Teacher Appreciation Week begins in May.
Teacher Appreciation Week begins in May.
This is towards the end of the school year, so students are looking forward to a stress-free summer of fun. Your teacher may not be as excited about the summer, which can offer a cessation of income and a second job or long professional development seminars. Show how much you appreciate your child’s teacher by getting them a gift they’ll love on Teacher Appreciation Day!
Don’t get Classroom supplies – These are useful at the beginning of the school year or as donations throughout the year but don’t make work supplies a gift to your teacher in May. We have needs and lives outside of class! School supplies are more of a gift to the students than to us.
Instead: Fund your favorite: Start an account with an initial donation for your favorite teacher on Classful.com. Classful is the gift that keeps giving all year round. When we need more supplies for the kids, it’s easier for us to go out and get exactly the right thing than to have an entire classroom of parents trying to coordinate a supply run. Classful lets you send money to your teacher, so your children are always well-equipped to learn.
Don’t get Teacher special interest books – We’ve read them already.
Instead: Any other book – Most teachers love reading outside school. A gift certificate to your favorite local bookstore or Internet book retailer lets your teacher pick out anything from a lofty academic text to a steamy potboiler. An e-reader might be a nice gift if your teacher doesn’t own one.
Don’t get Mugs – I promise you, our cupboards are filled with these things. We have our favorite travel mugs that keep coffee piping hot on the commute to work, a half-dozen ceramic mugs with the school logo we got instead of a raise, and the big mug in the teacher’s lounge everyone knows not to touch. We’re full of mugs.
Instead: Your teacher’s favorite drink – Give us something to put in those mugs! You may want to save a bottle of wine for the parent-teacher conference, but a pound of ground coffee, a box of nice tea, or a fancy cocoa mix is always a good choice. Coffee shop gift cards – The teacher’s lounge doesn’t have triple-strength espresso, but the nearby coffee shop does. Sometimes it’s nice to have someone make your perfect drink for you at the start of a long, hard week.
Don’t get Lotion – Many people are allergic to the chemicals in scented lotion. Even if nobody breaks out in hives, a bottle of fancy lotion is a magnet for kids who want to procrastinate by applying moisturizer they don’t need. We probably prefer that heavy-duty stuff you can buy at the feed store.
Instead: Spa day – Being a teacher is stressful. We stand, walk, lift, and bend in awkward positions way more than you think we do. Massages and mani-pedis can go a long way toward restoring our sanity. Gift certificates for pampering experiences make a happy and relaxed teacher.
Don’t get Candy – Some of us struggle to get three balanced meals daily; pure sugar doesn’t go that far if you skip lunch. It’s also a kid magnet, and we’re likely to have given half the batch away before we take it home.
Instead: Supermarket gift cards – We’re adults and can buy candy. Gift cards to a decent supermarket mean we can buy healthier snacks or save them for the summer when the paychecks aren’t coming in.
Don’t get Candles – They’re useful if the power goes out, but so are canned goods and a camp stove. I’m not sure why we, as a culture, have decided that an outright fire hazard is an ideal gift.
Instead: Gas cards – Many of us have long commutes, and gasoline prices aren’t decreasing. Help get your teacher to work with gift cards to a local gas station. Depending on your teacher’s transportation arrangements, a month of bus passes might be useful.
Don’t get Gift baskets – They look fancy in the store, but they’re bulky to transport and usually entail hunting through handfuls of colored tissue paper for an impossibly small jar of condiments. Stuff like this tends to say, “I put no thought into presents whatsoever.”
Instead: Thank-you cards. We’ll treasure a heartfelt card forever. We want to give your child the best education and encouragement we can. If we’ve made a real difference in your child’s life, a simple card or a teacher appreciation letter note lets us know that we’ve done something that will last.