It’s the end of the school year and while your little rugrats are probably eager to call it quits, don’t forget to say thanks to your child’s teacher before they do.
GreatSchools.com asked parents to share some of their favorite ways to say thanks to your child’s teacher. The list is expansive, but the end result is a wealth of ideas for teacher gifts, from gift cards to spa days to lunches honoring the whole school staff.
Know the teacher’s interests or needs, and you’ll come up with a great gift, said many, like this California mother of three:
“One teacher’s interest is gardening and (she) was very involved with the school’s ecology learning garden. The end-of-the year gift for this kindergarten teacher was a copper watering can from a well-recognized gardening store/company, on which each child engraved his/her name (with help from a parent using an electric hand engraver). A poem about planting seeds, tending and watching them grow was also engraved on the can, by a more sturdy (parent’s) hand.”
Here are other teacher gifts — some lovingly handmade, some ingeniously well-planned and some creatively last-minute:
Ideas for crafty parents
Gift bags: “I love to be crafty, so every year my son and I make his teacher a gift,” writes a California mother of two. “One of our favorite gifts was the year we made summer movie bags for his kindergarten teachers. We took two plain canvas tote bags and decorated them with fabric paints. Then we put microwavable popcorn, movie-type candy (i.e., Milk Duds, licorice, etc.) and a gift card to the local video store. Teachers spend so much time working, they need a little break in the summer.”
Not your normal apple: “My daughters and I like to drink the apple juice that comes in glass bottles shaped like an apple,” a father describes. “Then they paint the bottles to resemble real apples and insert a small cinnamon stick inside each. The cinnamon sticks carry a gift certificate to a local bookstore. It’s still an apple idea but not another mug!”
Class quilt: A mom in Florida suggests: “Give each student in the class a swatch of cloth (square), have them draw a picture, sign their names or write something about themselves. Once all the squares are collected, simply sew them together to make a quilt. It’s simple, unique and something that special teacher will treasure forever!”
In your child’s own words
Help your child share a memory: “Have your child write down something that happened during the school year where his/her teacher made an impact on them,” a mother in Georgia suggests. “Maybe not a ‘life-changing’ event but something that really meant something and made an impression on your child. You could even dress it up on the computer with nice paper and frame it!”
Give teachers their own report cards: “Last year during teacher appreciation week, we wrote a letter to the teacher and cc’d the principal of the school as well as the superintendent of the district. It was a one-page letter telling the teacher what we appreciated about her as parents and what our son appreciated about her as a student. She cried and the whole school was talking about what a nice thing the letter was to receive. She said it was the best ‘gift’ that she’d ever received.”
Gift certificates and cards
Many, many parents wrote to say that teachers love gift cards, making gift cards an easy way to say thanks to your child’s teacher. Some gift card tips:
Cards that pay for a night on the town: “The best gifts I have found for a teacher to receive are gift cards for a movie, Blockbuster or a meal at a restaurant,” one parent writes. “These are much better than adding to the collection of ‘stuff’ they receive every year.”
Bookstore cards let the teacher choose: “I try to send home a note to all families and ask for a $1 donation for a gift card to Borders,” a mom writes. “Some don’t send anything, but most send more than one dollar. The teacher can use it for her class or herself.”
Read full article as originally posted on GreatSchools.com.