Gift giving for gratitude not for grades

Professors make a huge impact on our lives and future careers; however, their services are often overlooked and underappreciated. Teachers, like anyone else, want to feel appreciated and needed. Therefore, it’s a great idea to show them a little gratitude and thank them. Some students fear that giving their teacher a gift could come off as a bribe; however, with the proper choice, you can ensure your professor receives the message you intended.

A simple thank you card can go a long way.

Personalized, hand-written cards are so lost in today’s society it makes it extra special when you receive them. I always like to include something specific from the class, as teachers are passionate about the subject they teach. For example, let’s say you had a fun statistics teacher, you could write something like, “Thanks for putting the “HA” in hypothesis testing! I really enjoyed your class this semester!” The professor will appreciate that you remembered at least one thing from their course and was able to recall enough of it to make a joke out of it. One thing to make sure of is to focus on them and their course. Don’t mention anything about you, your grade, or your final.

Spent too much time in Hallmark, and still couldn’t find the right one to express what you want to say? No problem! Make your own! There are free programs online, or with adequate knowledge on Microsoft Word you can make one on there. You can choose from countless templates and designs. When designing your own card, you can really express your creativity! For example, in my last marketing class I had a professor who also referred to the show Mad Men. So on the cover/front of my card I had a picture of Mad Men. It shows that I paid attention in her class, but also have something to interest her.

Emails are a great way to say thanks!

In a flood of angry emails and emails inquiring about grades, your email, with the subject line: “Thank You:)” could brighten their day. Keep your email sincere and thankful and refrain from including anything regarding your grade. Maybe even find an eCard, or image online to attach to make it extra special. As always, keep it professional.

thank you email to professor form student showing gratitude

Consider DIY when in the mood to give a gift.

If you want to actually get a gift, then you need to keep a few things in mind. Money and gift cards can almost be offensive in some situations. DIY gifts are genuine, thoughtful, and sentimental. Try to link your gift to something in the class. For example, if you professor always used examples related to a certain company, then perhaps get something along those lines. If your professor always compared ethics to Starbucks management, get them a Starbucks gift basket. Keep in mind the interests of your professor. If you’re not sure when they’re into, stick with something more generic. I strongly encourage to use cards and eCards as your go to method of gratitude rather than an actual gift since this can be a slippery slope.

Thanking your professor or instructor is a great idea at the conclusion of semester. It shows that you cared about their class and are thankful you had the opportunity to be a part of it. Your gratitude does not have to be perceived as a bribe for a better grade. A sentimental and thoughtful card can go a long way and brighten their day.

Jessica Albright

Jessica Albright

Jessica is a junior at Missouri State University majoring in Marketing with a minor in International Management. She will be graduating with her bachelor’s degree in December 2016, and is accepted to an accelerated Masters of Business Administration program to complete her MBA the following year. Jessica is member of Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society,  Ad Club, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Fraternity.