Teachers are a huge influence on the children they teach. Next to their parents or caregivers, teachers spend more time with your child than any other adult in their lives! If your child’s teacher has gone above and beyond to make their year special, a “thank you” gift at the end of the year is a lovely way to make them feel appreciated.
1. Give something consumable
Teachers will love any gift that comes from the heart, but storage for years and years of trinkets can sometimes be a challenge. Many teachers move from classroom to classroom (or even school to school!) at the end of every year, and desk space is usually at a premium. Something consumable can be enjoyed right away without ending up at the back of the classroom supply closet.
Here are some of our favorite consumable teacher gifts:
- Some loose-leaf iced teas to enjoy during the summer
- A box of special chocolates
- A “home spa” set with bath bombs or body lotions and a candle
- A batch of your favorite cookie recipe in a pretty tin
If you choose to give your child’s teacher something they can eat, drink, or apply (like lotions and body creams,) make sure to ask if they have any allergies or restrictions you should know about. It might spoil the surprise a bit, but they’ll thank you for it!
2. Consider a gift certificate
Gift certificates may seem a bit impersonal, but they are often really popular with teachers. Having the freedom to pick something for themselves that they’ll really enjoy can be nice for a year-end splurge! Teachers spend long evenings and weekends working during the school year, so gift certificates for a date night or some self care might be just what they need now that the year is almost over!
Here are some basic suggestions, but ask your child – you’ll be surprised how many good ideas they might have!
- A manicure or pedicure from a local nail salon
- A gift card for their favorite coffee shop
- Movie passes
- A gift certificate for a trendy restaurant nearby
- Mall gift certificates
3. Keep it private
Whatever you decide is appropriate as a family, try to keep your present as private as you can. There will be kids in your child’s class who love their teacher but don’t have parents at home who are able or willing to give a gift; there will also be parents who will feel self-conscious about giving a smaller gift.
If possible, give your gift after class is finished. Consider avoiding the last day of school, since there will be a rush for the teacher’s attention. Choose a quiet day in the last week of school and let the teacher know you’re coming by to drop something special off – if there are fewer parents and kids around, there will be less of a chance of awkwardness or hurt feelings.
4. Talk to the other parents
If you’re on good terms with some other parents in your child’s class and know they’re planning on giving a gift, talk to them ahead of time about chipping in for a larger one from multiple families. This may also prevent your child’s teacher from getting 25 Tim Hortons gift certificates! (We can think of worse things, but hey!)
5. Include a card with your child’s name and picture
No matter what you give, make sure you include a card with your child’s name, the year, and a current picture. All the teachers I know keep yearbooks and scrapbooks from every grade they teach; as the years go by, a picture and a name can bring back all kinds of wonderful memories.