Gift for my son's (exceptional)teacher Aide who has everything!!
April 28, 2016 5:25 PM   Subscribe

My son is 18 years old and has special needs . He has been with this teacher aide for 6 years.She has helped him with academics, social skills and even made him get ready for college. She has made a huge difference in our son's life. She hasn't been working for money.She has everything in life. She is an amazing lady who is very smart,highly educated, worked in wall street and took this job to make a difference in someone's life. My son was very fortunate to have her. She loves my son and has helped him to become a young man heading to college. I can't compensate for everything she has done.

School year is coming to an end soon and I would like to give her something to show how much I appreciate what she has done to us.I have given all kinds of gifts cards (store/spa/beauty/restaurants)all these years. As this is going to be the last year,I want to make it real special.This gift should be unique!!

Mefites...please pour in your smart ideas!!!
posted by SunPower to Education (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can you tell us a price range?
posted by ancient star at 5:37 PM on April 28, 2016

Write an email to her boss identifying how the teacher's aide has made a difference in your son's life.
posted by saturdaymornings at 5:44 PM on April 28, 2016 [11 favorites]

Do you have pictures of your son and the aide throughout the years? If you do, you could make a nice, framed collage. Really, anything that shows their relationship and what a difference she's made would be a nice addition to whatever else you might do.
posted by mollweide at 5:48 PM on April 28, 2016 [4 favorites]

I'm thinking upto $200. Won't mind spending more!!
posted by SunPower at 5:50 PM on April 28, 2016

Yes.I'm going to write an nice letter to her boss and the principal too!!
posted by SunPower at 5:55 PM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

A framed picture of the two of them together and a gift certificate to something like a massage or facial would be nice. Those are luxuries she can probably afford, but may not take time to do.

As a teacher, the best gifts I get are letters from my students telling me how much of a difference I made in their lives. And I keep art/photos my students give me too.

I bet she'd love anything your son made for her, especially if it clearly shows he put time and effort into making it.
posted by guster4lovers at 5:55 PM on April 28, 2016 [5 favorites]

Something that she can look at and remember she made a difference in all of your lives like, I like the collage idea, you could include his college acceptance letter. It sounds like this will be more valuable than anything you could buy. Maybe you could hire a photographer to come over one day and take a nice photo of all of you together.
posted by bleep at 5:58 PM on April 28, 2016 [5 favorites]

Some sort of trinket or T-shirt or suchlike from the college your son will be attending, with a note on it from him and you.
posted by Etrigan at 6:18 PM on April 28, 2016 [8 favorites]

A letter from your son, framed.
posted by invisible ink at 6:50 PM on April 28, 2016

oh man, nthing the letter. I save everything kids write to me. many years ago I was a teacher's assistant in a class of great kids with a truly terrible teacher, and every kid in the class wrote me a grateful, heartfelt letter in a notebook that one of them bought and decorated. it is one of my most prized possessions to this day.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 7:14 PM on April 28, 2016 [7 favorites]

I don't think you should try and compensate her for all she has done. I would give her a framed picture and a thank you letter from your son. Maybe the thank you letter written on the back of a copy of his diploma or his college acceptance letter. Maybe, if you want to give something tangible, a ceramic apple or glass apple paper weight engraved from your son and you.

If your son attended a public school, I would consider writing a letter to the Board of Ed or even attending a meeting and publicly thanking her.

If you insist on showing part of your gratitude as a gift, consider making a donation to a charity in honor of her to a charity that works on whatever the special needs is of your son.
posted by AugustWest at 8:39 PM on April 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

Thanks all for your wonderful ideas!Surely going to include all of your suggestions in showing my gratitude to her.
posted by SunPower at 3:40 AM on April 29, 2016

I agree with all the items mentioned above. Since she has everything though, how about giving the money you would have given her to a charity or cause that she believes in...maybe even a small scholarship to another deserving special needs student in her name.
posted by OkTwigs at 6:23 AM on April 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

A student gave me a nice silver pen and I loved that!

A charitable donation sounds like a good idea too-- maybe ask her if she has a favorite one. Or see if there's a school charity.
posted by BibiRose at 6:30 AM on April 29, 2016

Mrs. Straw is an instructional assistant in a special ed class. She does not have everything, and we enjoy the heck out of the occasional gift certificate to a nice restaurant or what-have-you, but the gifts she tears up over are the ones that are very personal. A picture with a note describing what she's meant to the student. Things the kids have written.

And then put on the calendar to send the occasional postcards from college, or whatever your son goes off to next. The things that make being an aide or IA is running into parents, or former students, and hearing what they've accomplished. And, yes, in some cases that's "he's still talking, thank you for drawing him out", and in some cases it's more. But even people who need the income aren't doing it for the money, they're doing it to see the difference they're making in the world of the students they work with.

Show her that.
posted by straw at 7:46 AM on April 29, 2016 [4 favorites]

Thanks Straw! Nice suggestion and I will remember and make sure I or my son will write to her after college too!!
posted by SunPower at 1:35 PM on April 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

My son has special needs and is in high school. Over the years we've done different things to thank teachers/TAs. All the ideas above sound great and I'm borrowing the ones I haven't used yet.

One thing I did was have my son make a stepping stone for one teacher's garden. This was way back in elementary school and she still has it. We've also done homemade ornaments with a letter from him. That TA has told us that she packs the letter away with the ornaments and reads it every christmas. Stuff like that. If you can find out what her hobby or interests are.
Good luck!
posted by It'sANewDawn at 3:52 PM on April 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

A local tv station in my town does a "teacher of the month" award where they profile a local teacher. Is there anything like that you could nominate her for? I also think a letter to the editor of the local newspaper wouldn't be out of place. Or in my town, a phone call to the small town newspaper editor would probably result in a nice profile of the teacher and her work. People working in these positions obviously don't do the work for recognition or acclaim, but they still deserve it. And if you think she'd be comfortable with the attention, then a nomination letter with the description you just wrote of her would be just perfect.
On another note, is there any kind of capital fundraising project in your town? A park building a new shelter, a new library, that kind of thing? A $200 donation might be enough to buy her a brick with her name on it, a line on a plaque, that kind of thing. Congratulations to your son!
posted by areaperson at 5:57 PM on April 29, 2016

Amazing ideas!!
posted by SunPower at 1:04 PM on April 30, 2016

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