I admire and respect my kids’ teachers. More than I can express.
And it’s not because many many moons ago, I once was one of them. It’s because the teachers that my kids have actually inspire my kids to want to learn. And, let’s face it, day in and day out, teachers have to deal with kids who may have woken up on the wrong side of the bed or who may be hormonal teens, which can be trying to anyone!
While I’d love to be able to express my appreciation the whole school year, it just isn’t reality. So when Teacher Appreciation Week rolls around, it’s the perfect opportunity to express heartfelt thanks for everything these wonderful people have done for the past 8 months.
In my many (many) years of parenting school-aged children, I’ve seen loads of cute ideas floating around for teacher appreciation gifts. But before you go getting crafty or hitting up the BOGO lotion and candle sale, ask yourself- what do they REALLY want? With that in mind, I’ve come up with some ideas based on the surveys that my kids’ elementary school would send out to the teachers every year.
Teacher Appreciation Week 2017 starts May 8th!
Let’s face it. Gift cards are a can’t-go-wrong type of gift. Some people may see them as impersonal, but I guarantee you that I’ve yet to meet a teacher who is disappointed by a gift card.
What kind of gift card is best? The easiest route is always Target (I mean, who doesn’t love Target) or Amazon. If you know some of the teacher’s favorite things, you can hit up those ideas. Coffee aficionado? Grab a gift card from one of our favorite local coffee shops. Favorite restaurant? How cute is this taco gift card printable? (Which would go perfectly with some Bel Air Cantina.) Do they have kids of their own? They may enjoy a fun treat. Know their favorite store? Give them a gift card for that. Maybe a group of classroom parents wants to go in on a gift? Make a gift card tree or stick them in a plant!
A THEMED GIFT OR BASKET THAT ALIGNS WITH THEIR INTERESTS
The idea here is practical and cute and something they will use. When it comes to gift baskets, there’s no use wasting your money on cutesy filler items that will just get tossed aside.
A HANDMADE CARD / NOTE OF THANKS
Not every gift has to cost money. Any time a child takes the time to write a teacher and tell them (or illustrate) from the heart just how much the teacher means to them, you bet your pants that the recipient will love and appreciate it! Try having the kids fill out a sheet with prompts like “My favorite thing about Ms….” and “She has taught me…” and “Over the summer, Ms. ____ should…” Prepare for your child’s teacher to cry all the happy tears.
SUPPLIES FOR THE CLASSROOM
VOLUNTEERING YOUR TIME
Again, gifts need not be monetary. This is one of those gifts that teachers seem to appreciate the most! So whether it be making copies, helping organize, working with students, or taking laminated materials home to cut, any little bit is appreciated.
Whatever gift you choose to give your child’s teacher will be appreciated. However, if you want to make them smile extra big, you might want to follow these guidelines and stay away from the dreaded 4: coffee mugs, candles, lotions, and apple themed items.
CELEBRATE TEACHING TEAMS
It’s important to think broadly about support staff and specials teachers too. Often, they are the unsung heroes that make the academic experience possible for a large population of kids. While any one of these ideas would be appropriate for these invaluable educators, consider also gifts that bring encouragement and rest to those who often manage challenging relationships on a daily basis.