The school year is thankfully coming to a close here in Arizona in the next couple weeks. It’s funny because the anticipation I have for school to be over is the same as the anticipation I have in August for school to start again.
And so, I have begun shopping for teacher gifts. What sort of gifts do you give the people with whom you have entrusted your children for the entire school year? I find it difficult to buy them gifts that truly show how much I appreciate all that they have done for my children.
Before I share my ideas for gifts that have been teacher approved, I want to share a list of things your child’s teacher does not want.
- Anything “teacher” themed. To include anything with a design that incorporates rulers, apples, schoolhouses, and chalk boards. Where exactly will the teachers keep all of this? Their classrooms are small and I don’t know any teachers who have teacher-themed decor in their own homes.
- Anything that says “#1 Teacher.”
- Coffee mug, especially if it is decorated with anything mentioned in #1 and #2 above
- A photo of your child. No matter how much your child’s teacher loves your child, they do not want a photo of him/her.
- Fancy, smelly soaps. Does anyone use these really? A vat of hand sanitizer would probably be more practical.
- Your teacher doesn’t want a gardening kit or a pot decorated with your child’s hand prints and some quip about “how my child bloomed this year” or thanking them for “planting the seeds of knowledge.” It’s hot here and would just be more work for them in the end and if they aren’t into gardening would probably just sit in their garage.
- Your teacher doesn’t want anything made from actual pencils, or crayons. Or anything that involves the melting of crayons. They probably know the alphabet and don’t really want an alphabet poster.
- Unless your teacher really likes a specific candy, don’t buy them candy. They get enough of this during the year and thru ought the holidays.
- Homemade food, to include in those adorable mason jars filled with mixes. If this is something that you enjoy making and can’t possibly live without doing, do it during the school year when the teacher won’t be inundated with snacks.
Usually I buy the teachers smaller gifts for the Christmas/Holiday season. My budget is more limited at that time of year, so I spend a bit more at the end of the year.
Ideas for Teacher Gifts
My suggestion is to use your creativity on the card or presentation of the gift.
- I like consumable gifts. Who wants more clutter in their house? With the kids that are younger they have more intimate relationships with their teachers it is easier to find out what the teachers really like and gift accordingly. For example, one of my kids has a teacher who loves a certain local craft store. She has mentioned it to me several times that she spends so much money there. I got her a gift card specifically to this store. Another one of my kids has a young teacher who is moving out of her parent’s house into a home she just bought, a gift card to a home improvement store is perfect for her.
- Gift certificate to a movie theater. Everyone likes to go to the movies, I think. Attach the gift card to some microwave popcorn or a box of.
- Gift card to a chain restaurant or store. Target, Subway, Sonic, or Starbucks are good choices. Or if your teacher has children, maybe an ice-cream shops to take them.
- Gift certificate to a local salon. There’s a great nail salon near the school and it is convenient for the teachers to use. I mean, who doesn’t like to be pampered?
- If you had an incredible teacher, write them a note to let them know how much you appreciated them. Send a copy of this note to the principal and superintendent. They get so many complaints every year; a note of praise is a welcome change. If sadly it comes at a time when teachers’ jobs are in jeopardy this could make a difference in their careers.
- Pool your money with some other families from your child’s class to get a larger gift card or present.
- Personalized note cards. You can get them relatively inexpensively online with the teacher’s name printed on them. Teachers are always writing notes home. Just don’t make them teacher themed.
- Pick out a nice bottle of wine. Write a note to relax and enjoy the “sweet taste” of summer.
- Something useful. A beach towel, sunblock, magazines, beach bag full of goodies. Here is Arizona it gets HOT! So during summer the go to spot to “chill out” is the pool! Even if you live somewhere not-so hot a lot of Teachers take vacations during their Summer and can take these great things along with them.
What ideas do you have for Year End Teacher’s Gifts? Or, are you a teacher who has received gifts you really enjoyed? Spill it; I want to know what you think.