Top 10 teacher’s gifts – Here is a list of the top 10 end of year gifts for teachers.
June marks the end of the school year in Connecticut, and it is always one of the busiest times for parents and their kiddos. Within the space of three weeks, our family calendar is packed with a multitude of different activities ranging from sports events, field trips, concerts and art shows. It is a fun and exciting time to see the culmination of a year’s worth of school work all showcased in such a short period of time. One of the most anticipated occasions is the end of the year school party – I’m not sure who looks forward to it more, the students or the teachers! At the party, I like to present teachers with a meaningful gift that they will love. It is a small token of my appreciation for their passion and dedication for 10 months of teaching. Here is a roundup of the Top 10 Teacher’s Gift Ideas for every budget (and read on about what gifts to avoid).
1. General gift cards – These are always a favorite with both male and female teachers and the ideas are endless! Among the most popular are gift cards for coffee (Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts or a local coffee shop), large retail stores (Target, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS) and online stores such as Amazon.
2. Gift cards for something more personal – Even though the gift card may not entirely cover the purchase of something they want, it certainly helps take the sting out of buying that pair of shoes or handbag that they have been coveting. These wallets from Kate Spade are awesome because they hold all the essentials and can accommodate some popular mobile phones. My reason for suggesting something that they can use personally is because of something that happen when my son was in third-grade. We had given his teacher a gift card to Target for the December Holiday and she sent me a thank you note. In the note she wrote that she used it towards school supplies for her class. I knew she was genuinely happy to spend the gift card that way, but when it came time for the end of the year gift, I wanted to make sure that she received something that she could only use for herself. She was always immaculately dressed so I bought a gift card to one of the chicest clothing stores in the area. I wrote a note in the card that said “Thank you for making this an amazing year. This time, you are getting something that you could only spend on yourself. Good luck finding Post-It Notes here.”
3. Cool new school supplies – I once read an article written by a real teacher that gives great advice about teacher’s gift ideas. One of things that I chuckled about is that she said “We are school geeks and we get excited when new school supplies come out in the summer!” As hesitant as I am sometimes about giving something that is for classroom use versus a more personal gift, I get the fact that these educators chose their career because they love it. A new school supply that makes teaching more creative, fun and interesting bridges the general and personal category. These retractable Sharpie Highlighters are an Amazon Best Seller – only $6.22 a pack.
4. Monogrammed key fobs – This is a great gift for any teacher or administrator because they have so many keys to keep track of. Some people wear a badge lanyard around their neck and are either taking it off multiple times a day or bending down to get close enough to get a key into a lock. A wrist key fob makes this a lot easier and having it monogrammed also helps them keep track of which one is theirs. Love these from Mark & Graham and monogramming/gift wrap is free!
5. A handmade card or a heartfelt letter from your child – Below is a copy of part of an actual email that I received from one of my son’s teachers (I remove teacher’s names to protect their privacy).
I wanted to email you because I received the most beautiful letter from Jackson this week. Every year for teacher appreciation week, (Jackson’s teacher) asks her students to choose a past teacher to write a letter of gratitude to. It is my favorite part of teacher appreciation week! This year I received, by far, the best letter from a past student I have ever gotten. His words were so kind and grown up. It brought tears to my eyes. It will be something I keep forever and look back at. It is such a testament to the impact a teacher has and how deeply the relationships with my students have been sown. I just wanted you to know how much it meant.
This email from her brought tears to my eyes too. I have never been so proud of my son and you can see how much it meant to her. As much as I wanted to read the letter, I resisted asking her for a copy. It seemed like it was something that should be kept between them.
6. A group class gift for something more personal – If a teacher is going to have a special occasion like getting married or having a baby, a big ticket item (like a stroller or car seat) from the entire class is sometimes the best!
7. A group class gift for something for the next class – If there are no personal special occasions on the teacher’s horizon, a bean bag chair for the classroom is a favorite gift of teachers. It is always nice to “pay it forward” and leave a gift for the next class to enjoy!
8. Chocolates – Everyone loves these! My favorites are Godiva.
9. Garrett Popcorn – The Classic Chicago Mix is a slam dunk.
10. Summer items – Nothing says “have a great summer” better than than a beach bag and towel. West Elm has a cute selection.
And finally, here are some suggestions of gifts to avoid: Coffee mugs, picture frames, stuffed animals hand/body lotions or anything that has an apple on it. It is not that they do not appreciate your thoughtfulness, but most teachers have a cabinet filled with mugs, picture frames and knick-knacks and heavily scented body lotions that do not appeal to everyone.