I need ideas for a small gift for a kindergarten school teacher for Teacher Appreciation Week.
By Betty from Hurricane, WV
I'm a teacher. One of the few teacher appreciation gifts I still have is a note from a student that said, "If I could give my teacher anything in the world, I would give her..." and then the child filled in what she thought I would like and drew a picture of it. She was right on target, and I was completely touched. It was on the fridge until it started to fade, and now it's in my keepsake box.
I always get items that can be used up. Teachers accumulate many items from students year after year. A really nice hand lotion ot bath powder is good. Also exotic chocolates or candies.
My daughter-in-law said that her and friends at school enjoy getting a gift certificate to a restaurant. They don't always get to go out much and that's a real treat for them. She's overloaded with lotions and bath products.
Of course, not all teachers like the same things, but I always liked chocolates or fancy pens. I did like things with an apple motif. It is good to give things that get used up, but you have to know what your teacher likes. I think flowers would be very nice, and I can't think of anyone who doesn't like them. One of the most thoughtful gifts I got was a mug with the class picture printed on it. A plant for the classroom or home might be nice, too. Mugs are usually good -- world's best teacher, and so on, as everyone needs one at work, and often they get broken, so a replacement is needed. See if your child knows something about what the teacher likes, a teacher with a pet cat might like some kind of cat ornament, for example. One who is into gardening might like something for her yard. Be sure to let your kid make, or write on the card, and it is nice if the kid has input on the gift. One of my students gave me a whistle for my key chain, which was meaningful to me, as I had told them a story about my grandpa and whistles. I knew the student had told about this at home and this was how they knew I would like this gift.
Having been a teacher for nearly 40 years, perhaps I can add a comment. One of the nicest gifts I got was during parent conferences. I found a bag on my desk with a bottle of water, a candy bar, a microwave popcorn pack and a few other small items. Anything of a practical nature, some sticky notes, a box of tissues, healthy snacks for when children forget a snack or just can not afford to bring one, a package of pencils, erasers, a thumb drive.
One year a parent bought extra books each month from the book order for me to give to a child who did not order a book. The parent did not know how many did not order, so I made sure I ordered enough books with my extra points so that every child got a book. The ones I would order were usually ones that were less points, so I could stretch mine as far as they would go. I put all the extra books on the table for the children who did not order to come and pick one. I put a note on a label and put it in the front of the book, so the parents knew the child did not take the book, but that it was a gift.
There are any number of ways to show your appreciation that do not involve a lot of money, but let the teacher know you appreciate all of her efforts. Practical beats out fancy! Your effort says a great deal. It does not have to be just during Teacher Appreciation Week. Sometimes it is better on the spur of the moment, a muffin you made wrapped in colored cling wrap with a ribbon.
There are some good ideas here, which may or may not work for your situation. You wouldn't want to get your child's teacher sweets if he/she is diabetic, for example. It helps if you know your child's teacher and what he/she likes. It may sound crass, but when in doubt, go for the gift card with the widest possible application. Krogers and Wal-marts have gas pumps and their fuel is reasonable. There is also a wide array of other things one can get with this type of gift card.
As someone else mentioned, you don't have to wait for Teacher Appreciation week to do something like this. Christmas, Easter/Spring Break, end-of-year, do you know the teacher's birthday? Anniversary?
I make greeting cards and it's so easy to make some note cards for a teacher. Just cut some card stock or construction paper in half, fold the two pieces, stamp, glue, paste, type or even hand write (my hand writing is bad so I always type something (Thanks a Bunch, then a flower graphic; Thank You for... then inside the card (s)he can write whatever (s)he wants. Themes are endless and you don't have to do just Thank You cards , just blank note cards. The children can help and do whatever they want on the cards. Envelopes can be bought at any office store, 100 for about $8, just get "invitation size" and your already cut cards will just fit. Have fun!
I am a retired teacher. Please, no Avon, mugs or anything with fragrance. My favorite gifts have been gift cards to places like Starbucks (if she is a coffee drinker) gourmet coffee or tea as appropriate, class room stuff like stickers or markers, personalized pens, homemade gift certificates for lunch to be delivered to the school one day.
When you give the teachers gifts, please remember the School Counselor and maybe the School Nurse if she is there full-time. They always seem to be left out.
The best gift I ever received was a handwritten thank you note for working with a child.
This depends on the teacher's age and experience.
Younger teachers appreciate personal items. Others may prefer items for classroom use. I have taught 24 years and I never want another mug! However a dainty china cup and saucer with tea bags would be welcome. Many female teachers are watching their weight. Think of this before you send candy or homemade goodies, or send enough that she can share them with the class. Useful items, like dish towels, markers, tape, etc. are good. How about a small basket of fresh fruit? This provides a healthy snack if the teacher has to stay after school.
Ask your child questions about things his/her teacher may have said or done that can be clues about hobbies, diet, preference in restaurants, etc. Thanks for being so thoughtful and looking for just the right gift! P.S. Never, never anything scented. It is really hard to guess someone's preference in smells.
I'm a teacher, and every year I read through these "What should I get my kid's teacher?" posts and every year I read responses from teachers about all of the horrible gifts they got, and it really angers me. No one should be buying us anything. Gift cards to Starbucks? Please! We are city employees, not volunteers. If a parent wants to buy something for a teacher that's nice, but honestly, we get paid for teaching. If you want to show your appreciation, I recommend you call or write a nice note.
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Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week at my son's school. I would like to hear from some teachers about some gifts they have received that they really appreciated; or if anyone has any ideas on what I can purchase or make, please let me know.
Marnita from Cumming, GA
What about a gift card from a teacher supply store? Teachers end up spending so much of their own money on supplies and classroom things. This is something that would be better than a little knicknack dust catcher. (03/14/2006)
I taught for 30 yrs. My favorites were gift cards to almost anywhere, coffee and a muffin on my desk on the morning, homemade cookies, invite to a homemade pizza dinner at my student's home, homegrown produce, or classroom supplies. No-nos-anything Avon, anything with apple designs on it, or knick nacks to be dusted. (These things are sure to be sold at my yard sales). (03/14/2006)
I would suggest either a gift card to any store that sells craft items or school supplies. If your teacher has a classroom pet, a gift card to a pet supply store is nice. We have also given gift cards to book stores and to restaurants. If you want to give presents, please give supplies (pens, pencils, markers, even stationery). Most teachers really don't need more Avon, Mary Kay, and the like. Nor do they want knicknacky things (most of the teachers I know either donate them or put them in yard sales). And as far as homemade goodies go, save those for the teacher appreciation lunch or breakfast. I know several teachers who are diabetic, or on diets and just do not want another dozen cookies. (03/14/2006)
Gift cards are great even to Walmart.
You could also do a basket with goodies from a teacher store, notepads, stickers, pencils, etc.
Or, buy a Blockbuster gift card for $5.00 and add microwave popcorn and soft drinks with it. (03/14/2006)
Our city has Chamber of Commerce Gift Certificates which can be used at almost any merchant in town. Those are what we usually give as a class gift. For our own, I give homemade food, bread, pancake mix, home grown eggs, stuff they can use and get rid of. They'll appreciate the gift, yet not have to feel guilty getting rid of it someday.
We also belong to Lutheran schools so getting the teachers a giftcard from the christian bookstore works too. (03/16/2006)
You need help with innovative ideas on what to do for Teacher Appreciation Week? I can help you out. I found this website teacher-appreciation.info which has all the possible information you would need. Apart from giving ideas and suggestions on how you could make your teacher happy, this website also has a space where you could put in something about your own teachers for everyone to read. This could in itself be such a wonderful gift for your teacher.
And if you are looking for just general information like something about the great teachers in our history or you want to tickle your funny bone with some student teacher jokes, this website has it all. I would say there is something in it for everyone. And well, if you think you have some much better ideas for felicitating your teacher, go ahead and post it in "Your Ideas" section on Teacher-appreciation.info. Let the world know your ideas and benefit from it too.
Our school provides the best teacher appreciation week. Each day a different grade level is responsible for providing snacks and goodies for the teachers lounge. We always have a ton of food. One year we all received corsages made from one mom! This year we were surprised with 15 minute massages for each teacher. A therapist came in to our building for 2-days and gave each teacher a 15 minute massage. It was wonderful! (07/10/2006)
My three friends made something for our teacher. We bought some fruit each, I bought grapes, 1 bought oranges and the other bought apples.
Then 1 bought a nice plate, the other bought flowers and I bought chocolate. 1 of us then found a massive card and we all split our money to pay for it. We wrote a message each on the card and wrote our names on it. My friend got a tooth pick and wrote a message on a piece of paper and pinned it to the apple. We put all our items on the nice plate and put purple cellophane around it and tied it with a ribbon!
Hope this helped. (10/24/2007)
What I love is when my students send me a note or an email if they like my class. That cheers me up, and I keep a folder of those. "Appreciation" doesn't mean gifts. It means, "Hey, if you think we're doing a good job, feel free to drop us a little note". I just want to put my two cents out there because this issue has been bothering me, especially since I work in a depressed area. I'm a teacher, and I would like to go on record as an opponent to this forced gift-buying/food making for teachers. I don't think that my students' parents should buy me things. I care a lot about my students, but I'm not a volunteer, I get paid for my job and I don't feel "neglected" if people don't buy me stuff. Most of my students have less money than I do, and I want them to use their money for themselves and their families, not for me. (10/28/2008)