As a teacher, I recieved gifts over the years -some obviously very thoughtful and others that left me scratching my head in wonder. Regardless, the simple act of giving a gift meant the world to me, especially since I wasn’t always the “main” teacher. (I taught special education, and even if I saw a child for most of the day, I wasn’t their “homeroom” teacher, and ….I digress…) So, let me repeat, any gift you give a teacher will be much appreciated. Period. Truly, it IS the thought that counts.
If you’re looking for something simple, without breaking the bank, then take heed of these frugal teacher gift ideas.
Honestly, the gifts that meant the most to me were the personalized notes, you could have your child help create a picture for each teacher, and include a note of thanks -offering anything specific you can, even if it’s simply “you make my child smile”. Pull out the paint brush, water colors or tempera paint, and let your child express himself – regardless of his age. Sometimes a picture of your child is helpful, too, because it will allow her teachers to continue to put a name to a face (because we’re all a little forgetful in our old age.) I’ve helped my daughter create various cards over the years, using card stock, colorful tissue paper bits, and contact paper. Or peruse Pinterest for a simple craft you think you and your child could create for all his teachers.
When I was in the classroom, the gift that (still) meant the most to me was from one of my 5th graders, whose learning disability made the simple task of writing very difficult. That year, she hand wrote me a letter of thanks – specifying things I’d done for her/with her that year. I know the time, effort, and thought that went in to that was great – and I thus still treasure it dearly. She got me a few other small things along with that note, but the note is what I most recall.
If you want to include a little **something** along with the pictures and notes, the gesture of a $5 gift card, or even a little baggie of assorted chocolates can go a long way. The dollar stores usually have those little mesh baggies in multiples; I snagged a bag of chocolates last year for free with some deal -likely at Publix- and allocated a few of them to each of my daughter’s teacher, using those baggies. Also, you could create various baked goods with your child, and include with a personalized note.
Along those same lines, clip and root a piece of your favorite house plant, like a Christmas cactus; root it, then put it in a colorful pot. Or, grab a ready-to-paint pot from a craft store or home improvement store, and let your child create a design on the pot. House plants can certainly be a lasting way of saying “thank you”.
Another idea, depending on your child’s class and teachers, is to pool together with other parents, and go in together for one big class gift. With a larger budget, the class could get the teachers personalized stationary from Vistaprint, or even a larger gift card or gift certificate to her favorite restaurant. Or just cold hard cash.
This year, for the end of year gift, my daughter’s pre-K class is making a photo book for each teacher. Since they’ve been taking pictures all year round, and uploading to Shutterfly, we have plenty of pictures of the kids and both teachers. Each child will also create one picture for each teacher, and write a sentence or two about what they like the most about each teachers – scan them in: boom. Sentimental, meaningful gift.
The bottom line is this: no matter what the gift is, simply let your child’s teachers know you appreciate them. That act alone goes a long way, and stands out for years to come.
**Also, check out Tiffany (of RealMomTalk.com) for her take on the Top 5 Gift Ideas for Teachers: