What Teachers {Really} Want: An End-of-Year Gift Guide

First and foremost, I want to say that teachers don’t go into the profession for the gifts. We teach because we are passionate about education.  We strive to instill a love for learning in our students.  We love watching our students grow and master the concepts we teach.  Our hope is that we make a difference with our teaching.

That being said, who doesn’t like a little something to show you care? If you want to get your child’s teacher a gift know that it is appreciated, but never expected. But what to get the teacher? How about candles? No…trust me, he or she probably has enough. Lotion? Once again, please no… we have more lotion than we know what to do with. What about that cute wreath made from crayons you saw on Pintrest? No… put the crayons down and walk away slowly. As a former teacher, I can give you the scoop on gifts that **most** teachers would love.

Teacher Gift Guide

A Thoughtful Note
Teaching can be tough. We try hard to create lessons that engage our students. Some days everything goes great. We feel invincible. Other days though, everything goes horribly wrong (and those are the days the principal usually decides to make a surprise visit to your classroom). A heartfelt note helps remind us of why we went into teaching, and lets us know we are making a difference (even though it sometimes doesn’t feel like it).

Your Time
I have been blessed to work in schools with stellar parental involvement. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without their help. **Most** teachers really do enjoy having parents (this includes both moms AND dads) involved in the classroom. Not only is it helpful to us, but the students think its awesome too. That being said, just showing up unannounced is not helpful. Be sure to contact your teacher to ask when you can come in. Need some ideas on how you can volunteer your time?

*Come in to read a book to the students
*If your teacher uses centers, ask if you can help run a center
*Help clean up the classroom at the end of the year
*Cut out laminated items
*Make copies (this one probably depends on your schools copy policy, some schools may not allow parents to do this).
*Come in once a week to organize the classroom library

Books for the Classroom
This is geared more towards Elementary School teachers, but books are awesome. We love books. Seriously. I think teachers are more excited about the Scholastic Book Order than the students are. We are always looking to grow our classroom library. You could give the teacher a copy of your child’s favorite book with a little note on the inside cover. You may even introduce your teacher to a new book they have never heard of before.

Gift Cards
You really can’t go wrong with gift cards. It doesn’t have to be a big amount. A small amount to Starbucks that pays for a coffee is awesome. Any amount to Target makes our day. Really though, if you didn’t know, teachers love Target just as much as moms. The dollar bin offers endless ideas for the classroom, and they have Sharpies. One can never have too many Sharpies. You could also go in with other parents and get an Amazon gift card, or perhaps one to a restaurant. The possibilities are endless, and all appreciated.

Not just any food… junk food. Most teachers I know have snacks hidden in their classroom. We dip into these snacks on days we have a teacher meeting after school, days that the kids have indoor recess of the umpteenth time, or days that just aren’t going great (see the first point). I was originally going to say chocolate, but not everyone likes chocolate (I. Just. Don’t. Get. It) or may have allergies. So, find out what snack your child’s teacher does like to divulge in, and stock them up.

So, this one is tricky. These gifts should only be bought if you know, for a fact, that the teacher imbibes and would appreciate the gift. Also, you would need to drop off the gift yourself.

So there you have it. I hope these ideas are helpful if you do chose to get your teacher a gift (remember, we don’t expect gifts).


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