Teacher Appreciation Week is here! As a former teacher myself, I’d like to give you some quick tips and advice on gift-giving ideas for your child’s educator.
I taught for 10 years, so I think I can consider myself “kind of”an expert on teacher gifts … well, probably … ummm, maybe? Just this school year I decided to take some time off and stay at home with my little one. It’s been extremely rewarding and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity. I am so thankful for my husband, without his support, I wouldn’t be able to do this. I am truly blessed.
The Opposite Side of Teacher Appreciation Week
Now that the tables have turned and I’m on the opposite side of teacher appreciation week, I feel like I have kind of an advantage to this teacher gift-giving fun! My little one is in pre-school, and I love getting her teachers gifts for special occasions and holidays! I literally just shop for myself, but carefully arrange the items into a cute gift bag and hand them off to her teachers instead of keeping them (insert crying emoji face here!).
It’s been almost an entire school year off from teaching and I’m STILL obsessed with “teacher things” such as markers, notepads, bags, cups, pens, etc. I basically don’t have much use for them now, so I’ve limited myself, but Teacher Appreciation Week is a great way to shop for a gift I’d like to keep for myself — then and give it away!
Tip #1: Make it Practical
Teachers LOVE LOVE LOVE store gift cards! Most of the year we spend money out of our own pockets for sparkly pencils, glittery stickers, markers, file folders, prizes, etc. So when we get a gift card, odds are we’re going to spend it on items that will come back to the classroom anyway! Favorite teacher stores include Target, Dollar Tree, and even Amazon! Seriously any store that we can go shop our little hearts out for teacher supplies and goodies is a plus!
Tip #2: Make It Caffeinated
Starbucks! We run on teacher fuel — a.k.a. coffee and prayers! We all love our little coffee fix in the mornings. Caffeinated teachers = educated students. Now, we likely don’t have it in our schedule for a daily Starbucks delight, because waking up early to get in the crazy long line is just impossible when we have meetings, morning duty and papers to print before the kiddos show up to class. After work, we just want to head home and call it a day, trust me! But weekends are definitely made for a Starbucks drink or two!
Tip #3: Make it Personalized
Teachers love anything and everything personalized! Cups, mugs, tumblers, tote bags, plaques, wreaths, etc. We just love to see our teacher name on all sorts of things and — trust me — we sure do use them! Even now that I occasionally substitute at my old campus, I take my coffee-filled teacher tumbler with me. We definitely feel extra-special when a student (or parent) goes out of her way to personalize something just for us! Bonus points for thoughtfulness!
Tip #4: Make it Thoughtful
I can speak with 10 years of experience that during the school year I hardly get a chance to pamper myself! Yes, we get time off for the holidays, but in all honesty, we’re so exhausted by that point, we just want to “Netflix and Chill.” So a gift certificate to a nail salon, beauty salon or even to get a massage is life-changing! It almost gives us the reason to go out and take some time for ourselves! Don’t think it has to be the full amount, in fact, any amount is great to start with!
Tip #5: Make it Memorable
I might be old-fashioned, but I think handwriting a note or a letter is far more rewarding to receive than any gift out there. One year I had a student’s mom send handwritten notes for every special occasion and holiday. Each note included how happy and grateful she was that I was her son’s teacher. Sometimes a reminder of reassurance from your students’ parents just helps you see that you are making a difference in their lives. I now do the same for my daughter’s teachers. It was definitely a thoughtful gesture that I have taken with me.
I hope these tips can give you some ideas when shopping for your child’s teachers! Just remember, it’s the thought that counts!