Though no teacher expects a gift from his or her students, as a parent it’s thoughtful to thank your child’s teacher for the knowledge and care he or she has given your child this school year. This year, choose a thoughtful, simple gift that shows how much you really care. Forget apple-themed gifts or “World’s Best Teacher” trinkets and instead focus on items that cater to the teacher’s personality, or something that would be useful in the classroom.
1. Thank You note
A Thank You note from you and your child is the simplest and most heartfelt gift that you can give a teacher. If your child is too young to write, have them make a drawing and attach it with your own handwritten letter of appreciation. Expressing how much you appreciate your child’s teacher’s efforts is a wonderful way to set an example for your child on how to express gratitude toward others.
2. Coffee shop gift card
Purchase a gift card to a local coffeehouse and give it to the teacher with a small note encouraging them to enjoy a cup or two on you. If the teacher doesn’t drink coffee, think about a local lunch place where the teacher can indulge in something other than the school’s pizza Fridays.
3. Book donation for the classroom
Teachers enjoy having a robust classroom library for students to use throughout the year, and many times have to buy books for the classroom using their own money. Donate one or two of your favorite, age-appropriate books to help build the teacher’s book collection for the current school year and years to come.
4. Grab bag of classroom supplies
With school budgets tightening, in addition to books, many teachers are forced to purchase classroom supplies using their own salaries. Take a colorful gift bag and fill it with new markers, rulers, pencils, pads of paper, tissues, and safety scissors so the teacher can start off next school year with brand new teaching tools.
5. Educational board games for the class
Go to a teacher supply store and purchase grade-appropriate educational games for the teacher to use in the classroom. One or two small games will do and you’ll help the teacher add another lesson to his or her plans for the next year.
6. Pen bouquet
Have your child decorate a planter and fill it with pens of all colors – especially black, blue, and red. Teachers are always in need of pens to use for their grading duties, and presenting them in a fashionable way will surely make them smile.
7. Spa gift certificate
Give your child’s teacher a relaxing start to the summer. After a long year on their feet and standing at the chalkboard, teachers could use some much needed rejuvenation with the gift of a manicure, pedicure, or massage.
8. Personalized note cards
Purchase or make personalized note cards for the teacher to use in his or her correspondence. Simple designs are always the best bet, so that the teacher may use them for any type of note. Sites such as Zazzle.com will allow you to make personalized creations.
9. Fruit basket
Head to your local farmers market or specialty food store and pick out a few beautiful, exotic fruits and put them in a decorative, reusable basket for the teacher. He or she will love sharing the fruit with family and colleagues, and reusing the basket at home or at school.
10. Movie tickets
The last few weeks of school can be the most hectic for teachers, with grading and end of the year projects. Give the teacher a much-needed night out with a pair of tickets to your local movie theater. He or she will appreciate the gesture and the escape from school duties.