With this past Wednesday being Teacher Appreciation Day and the school year coming to an end, the conversation of teacher’s gifts came up at our Mom group this past week. We got to talking about ideas on what to get, so I thought I’d come up with a few for those of you out there that don’t have any ideas on what to do.
I’m not saying you have to get your child’s teacher a gift. I know parents spend a lot of money on things for school as it is. It doesn’t have to be anything big, just a thoughtful gesture is all teacher’s want. Trust me, they truly appreciate any and all gifts. I have an entire tote full of little gifts and cards from my past students. My favorite gift I ever received in my 5 years of teaching was a poem a student wrote in a card. It was personal, thoughtful, and so special.
Let’s be real a second. Your child’s teacher spends 6-7 hours with them 5 days a week for 9 months. They are with them a lot. Lots of people say teachers have it easy. They have weekends and summers off and are done by 3:30. Teacher’s spend hours lesson planning and prepping, learning and researching the best ways for all their students to learn. When I taught, I was at my school no later than 6:45 am and stayed until almost 5 almost every day. I would go in often on Sunday afternoons and prep for the week. During the day, I’d give up my lunch to help those that struggled with lessons on any given day. I’d have a 20 minute break, actually more like a 15 minute break by the time I’d drop the class off at a special and pick them back up. I’d have just enough time for a quick pee break and maybe a trip to make copies (if the copy machine was working!)
Teacher’s not only teach your child academics, they teach social skills, responsibility, and hopefully the desire for knowledge. They help their minds grow and give them a spark for creativity. They have patience for the hyper kiddos, and they encourage the shy ones to step out of their comfort zone. They try in any way they can to make the slightest difference in your child’s life.
Here are some ideas to show a little appreciation and love toward the people helping your child become who they are meant to be.
- Gift Card … It doesn’t have to be much, even a $5 one is thoughtful. Some places to get them from: Target, Starbucks, or a favorite restaurant.
- A handmade card with a personalized note or poem. I have stacks of these! Or even a personalized story written by your child. One student wrote about Princess Mrs. K and how she saved the day. The student even used the names of all the kids in the class that year. I have it still!!
- A small bag of their favorite snacks. One year I was obsessed with chocolate covered raisins. One student noticed this and on the last day of school brought me the biggest bag I had ever seen!
- A single rose or favorite flower. I still have some pressed in a book.
- A little bag full of your favorite things (or if you know the teacher well their favorite things). Maybe you like a certain hand soap, specific kind of chocolates from a local store, or some scented lotions. This idea is endless.
- A coffee mug full of sharpie markers or other utensils they will use during the school year.
- A ‘themed’ bag. One year I gave my little girls Kindermusik teacher a bag full of ‘mint’ themed items and a saying to go with it. (Things like “Thanks for all the enourage’mint’ for my daughter. I got the idea here.) I also added in a soap bottle of Eucalyptus mint from Bath and Body, a mint scented candle, and some green jewelry.
- If you know the teacher likes a certain kind of accessory, that would be a perfect little gift. One year my students pointed out how many scarves I had (I wore one almost every day!) They got me a scarf to add to my collection at the end of the year!
- A poster with sayings using candy bars.
- A good book to read for the summer! Some ideas: Girl, Wash Your Face or The Hate U Give
I also like to make little cookie bags for the Specials teachers (Music, PE, Art, Principal, Secretary, etc). It doesn’t have to be anything big. You could also just have your child write a personalized note to them as well.
Do you have any other ideas for teacher gifts? I’d love to hear them!