Thank You to Teachers from Parents: Give a Meal

Taking a meal to a teacher

My friend Jamie recently posted about an idea I wrote about in my book, quite a few years back–how to give a thank you to teachers from parents.

I love bringing food and hospitality and people together!

Time has flown by so quickly that I’ve completely forgotten about this idea! My kids are 21, 19, and almost 17. How?? did this happen?

Coughlin Kids Oregon Coast 2013

Since school has started for some, or is around the corner for many, I thought I’d get some ideas going as to how to bless your children’s teachers this year.

One, for me, was to take a meal to them. I got a few moms together and we brought our kids’ teachers a meal once a week, rotating through a schedule. We left it in their room and quietly snuck out, wanting it to be a surprise.

Here’s how Jamie did it, and I hope it inspires YOU because our kids’ teachers do so much for our families:

At the beginning of each school year I contact their teachers and explain what I would like to do. I make sure that I explain to them that I would love to do this only if it will be helpful to them (I can assure you that I’ve never had a teacher turn me down, but I never want to assume anything)! Ha!

I then try to coordinate a day (for example, the 2nd Tuesday of the month) that works for both teachers. I often ask them if there is a day of the week that is hectic for them (maybe a day with meetings? practices?) and try to shoot for that day. I also make sure to ask if anyone has food allergies or taste preferences in the family (last year one of the teachers husband didn’t care for garlic. I tried to really take that in consideration while cooking for them so that the WHOLE family could enjoy the meal, and her teacher wasn’t making other food on top of what I made).

After we set up the day, confirmed any allergies, and taste preferences I just mark my calendar and do a rough draft of the meals I will provide each month. Here are some ideas of meals I have made in the past…

-Various Pasta Dishes (baked spaghetti, lasagna, gulash, etc.)
-Baked Enchiladas
-Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (great for the cold winter months)

I try to stick to things that everyone will like, but I also try to occasionally include something different. Last year I made Sausage and Pumpkin pasta in the fall. I wasn’t sure how it would go over, but it was a hit!

I include extras (salad, bread, etc.) with the meals that would be enhanced by it. I also add dessert occasionally, but not every month. I pick one month that I provide a ready-to-bake pizza (purchased from a local eatery), as well as one month that I provide a gift card to a restaurant. To be completely honest, I often use these two ideas on the months that I am crazy busy (for example, spring break time).

When I cook I will often triple the recipe so that I make one batch of Eva’s teacher, one of Jaden’s, and then one for our family. It makes it easier if our family just eats the same thing that night so I can get 3 meals done and only dirty the kitchen once! Ha!

On the day that the meal is delivered we simply put it in the teachers lounge fridge with the teacher’s name on it. She can pick it up before she heads home for the night. It makes it simple for everyone. If I am being completely honest, I also handle it this way because I am afraid that handing the meal directly to the teacher puts her in a position where she may feel she needs to lavish thanks on us. I never want her to feel that way. I do this because I love to and I have no desire to receive credit in any way. I simply want to help.

Jamie’s done this for 3 years now and it has become a special part of her school year, helping her get to know her children’s teachers. Teachers pour so much time, energy, and love into their lives….this is just a simple way to give back.

I love this time of year when the air is crisp, our minds are sharp with fresh ideas, and we’re thinking of new ways of giving to others …

How do you bless your children’s teachers?

7 comments on “Thank You to Teachers from Parents: Give a Meal”

  1. I taught for years and loved every minute of it. Teaching does take so much time away from your own home and family. Receiving meals like this periodically would be such a gift. I think it’s a great idea!

    Another idea…gift cards. Teachers spend tons of money on their classroom and the kids. Schools do not supply all that is needed for teaching. Also, there are always kids who don’t have what they need and teachers take care of those things. Basic needs have to be met more often than you might think. A gift card to Wal Mart or somewhere like that is helpful.

  2. I give my daughter’s teacher a meal for a Christmas gift! I send in a menu and let them choose what they want and when they want it. They’ve loved it!

  3. As a former teacher, I say this is one of the best gift ideas I’ve ever heard! I was given dinner twice in my 7 years of teaching and it was such a blessing! Also a great gift is bringing lunch- either homecooked or from a restaurant- as long as I knew ahead of time. It was always so nice to not have to pack a lunch. And then gift cards are always a fabulous gift! Gifts I could do without… Mugs, lotions, candles… You can only have so many of those items.

  4. As a former teacher,this sounds like the perfect gift of appreciation. Love it. Think I will have to remember this idea and offer it to my girls’ teachers this year.

    I love to give the teachers a little something special at each holiday.

  5. What a great idea! You truly….inspire!


  6. Girl, you have got one ginormous and giving heart…a very creative one, too! This is a fabulous idea…not just the preparing and giving of meals, and the spirit behind it, but all the thought into just how to carry out such a thoughtful gift that keeps on giving throughout the school year…and, when needed most. Even to the point of considering the teachers’ feelings over receiving such kindnesses. Some people embrace gifts and are gracious, while others struggle and feel awkward not knowing what to do or how to reciprocate. You completely eliminate such feelings of obligation in this perfect scenario. Sandy, you ROCK! So glad I stopped by today. You need a pretty stand-out graphic to pin to family and diy boards at Pinterest. This idea needs to be shared to an even wider audience…to other moms who visit Pinterest to collect ideas. I would only be happy to pin on all the large group boards. :) xo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *