Teacher Thanks- Info/FAQs

Easy and Generous Teacher Gift Giving at Exploris- Mug free! 



Exploris PTO coordinates schoolwide teacher gifts in December before the Winter Break, and again in June before the end of school.  We encourage all parents to contribute to this gift pool. This collection ensures that all teachers and staff members receive the recognition they deserve! 

Thank you to everyone who participated during the 2019-20 school year.  We were thrilled to give over $10,000 to our Exploris teachers. 

Teacher gift donations:

At Winter Break and the end of the school year, many students and parents like to bring in a gift for their child(ren)’s teachers.  As students often have many teachers at Exploris, this can get a bit tricky!  We want to thank everyone, but figuring out what to do can be daunting.
If your family plans to participate in gift giving at school this year, the PTO would like to offer you the chance to contribute towards a MUCH-APPRECIATED cash gift for our teachers and staff.  This collection ensures that all teachers and staff members receive the recognition they deserve!  You also have the added benefit of saving yourself time while giving the perfect gift!  Our teachers and staff truly appreciate everyone’s generosity and have told us many times how much they look forward to this.
To participate, you can simply send in a check (or cash) to the PTO, or donate by credit card ONLINE.  This will then be divided among the teachers and staff.
We coordinate giving campaigns twice a year and post the deadlines here.  If you would like to participate:
  • Please send in cash or a check (made payable to Exploris PTO) or make your donation ONLINE.
  • Place your donation in an envelope marked “Teacher Thanks” or “Teacher Gift” with your name, your child(ren)’s name(s), and grade(s).  It is important to label the envelope with so that it is not confused with school care, spirit wear, or field trip payments.
  • Give it to Mary Margaret or Michael (either one is fine if you have children in both schools; it is not necessary to provide separate donations per child).
  • Complete all donations by: 
For additional information please read our EXPLORIS THANKS FAQ’S below.
If you have any questions, please let us know by emailing Tammie Guyer (ptopres@exploris.org) or Marieta Smith (smith.marieta@gmail.com)

Exploris Thanks – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much should I give?
A: That’s a very personal decision.  Our recommendation is to figure out how much you would have spent on all the staff you would have given gifts to and add it together.  They will all be getting a portion of this money so it will cover everyone.

Q: Why is my money not just going to my child’s lead teacher?
A: At Exploris, your child is not just taught by their lead teacher.  They spend instruction time with the entire grade level crew, specialists, and sometimes teachers from other grade levels. Since it is a team teaching environment, the purpose of this to enable you to send in one check and not have to buy separate gifts for all the people who teach your child.

Q: Who does this money go to?
A: After accounting for full-time or part-time status, the money is distributed among the teachers and staff (admin, specials, etc…) who help to make this a great environment for your child.

Q: How does the teacher know that I gave to the gift?
A: Donations are anonymous so we do not let the teachers who do did/did not donate.  If you would like to let your teacher know, feel free to send in a nice handmade card that tells them you hope they enjoy their “Thanks” check.

Q: Does the teacher prefer a personalized gift?
A: Teacher’s love any and all expressions of kindness.  This check at Winter and again at the End of Year is so nice for them because it’s large enough for them to buy something special, pay off some bills, do whatever they want with it.

Q: Should I just buy a nice present for my child’s lead teacher?
A: Don’t forget that your child has lots of teachers at Exploris.  We want to make sure that everyone gets thanked for all of their work.

Additionally, teachers are ethically bound by the NC State Board of Education Code of Ethics to not accept items from students or parents other than “token” gifts for appreciation. The Winter and End of Year Thanks collections, managed by the PTO, is a way for the teachers to get a meaningful check to be used at their discretion over Winter Break or in the summer to get something nice while maintaining their ethical obligations.