Ok y’all, I have seen suggested gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week recently that are just horrible so I had to write this. Please do not give your teacher a seat cushion, glue, or a broom and dustpan unless they have specifically asked for those things. Teachers are amazing people. If you give them a coffee cup, especially a personalized one, they will love it. If you give them a blanket, they will appreciate it and curl up in it. But, they probably (like most of us) already have too many cups and blankets. What else can you give?
Handwritten Cards & Letters
Notes from students and parents really do matter. Teachers are overworked, overstressed, and underpaid and it’s nice to be reminded that you are appreciated. A few years ago I had a student make me a card with a drawing of me and her, and a ponytail holder taped to it. I still have it. We stick these things in drawers and pull them out from time to time and smile and wonder where our students are now. We pray their lives are good. Writing a letter takes extra time, but it is special. A poem written by your child thanking their teacher? A collage of pictures from the year that include the teacher? These might make it into a frame.
Teachers also know that all families are not financially able to purchase gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week. Some families, like mine, have multiple children with tons of teachers and it can become very costly. I promise you teachers aren’t tallying up the cost of gifts, they really are thankful to be remembered.
Want to do something extra fun? How about a themed gift basket? Go for Summer – beach towel, cool sunglasses, a funny teacher t-shirt, a box of popsicles, a new novel to read by a pool somewhere. Think Spa – bath bombs and/or shower steamers, face masks, foot soak, splurge and throw a massage gift certificate in there. Try Relaxation – a nice diffuser and essential oils or a candle, a devotional or journal, a magazine like Our State, People, Travel & Leisure or Country Living (anything will do, just nothing serious, think mental break).
Go for Snacks – hit up Cracker Barrel or a cool candy store and fill up a basket with goodies, popcorn, old fashioned soda bottles, chips, chocolate, you can’t go wrong. How about School Supplies but fancy it up – nice pens, cardstock because it’s too expensive for teachers to buy but they want it, cool paper clips, office type things the teacher can use for themselves and not just in the classroom. Feel free to take the easy way out here and get an Office Max gift card, I assure you those are great too. Go for Breakfast – pancake/waffle mix, syrup, blueberries, pecans, jam, muffins.
Gift cards are always nice, but if you can make it more personal it’s even better. Think about what restaurants and stores are close to the school. Teachers usually don’t get real lunch breaks. If they are fortunate to have someone else call in food and bring it to them or have it delivered, the closest places are the ones getting called. Is there a local store a teacher could run into quickly between the end of the school day and the time the second half of the day starts when they have a bunch of other stuff to get done? Local businesses often do a lot for schools and teachers. Gift cards to local places are always a win.
Is there a theater group in your town? Could you buy tickets to a play for your child’s teacher? Movie theater? Bowling or arcade family day? Massage? Nails? These things cost money, and if it’s not practical for your budget, consider going in with a few other parents to plan a special experience and split the cost.
No explanation needed.
Thanks for remembering your teachers with gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week. There is nothing too small. If you send in a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit you will be a superhero and the teacher will remember it forever. When I tell you I see tons of teachers considering leaving the profession, I am serious. When I tell you I see tons of teachers looking for summer jobs to pay their bills because they aren’t making enough during the school year to save up for summer expenses, I am serious.
If your child’s teacher is awesome, please tell them. Remind them they are doing a good job. Remind them they are truly appreciated, this week and every week!