It’s Teacher Appreciation time and I know, as a teacher, that usually means lots of gifts from families in my classroom. This is the time of year parents shower teachers with all the things that say:
- “Thank you for teaching my kiddo all the important things like reading, writing, and math.”
- “Thank you for not judging me when I can’t help my second grader with homework because it’s that ‘new’ math.”
- “Thank you for opening all the containers I send with my kid at lunch, for listening to their stories (that sometimes seem to go on and on), and for only believing half of what they tell you goes on at our house.”
Although these gifts say so much – we know parents are really saying, “Thank you for making my little baby (no matter what age) feel valued and important for seven hours each day. It means more than you will ever know.”
It’s because we teachers know what these gifts truly mean for parents, that we often overlook the sometimes-odd gifts we receive and focus on the thought behind it. With all that in mind, I thought a short list of some teacher favorites might be helpful.
Favorite Teacher Appreciation Gifts
- Food! Whether it’s chocolate, cookies, or sweet treats of any kind – food is always a good idea. Teachers love chocolate and when we spend lunch making copies or prepping the afternoon lesson, a stash of sweets is just what we need to power through the afternoon.
- Gift cards! There are so many options. Coffee, Trader Joe’s, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Target, Walmart, or Amazon. Teachers are always shopping for something, and these cards will ALWAYS come in handy!
- Something useful! Not just a coffee cup or decoration, but something you can use around the house. Something for the kitchen, a plant, office supplies, organizer of some sort, or things for summer vacation are wonderful ideas! We are a practical group – so things that make life easier or more efficient will always be appreciated.
- Items for the classroom! Over the years, I’ve spent thousands of dollars on items for my classroom. Every teacher does it! There’s no tax write off, no refund, no reimbursement. Teachers will always appreciate book sets, beanbag chairs, lap desks, pencils, markers, or special art supplies. District budgets just don’t cover these things so teachers will never turn down things for the classroom.
- A handwritten card! Never underestimate the power of a handwritten note from students and parents. I’ve been teaching for over 20 years, and I have a shoe box full of little cards I’ve received over the years from families. They mean the world! Hand-written notes are slowly falling by the wayside; overcome by the quicker, more convenient email and text. We recognize the time and effort that go into these special notes and that is why they mean so much!
So, if you are planning a gift for Teacher Appreciation Week, consider these ideas and know that it doesn’t have to be big, expensive, or Pinterest worthy. It’s really the thought that counts. And if time (or money) runs out, remember you can take a few minutes to write a note of appreciation. That may mean more than anything else you could give, and it will definitely warm the hearts of the teachers in your life.