Teacher Appreciation Gifts Ideas

May 1, 2012

Straight From The Head Of The Class

By: Dana Verhoff, PM Snoqualmie Valley & Issaquah, WA
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Did you know that I was a teacher before becoming a mom?  I have about 10 years of classroom experience, and you're about to benefit from my expertise in the area of Teacher Appreciation.  That's right, I'm giving you the inside scoop on unique and thoughtful ways to say thanks to your child's teacher.  May 7-11th marks Teacher Appreciation week!  Join in and share the "appreciation!"

Thoughtful and Generous, a Combination that Passes the Test
Never underestimate the value of a handwritten note or simple illustration from your child.  This is true on Mother's Day, too, right?  Teachers develop bonds with their students, and handmade says heartfelt. Along with that handmade card, give the gift that keeps on giving ... a gift card!  The teaching profession is not a gold mine financially, so having a gift card to spend on ourselves is quite a luxury.  The amount is not terribly important, but try to figure out where he/she would enjoy spending a little "free" money.  We vote for Starbucks, but that's just us.

Give Craftiness a Try, Get an A for Effort
Like we said, handmade is heartfelt.  Taking the time and effort to make something is always well-received.  It's always fun to involve the kids in what you're making.  If the end result is somewhat practical, all the better.  There are lots of ideas and most of them are low on cost, high on cleverness!  Here are links to a few of our favorites:

Pillbox Treats use a seven-day pillbox to treat a teacher to a little something everyday of Teacher Appreciation Week.

101 Things We Love About Our Teacher is a great collaborative gift (see below) and packs a huge Wow! factor.  It involves 100 one-dollar bills, some scrapbooking skills, and special messages from the students. 

Go to the Head of the Class ... room
With school budgets constantly taking a hit, teachers often spend their own money to buy materials for the classroom. The expense of art and office supplies adds up over the course of the school year.  Replenish consumables like paper and pencils.  Replace equipment like staplers and pencil sharpeners.  One year I received an electric three-hole punch - to replace the hand-held punch I had been straining to use, and it is still one of my favorite gifts. 

Get Together: Collaborative Gifts Make the Grade
By pulling the resources of all the students in the class, you'll be able to get one really nice gift! It will seem like a total splurge, but in reality, splitting it so many ways - between 20 to 30 students - keeps the overall cost down.  Honestly, you can get a lot of bang for your buck this way.  And it's an environmentally friendly alternative. You'll save on wrapping materials. Only one parent - rather than 20 - will drive around town getting the gift.  With so many families contributing, you can treat the teacher to something indulgent like a spa package, adventurous like a hot air balloon ride (my students did that for me one year), or meaningful like a donation to a favorite charity.  

To the Principal's Office
There's nothing more flattering than unsolicited praise for a teacher to the principal of the school. Write a letter, send an email, stop by for a personal visit, and let the "head honcho" know that you think your child's teacher is doing a great job.

If all else fails, be sure you take the time to say the two most important words, "Thank You."

Here are some other ideas we found online as well!  

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