Monday, May 26, 2008

Teacher Appreciation/End of the Year Gift Ideas


As a teacher for over 15 years, I have received many lovely gifts from my students. I have treasured them all. Some can still be found in a shoe box in my closet and others have gone the way of many of my children's refrigerator art....
All have been greatly appreciated, especially the homemade ones. The time and thought put into choosing just the right image to color or type of treat to bake. I have enjoyed and appreciated being thought of in such a lovely way.

Here are some of the gifts I've received over the years:
flowers (always a good stand by, who doesn't love flowers?)
candy (very sweet)
hand soap/lotion (very nice for those of us who wash our hands 5billion times as day)
a bottle of wine
tickets to a movie (LOVED this!)
cash (this felt a bit impersonal, although the card was lovely, it felt a little like a tip, I ended up buying things for the classroom with the money)
Gift certificate to a local store I love (very thoughtful!)
a beautiful silver bracelet engraved (I wear it every year on the first day of school)
a hand knitted scarf (cozy for the playgrounds of the Northeast)
Hot Chocolate (equally cozy & yummy too)
candles (the scented kind)
home made ornaments and jewelry (very sweet, anything home made is adorable)

This second list is entitled: "Cost a Pretty Penny"
These are items I think your children's teacher would enjoy receiving but you may not be able to afford depending on how many kiddos you have and how many teachers you want to give something to. (I personally could not afford to pull any of these off but would love to).
  • Have LUNCH delivered to school.
  • Create note cards or note pads "From the desk of..." to give to your child's teacher. Use your child's art work to create sure to be used stationary.
  • Ask your child to inquire about their teacher's interests and possible collections such as tennis or gardening (gift appropriately with gift certificates to stores where they can make their own purchases to add to their collections.)
  • Gift card to local teacher supply store
  • Gift certificate to a local spa ("One free manicure for hands that have helped us grow and learn all year long.")
  • Expensive chocolates (from a local candy shop)
  • A flowering plant
  • Have flowers delivered to school.
  • Jewelry (the home made kind is most often cherished, I still have a button bracelet a little boy made for me before he left to start kindergarten)
  • Donate books in the teacher's name to the school library/classroom
  • I'm sure you can come up with many more...
But, let's not break the bank here...teachers also appreciate home made gifts very much.
A story or poem written by your child about their teacher with a drawing to illustrate
Photos! Once a parent came to all the events throughout the school year (Open House, Field Trips, Our Annual Auction, parent ed. nights, the Spring yard sale...etc.) and took photos. Then they compiled the photos into a small scrap book for us. This was a classroom treasure for years afterward and a wonderful tool for me as the Director at the time, to use to show enrolling families just some of the many things we do through-out the school year that they can become part of.

My favorite gift of all time:
Photos of all my students. One very sweet and talented photographer parent took photos of all the kids in my class one year and surprised me with a memory book. It was wrapped in hand print paper made by the kids in my class. I will always treasure this book and the wrapping paper. (*My classroom assistant helped the parent out a bit to make this all possible and I was leaving on maternity leave that year also).

I am sure that whatever your child and you come up with, their teacher will appreciate. Share your ideas by leaving a comment if time allows. Remember it's not how much money you paid for a gift it's the thought that matters most.
In PEACE,
Montessori Mama

17 comments:

Sadaf Trimarchi said...

Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions. Recently, I struggled over the right gift to give J's teachers for teacher appreciation week. This is his first year at preschool, so I had no clue what was appropriate. Now with the year ending, I've been wondering what the right gift(s) might be. So timely!

S

NJ Tracy Jean said...

Our small town merchant's guild puts out town bucks good at almost every business in town: gift shops, restaurants, book store, ANTIQUE STORE etc. Often a thoughtful parent organizes a collection and purchases town bucks. I love this for many reasons. First, no one has to put in much but it ends up being a very generous gift. Next, because it isn't cash I don't just spend it without thinking. Finally, it supports local small town business. I tend to save them until I have a good amount and go to my local antique store on a spending spree. I have actually bought beautiful furniture for my home and I think of my little friends whenever I see it which is every day! As you say, anything homemade by a child is wonderful. And never dismiss the happy glow a heartfelt letter from a parent can bring!

NJ Tracy Jean said...

Our small town merchant's guild puts out town bucks good at almost every business in town: gift shops, restaurants, book store, ANTIQUE STORE etc. Often a thoughtful parent organizes a collection and purchases town bucks. I love this for many reasons. First, no one has to put in much but it ends up being a very generous gift. Next, because it isn't cash I don't just spend it without thinking. Finally, it supports local small town business. I tend to save them until I have a good amount and go to my local antique store on a spending spree. I have actually bought beautiful furniture for my home and I think of my little friends whenever I see it which is every day! As you say, anything homemade by a child is wonderful. And never dismiss the happy glow a heartfelt letter from a parent can bring!

John Adams said...

Hi there

I run a site Best Friend Gift Ideas ( http://bestfriendgiftideasguide.com ).
I believe it would be beneficial for both of us if we do blogroll link exchange.


Here is the Description for the Link Exchange

Title Best Friend Gift Ideas

URL http://bestfriendgiftideasguide.com

thanks
John Border

jojoebi said...

As a teacher I always loved getting handmade gifts or thank you letters/cards written by the students. I still have a pile of them and some great pictures that they drew. I was also touched when the child remembered things from the lessons about the things I liked and got me a related present, I have had some lovely Totoro presents and one student bought be a whole load of stationary all in orange because he knew that was my favourite colour.

Thimbleina said...

It is always good to hear from a teacher what gifts are good ideas.

writinggb said...

These are great ideas! Our class parent is organizing a card/money thing, but I always feel that this is so impersonal. We have one week from today to figure out gifts for my son's three teachers. Thanks for the reminder to start now to help my son think of what will work best for them.

writinggb said...

Just had to come back and tell you how well the gift planning and prep is going. My son (10 yrs) decided to write his lead teacher a book about what he's learned and why he likes her so much. He was very proud yesterday of his draft -- when I came home from running errands, he announced that he had written 555 words in one day (his highest total). I read the essay and it's so sweet, with plenty of details and voice. I know she'll love it. Thanks again for posting on this topic.

By the way, he's making a tour guide of our city for his other teacher (who moved here recently). We are taking digital photos and he's writing about restaurants, parks, and museums that he likes and thinks the teacher will enjoy, too. We'll also give him the guide along with a map of the city.

MerrandaVK said...

Yes, Thank you so much for this post! My son has some fabulous teachers at our Montessori school and your ideas will help us show our gratitude for a wonderful year.

unique said...

One of the things that make Christmas special is the spirit of giving. As children we can’t wait for Christmas morning to open presents. We thought in terms of receiving. As adults we think in terms of giving. And hopefully, our unique Christmas gift ideas are gifts of love. Men look for just the right gifts for women. Women usually shop for men, their own children as well as others, and for family and friends. Here are some suggestions to get you started. http://unique-christmas-gift-ideas-tips.blogspot.com .

unique said...

One of the things that make Christmas special is the spirit of giving. As children we can’t wait for Christmas morning to open presents. We thought in terms of receiving. As adults we think in terms of giving. And hopefully, our unique Christmas gift ideas are gifts of love. Men look for just the right gifts for women. Women usually shop for men, their own children as well as others, and for family and friends. Here are some suggestions to get you started. http://unique-christmas-gift-ideas-tips.blogspot.com .

Baby Jane said...

It is good to hear any feedback from the teachers about the gift that they received from the event of teacher appreciation day...

All I can say to them, Thank you and I/We Salute to all the teachers...

ROGER MOORE said...

Great ideas! Everything sounds fantastic! I would not know what to choose...

Wow! What a great list! This took some time to put together.
Thank you so much.

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