teacher books full of inspirational quotes and anecdotes.
Teachers will balance work and other aspects of a personal life as they grieve. Preparing a small meal or giving a restaurant gift card can make one night's dinner plans easy. Give a small basket of food, perhaps with some granola bars or fruit. Add a drink mug with a variety of hot chocolate mixes, teas and coffees.
A grieving teacher may feel overwhelmed with her emotions and responsibilities. A new calendar may help her overcome disorganization. Cheerful desk decorations or office supplies with inspirational quotes help as well. Finally, remind her why she is a great teacher with a pin or tote that proclaims her "Outstanding Work!"
Often times, a simple and traditional sympathetic gift that will fit in her classroom is kind. Send the teacher a basket of flowers or a plant, one small enough to fit on her school desk. A candle, a small stuffed animal or wreath is appropriate as well, and she can place them anywhere in her classroom. Any time she looks at the gift, your teacher will remember that her students helped her during a sad time period.
A garden stone, memory box or picture frame sends the message that the teacher's loss is real. Get a small metal heart or square engraved, such as "From Your 2011 Class" and place it on the back of the gift. If you know the role religion plays in the teacher's life, a cross or statue is a kind gift. Find a plaque or a wall hanger with a comforting Bible verse.
If you are comfortable doing so, write the teacher a heartfelt note or create a poem. If the entire class wants to participate, a charm bracelet or necklace with an engraved date is thoughtful as well. Parents or another teacher gladly help students with kind gestures toward their teacher.