How do you thank your students?

When the holiday season rolls around it’s a great opportunity to bond with your students and their families. I always look for gifts for my students to say THANK YOU for being my student this year. I do it because I mean it and my INTENTIONS are sincere.

This action is not a bribe because I’m not asking for anything in return, yet I know it helps with student RETENTION. It helps people remember how thoughtful you are. The action of giving is something they’ll remember.

“Well hang on a second I’ve got 100 students – that’s gonna cost me a fortune!”, I hear you say. “I can’t affort to buy 100 gifts at this time of the year!”

That may be so if you BUY the gifts at $10 each, but what if the gifts were FREE, or at worse less than $0.50 each? That would be worth it wouldn’t it?

Here are some ideas for you. I’ve personally used all 3 methods and my students and families were thrilled.

1) One Man’s Junk, Another Man’s Treasure

Ask your supplier if they have any excess stock they are THROWING away. You might be surprised at what you can get. Sometimes they have stuff they don’t want, but these will make EXCELLENT presents.

For example, 2 years ago I picked up 200 Bruce Lee posters for NOTHING. That’s right – a big fat ZERO. I kept hold of them and then when the holiday season came around I instantly had a low cost present for all my junior students. You should have seen their faces when they saw that they could choose 1 of 6 different Bruce Lee posters for their Christmas present! They were stoked and the parents were too.

2) Make a low cost present in bulk for $0.25 each.

It’s easy to have your local office supply store like STAPLES or OFFICEWORKS make you something from their Copy/Print Center. For example I have COOL KARATE KID cards made for my 4-7 year old class. These are the size of a business card with a few important points about karate and personal development with a picture of a fun character doing a technique.

The kids absolutely love these cards. I have them printed 8 to a sheet, on regular bright copy paper in 3 colors, laminated and then cut to size. 80 cards cost me a total of $20 plus a little bit of time designing it which is easy to do in Photoshop, Fireworks or even MS Word. Then it’s easy to upload the file, order online and pick up the job completed in 24 hours.

Some parents tell me that their kids keep their CKK card next to their bed and read it every night before they go to sleep. Some attach it to their school bags and some keep them in their sock drawer and read it every morning before school. This is a GREAT way to have your kids constantly thinking about KARATE!

3) Go online for low cost deals!

Check out

Here you’ll find more low cost gifts than you can poke a stick at. Plus there are things that you can personalize, such as pencils, Christmas gifts and more. Just type in “personalize” in the search box and see for yourself. You can personalize things with your school name, a motivational saying, or anything you want. This is a great way to have your kids think about YOU and karate during their day.

You can also try Ebay and try your luck. Maybe you’ll find something you can buy in bulk – like what a friend of mine found. He picked up a 100 yin yang necklaces for about $0.30 each! These make great presents for your Junior students.

As you can see all it takes is a little creativity and a little time to create low cost presents for your students. Thank them for being your students and you’ll reap the rewards.

Happy Holidays!

~ Jason