profile

Hey, teacher friend!

Graduating Senior Gifts that Don't Break the Bank (One Thought Thursday 003)

Published 12 months ago • 6 min read

Graduation Season is Upon Us!

It's always tricky to find a meaningful graduation gift for senior students (that doesn't break the bank), right?

...especially those years when you have multiple seniors.

True Story: I once had two consecutive years that I graduated FIVE seniors from my studio. Talk about a HEAVY emotional release!

Thankfully, I only have to say goodbye to one high school senior this year (though, she's a delight and I am still sad to see her go).

I thought I'd share the graduation gift I began giving many years ago, and how I make it special.

I've been gifting these One Line a Day Journals for years, and students always seem to appreciate them.

(and - yes - depending on available resources, I'll stick some cash in there for good measure)

If you're not familiar with One Line a Day memory books, the idea is this: Each day, you write ONE short reflection on the day. It's very low-commitment journaling.

There are five entries on each day, so the goal is to collect five years of memories on one page.

(Essentially, it's your Facebook memories in old-school, written form).

I always tell students - if they can get themselves in the habit of using this journal - they will have a PRICELESS collection of memories from their college years (or whatever path they head out on!).

But! I take things a step further...

On the date of their Open House, I write a sentiment like this:


AND... on the inside front cover, I include some heartfelt advice:

I like to think students will appreciate the words for years to come. AND, even if the journal gets tucked away for years, maybe - just maybe - they'll come across it in a different season of life that will be just as meaningful to them.

SO - that's my graduation gift that I take to Senior open houses.

What do you think? I would love to hear what YOU gift your seniors. Hit REPLY and let me know!


Incidentally, you may have heard me talk about another Senior Gift I give at my Seniors' final studio recital.

I use wordart.com to generate a cute Word Cloud for each of my students. The website is a little clunky, and I imagine there are better programs for this now, but this is an area where I choose to stick with what I know.

The word cloud consists of personalized adjectives I choose to describe the graduate. I customize the colors to the university they will be attending (when applicable).

I then print out a 5x7 photo of the image I create, pop it in a frame, and present it at the recital.

This is INCREDIBLY low-budget, but students (and parents!) appreciate the personalized aspect of it. It also frees me up to be able to provide them with a more significant gift at their open house.

Here is an example of what the final word cloud looks like:


While we're talking about Seniors, you may want to go check out a few podcast episodes where I talk about these things (and more).

Episode 088: Cheers to Graduation Seniors (and the lessons they teach us)

Episode 027: Cheers to Recital Success (part 2)


PS: I also honor graduated seniors by placing a 5x7 of their senior pictures on my studio wall. This is a terrific way to subtly reference my obsession with legacy in teaching.

SPEAKING OF LEGACY: Did you catch my Bonus Episode of the podcast yesterday? SURPRISE!


That's your One Thought for this Thursday, friends! Onward and Upward toward those graduation celebrations!

(Don't forget to hit REPLY and tell me how YOU honor your graduating Seniors!)


Other Ways I Can Help You:

Don't forget to HIT REPLY and tell me how you celebrate YOUR graduating seniors!

Cheers to students who accomplish brilliant things, and then fly the nest.


*This email may contain affiliate links. That may be smart business, but please know all recommendations are purely my own, and are absent of any icky ulterior sales motives.

113 Cherry St #92768, Seattle, WA 98104-2205
Unsubscribe · Preferences

Hey, teacher friend!

Christina Whitlock, Beyond Measure Podcast

I'm so glad you found me. Sign up below to make sure One Thought Thursdays always land in your inbox!

Read more from Hey, teacher friend!

Buckle up, friends. This one (still) hurts. I am ALL ABOUT relationship-centered teaching. Prioritizing the teacher-student dynamic is absolutely my gateway to satisfaction in this profession (as well as the fuel behind my students' musical growth). ...and 99% of the time, it works out in our favor. Even still - we've all been burned a time or two, right? As I spent last week writing and talking about the benefits of seeing all sides of an argument, I found my mind wandering back to a...

about 8 hours ago • 5 min read

"Every truth has two sides; it is as well to look at both, before we commit ourselves to either." Aesop Five-finger hand positions No-makeup policies Fixed Do solfege Charging "per lesson" Requiring memorization What do all of these things have in common? They are common "battleground topics" for piano teachers. 😉 Meaning, a lot of us have STRONG opinions on these matters. ...and, while having convictions is generally a good (and necessary) thing, we do not want those beliefs to come from a...

7 days ago • 5 min read

ONE LAST (quick!) Reminder... My 20% off teacher resources sale ends in less than an hour! Use code may20 to save 20% off any of the resources linked here. Sale Ends In: If you've ever wanted to attend a teaching conference but found yourself limited by time or financial restraints, I hope you'll consider checking out these resources. Working through these materials on your own time (no airfare required!) is a definite bonus. Plus, you're guaranteed the same feeling of camaraderie you've come...

12 days ago • 1 min read
Share this post