Teacher Appreciation Week is May 1-5. Are you looking for gift ideas? As a former teacher myself, I will say that NOTHING is expected or required. But as a parent, I do like to give my children’s teachers something to show my appreciation for all of their hard work. After asking my teacher friends, I compiled a list of some of teachers’ favorites.
Teachers love gift cards (they are human, after all). Here are some gift-card suggestions:
- Target-like stores—Who can’t find something at Target? Especially a teacher?
- Practical places—When I taught, I received gift cards for gas stations and grocery stores. These might not sound fancy, but they are much appreciated.
- Office supply stores—Teachers purchase a ton of their own supplies—especially if they’re doing a special project with the class.
- Teacher stores. (A great one in Lake County is Brainstorm in Lindenhurst.)
- Local shops—Some cities offer gift cards for most of the local shops and restaurants. Mainstreet Libertyville has gift cards for the downtown area, as does Historic Downtown Long Grove.
- Spas—Some teachers mentioned enjoying gift cards to spas for a manicure or massage. For more expensive ones, you can try to get multiple parents to chip in.
- Restaurants—This includes both sit-down and fast-food places. Again, it’s nice if you’re able to chip in with other parents for a pricier restaurant so no one has to pay too much, but the whole meal is covered.
Other great gifts include:
- Classroom book donation—Ask your child what the class has studied, such as the rainforest, and add to the teacher’s collection.
- Homemade gift or poem, or a card (it really is the thought that counts!)—Just as you love homemade gifts from your child, teachers enjoy things students have made just for them. Really, it’s that easy!
- Donation to their favorite charity in their name—After years of receiving so many gifts, I asked parents for a donation to my favorite charity in lieu of a gift. It felt so good that the parents’ appreciation could go to a good cause.
- Online teacher subscription— TeachersPayTeachers is a great one.
- Inspirational book—Is there a book you felt was motivational or inspirational? Teachers love books. Or you could get a fun beach read or a magazine in a subject they enjoy, such as cooking.
- Treat—Can you go wrong with a coffee/tea and Danish dropped off before school starts that day? I think not.
Although anything is appreciated, here are some things SOME teachers feel they get a lot of:
- candy (some teachers mention they are diabetic or are on a diet),
- gift cards for things they don’t use (such as if they don’t drink coffee and getting coffee house gift cards), and
- jewelry (often not their style or they don’t wear jewelry).
You can also check with the room parent. Sometimes a questionnaire has been given to the teacher at the beginning of the year asking about some of their favorites, such as favorite flower, restaurant, spa, etc.
What gift ideas do you have?