Teachers are amazing! We trust them to care for our kiddos all day, teaching them fundamental skills they need in life. But it’s tough work, and often thankless. Last week, I got an email from my daughter’s teacher letting the parents know that the class had had undesirable behavior over the course of two days. This is the second such E-mail that she has sent this year and it was a reminder to me what teachers deal with daily.
The holidays are a great time to show your child’s teacher how much you appreciate what they do for your family. But it can also be nerve wracking to know what to get a teacher. When my daughter was in kindergarten, we gave her teacher a donut scented candle and a bag of coffee. I thought it was a great gift until I found out teachers get a ton of candles, and if any of them are like me, they either never burn them or go to bed at night forgetting to blow them out (Saturday Night Live just did a great spoof on giving candles as a gift, you can watch it here.)
Since candles were off the gift giving list, in second grade we gave her teacher a bracelet. My daughter picked out a hideous one at first, but I convinced her we should buy a different, more in this decade, one. When the teacher thanked me for the gift, I told her the story of how I diverted the crisis of her receiving an ugly bracelet. To my surprise she said, “Oh, I would’ve loved it! I love it when the kids pick the gifts or give me gifts they make themselves.”
It turns out, I had it all wrong and teachers are actually simple and easy to shop for! They don’t need all the perfect gifts found on the Internet, it turns out a heartfelt thank you note, or a drawing of a cat that looks like a fish means more to them than anything.
10 Gift Ideas for Teachers:
1. Framed Artwork – Have your child draw or paint a picture for the teacher and frame it.
2. Homemade jewelry – Have your child make a necklace or bracelet, there are several kits out there for making homemade jewelry, including this one by Melissa and Doug.
3. Gift Cards – Most schools will have a “favorite things” list the teachers fill out at the beginning of the year. Find out where they like to eat, shop, or hang out and buy gift cards to those places.
4. Hand cream – Teachers deal with a lot of paper, they use a lot of hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes, and they wash their hands a lot. All of these things make their hands very dry, so a good quality hand cream is a great idea! Burt’s Bees and L’Occitane have great options.
5. Personalized stationary – Order some personalized stationary for the teacher such as notepads and thank you cards. Vistaprint has some great, budget friendly and customizable options.
6. School supplies – Teachers spend a lot of their own money on school supplies. Helping replenish their stock half way through the year is a great gift! Paper, glue sticks, and Crayons are always needed.
7. Books for the Classroom – Find out if there are any books the teacher wants for the classroom library.
8. Breakfast for a week – You can prep breakfast for the teacher for a week! Include a beverage, oatmeal or other easy breakfast item, and a mid-morning snack. Put each set in a gift bag and mark it by the day of the week. Tammy has some great Wake and Take recipes you can easily prep for the teacher!
9. Homemade bookmarks – Have your child make a variety of bookmarks for their teacher to use throughout the year.
10. A heartfelt Thank You Note – Like all of us, teachers want to feel appreciated. Whatever you decide to give, make sure it includes a heartfelt thank you note!
I hope this helps alleviate some of the stress of holiday shopping for your child’s teacher! If you have other ideas, I’d love to hear them!