Having been a teacher, I’ve had several friends ask for suggestions when it comes to giving gifts to teachers. Whether it’s for Teacher Appreciation Week (May 7-11) or for the end of the year, many people wonder just how to say thanks for the hours teachers have put into inspiring their kids.
My first response: Don’t give candles. OK, there may be some teachers out there who could use another candle, but I had a cupboard full of them. (In fact, I think I still have a few stashed away.)
My next suggestion is to find out something personal about your teacher. Running Socks and Gu may not sound interesting to some people, but it was a gift I knew came from someone who knew me personally (and they got used). Does your teacher have a special hobby, a favorite place to go out, or a guilty pleasure you could indulge?
I’d also remind people that some of my very favorite “gifts” were sincere thank you notes that came on a random weekday, letting me know that their son or daughter was having a great experience. Something about getting a note like that, scrawled out on an index card on an unassuming Thursday made it feel so much more sincere. So go for it during Teacher Appreciation Week, but also take a minute on a day when it isn’t expected, and tell your teachers thanks.
So, with those thoughts out on the table, here are a few other fantastic ideas from around the web that might fit just right for the teacher(s) on your list!
I love this colored pencil vase with flowers from Happy Clippings. (She also shares several other great ideas here as well.) I would have loved this as a teacher, and I do believe my boys’ teachers may each find a version of it on their desks this year.
If you’re one of those lucky room moms who’s in charge of a class gift, this fingerprint tree would be a wonderful keepsake. They’re very popular with weddings and family reunions, but I also think teachers would love one full of the little fingerprints they had spent the year with. You can use green prints for leaves or make a fun blossoming tree like the one at merephoto.com. You can find a free printout and tutorial from One Fab Day here.
I’m always a fan of useful gifts, and I love these darling personalized notepads you can find here on Etsy. If you’ve got a knack for graphic design, you might be able to whip up your own and have them printed locally.
My son has a teacher who is famous for telling her students several times a day how much she loves them. This I Love You Alphabet was a perfect gift for her this year, and it’s a free printable available from Oopsey Daisy.
And if your teacher has a green thumb, one of my favorite gifts to give has been a Bleeding Heart Bush (formally called Dicentra). I would attach a note letting the teacher know how much we appreciated what she had done and that we hoped every spring when the bush began to bloom, it would be a reminder of all the hearts she had touched and how fortunate we were to be among them.
What’s your favorite teacher gift to get or give?