The holidays are here! The holidays are here! Think of all the parties, the presents, the… stress!
Teachers are going nuts trying to get report cards done and review for tests in the middle of half days, plays, and holiday concerts. Parents are going crazy arranging childcare for the week off, planning holiday dinners, decorating the house, and finding the perfect gift for their family members.
Who has time to think of a teacher gift?
First, it is absolutely not necessary to give a gift to any teacher or professional that works with your child. They are simply doing their job and they get paid to do so. However, when your child has a special connection with a staff member, or you know that someone has gone out of their way to help your child, some parents like to give a little something to say thank you.
The number 1 gift that you can give a teacher is a genuine “Thank you.” A handwritten note with your child’s favorite thing about the teacher or the class is always heartwarming and rewarding. You can also write a letter of appreciation and give it to the principal or an administrator, letting them know of the teacher’s hard work and efforts.
Many parents also like to include a little present or thought. Here are some unique and thoughtful gifts to consider:
1. Personalized Water Bottles – Teachers often only have a few minutes to eat lunch and run to the bathroom, so having a bottle of water or cold drink in their classroom is always a pleasure. If their name is on it, they will get it back if they leave it in the faculty room! Perfect.
2. Personalized Coffee Travel Mug – Most of the staff in my building bring their coffee to school every day. We teach the kids to reduce, reuse, and recycle, so we like to show them that we do it too!
3. Stationary – This one is always a hit. Teachers always need cards, notepads, etc. Personalized ones are adorable, but if you don’t have time to order, pick up a cute pack in the stationary section at the dollar store or TJ max. If you really want to be a gem – include a few stamps!
4. Personalized pencils or a pen – Again – this one will never go to waste! Teachers always need writing utensils. You can add the teacher’s name, which is a really thoughtful and considerate gift.
5. Classroom or topic-related books – Teachers are always supplementing their classroom library with their own money. A good book that they can add to their collection is an awesome idea. Let your child put a note on the inside cover with the year on it, so the teacher can remember your gift for years to come. One of my favorite gifts that I ever received from a parent was a book called “The Dot”. It’s a cute story about how sometimes the littlest things can have a big effect on someone. The mom wrote me a beautiful note about how I impacted her child’s life and their family. I was so touched—and will treasure the gift forever. Another good book would be the “Giving Tree”, a book about someone who gives and gives, without asking for anything in return.
6. Classroom Games – Again, teachers and therapists often supplement their school supplies with their personal money. One thing we can always use is a new game for the classroom. Kids stay in during recess in the classroom. Speech, Social work, Counseling, and Occupational therapists all use games to work on socializing, turn-taking, coping skills, and friendship building. A small travel game or even a deck of cards ($1 at the Dollar Store) is a cute little gift that we can definitely use!
Some cute phrases to use –
“Miss Johnson, we think you are Aces! ” (Deck of cards)
“Mrs. Willis, you are Numero Uno!” (Uno)
“Mr. Smith, thanks for making me so Brite!” (Lite brite)
7. The $2 Do It Yourself – I love this homemade post-it holder. It is so easy to make and looks adorable on a teacher’s desk. It’s thoughtful, useful, and definitely affordable. Use some wrapping paper or scrapbooking paper and a ribbon to jazz it up. Voila!
8. Stickers – You can never have enough of em’! Growing up I always loved the Smelly stickers. We used to call them Scratch and Sniff, but really any stickers were a favorite! There are always new and exciting movie stickers and character stickers that are coming out (Minecraft, anyone?), so a couple of new packs of stickers would be appreciated in any classroom!
9. A little plant or flower – You don’t have to spend a lot to warm a teacher’s heart. Trader Joe’s and the local supermarket often have little plants for under $5. A bright pretty flower is a great teacher gift that can make anyone’s day.
10. When all else fails: Gift Cards – I hesitated to put this on my list because gift cards can seem a little impersonal. BUT, every teacher I know loves them. Parents sometimes feel silly giving a gift card for a few dollars, but trust me, even a $5 Dunkin Donuts or Target Gift card comes in handy. Again – write something nice to go with it.
“Have a great holiday – Have a cup of coffee on us!
From, the Johnson Family”