28 In Family Life

End of the Year Teacher Gifts DO’s and DON’Ts

teacher gifts - mind over latte

End of the school year is upon us.  Some schools are already out for the summer.  We still have another three weeks to go.  And I’m going crazy looking for teacher gifts. So I decided to ask some of my teacher friends (and I have quite a few of those) what they would and wouldn’t want to receive as a part of the end-of-the-year-gift.

Let’s start with the DON’Ts.

Mugs

Some of my friends teach 5 different classes of about 25 kids.  Can you imagine how many mugs that is in one year alone? Even if only two of three students give them a mug that’s…  Yah… you can do the math…

gifts for teachers mind over latte

Candles

Just like you, teacher too, have their preferences. They may not like the lavender scent YOU like or they may be allergic to a scent. You don’t want to send your child’s teacher to emergency room on their vacation, do you?

Apple-Themed Knick Knacks

We all know how symbolic an apple is to the teachers. And we think of teachers when we see apple themed notepads, paper weights or book dividers. But there is only so much space they have on their desks and in their classrooms. So enjoy their sight at the store and slowly walk away…

Body and Bath Products 

These are very personal. One person may prefer vanilla scent over citrus or body scrub over lotion.  According to my friends, most of them end up being re-gifted or sadly, they end up expiring and being thrown away. So keep that in mind when shopping for the next gift for your child’s teacher.

gifts for teachers mind over latte

Hand Creams 

Similarly to the bath and body products, everyone has their preference. And let’s face it, how often do you use hand creams? How many of them do you go through in a year? It is very likely that your child’s teacher has their preferred brand or scent. So let them choose their own…

Stuffed Animals

Yes, they are adorable and receiving one from a student, especially a very young one, is sooooo sweet. But what is a teacher supposed to do with a stuffed animal? There is only so much space they have in their classroom, and unless they have their own kids who may play with the toy, they will end up in a box, until one day they will be donated to a second hand store. You don’t expect the teacher to display them in their house. Would you? I wouldn’t!

Picture Frames

These may be very nice, but as with anything else, they take space.  Some teachers have walls lined up with picture frames given to them by their students. But creating such a wall and deciding what picture to put in each frame is a lot of work. And even worse – don’t give your child’s teacher a picture frame with your child in it. You may love them to death, and the teacher may enjoy them as well, but that’s a little creepy if you ask me.

gifts for teachers mind over latte

Pinterest-Worthy Home-Made Clutter

You read it right. CLUTTER. You may be crafty and you may have spent hours on the crayon covered glass jar to hold the teacher’s pens or that beautifully painted flower pot. But really, would you want to display tens of those all over your workspace or your home? Because let’s face it, you’re not the only crafty mom in that class. And let me remind you, your child’s teacher often has 50 or more students they teach over the school year.

Home Made Treats

This one was hard for me to swallow, as I love making treats for my kids teachers.  But here is my friends’ justification. First of all – allergies.  You never know what allergies the teacher or their family members have. Two – short shelf life. Most of the homemade treats have to be eaten ASAP or they will go bad.  So if the teacher gets several of them, do you expect them all to be eaten? If so, it leads us to the last point – metabolism. These gifts may be great for a young teacher who has no issue inhaling a box of cookies in one sitting, but it is so much harder when you are older or when you are watching your waistline.

gifts for teachers mind over latte

Anything Teacher Themed

Teachers spend ten months in the classroom with your children. They are well aware of the profession they chose. They don’t need the “I teach, what’s your superpower” T-shirt or that extra large wine glass with “I teach, what’s your excuse” on it.

 

So now that we’ve cover what not to get your child’s teacher, let’s get to the good stuff.  Here is a list of things your child’s teacher will most likely really want.

 

Teacher Gifts They Actually WANT:

Personalized ‘Thank You’ Note

Teachers love receiving personalized ‘Thank You’ notes letting them know how much you appreciated their work. My friend says that some of the best cards she received were written by the students, not the parents. They included examples of specific class events or lessons that your child enjoyed and will remember for a long time. She mentioned things like special projects they did, guest speakers they had, an extension that the teacher gave your child on a project or a book they read in class and your child really liked. Anything that will show that your child appreciated something the teacher did for him / her or the entire class.

gifts for teachers mind over latte

A Box of Quality Chocolates

I know, I said no homemade treats, but this is different. They come packaged, so even if there are allergies that your teacher or some of the family members may have, they won’t be exposed to the allergens. Also, their shelf life is much longer. The teacher is not stuck with trying to eat all of them within a week so that they don’t go bad. Instead they can enjoy the treats over the entire summer.

Gift Cards

You can never go wrong with a gift card. Now, you may say: “my child has a different teacher for most subjects and I have more than one child.  It can get expensive very fast.”  I’ll say, I agree. But according to my teacher friends, it will cost you about $5.00, if not more, to buy them a gift they will never use. So why not give them a gift card for $5.00 instead.  And if they have several classes, those gift cards do add up.

gifts for teachers mind over latte

Some of the favourite gift cards include movie passes, bookstores, coffee shops, teacher supply stores, even, iTunes or dollar stores. And yes, there is also that controversial gift card, you know, the one to the liquor store. Believe it or not, after dealing with some students for the whole ten months, teachers would love to see that gift card included with a ‘thank you’ card, more so than any other.

I know that gift giving is not an easy task, but I hope that this little list will help you choose the right gift and to make your child’s teacher really happy!

 

If you have any other ideas that the teachers in your life received and loved, please share them in the comments. I’m always looking for something unique to give to my kids’ teachers.

 

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gifts for teachers mind over latte

 

Looking for something for your tween to read this summer? Here is one idea!

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28 Comments

  • Reply
    Nicole Anderson
    June 10, 2017 at 2:30 am

    There is a saying “its the thought that counts” Personally being a former teacher, I think that there is no greater gift than a student that says, “Thank-you I have enjoyed learning from you”. The sense of job satisfaction that comes with a simple “thank-you” is s by far a greater gift, than any consumable thing that you could give.

    • Reply
      Mira
      June 12, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      That’s exactly what I get my kids to write personal thank you notes to their teachers. I honestly think they are worth more than any gift that one can give. I’ve gotten a few notes life that from people I helped out in the past, and I still have some of them. They are more memorable than a box of chocolates.

  • Reply
    lily@militaryfamof8
    June 10, 2017 at 5:57 am

    Oh these are perfect gift for your teacher! I have to choose a mug for a gift so every morning when she is taking her coffee she will remember that a student always appreciate her/his teacher.

    • Reply
      Mira
      June 12, 2017 at 3:50 pm

      Just keep in mind that she may already have a cupboard full of them 😉

  • Reply
    TheCuratedLab
    June 10, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    I remember my Mum hustling so much to find a perfect gift for my teachers and regardless of the effort or love behind any sort of gift.. there is always something missing if the teachers don’t have a gratifying personality

    • Reply
      Mira
      June 12, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      I can totally relate to your observation. And sometimes, we send a gift just to be polite, even though our kids didn’t really connect with their teacher over the year.

  • Reply
    Sondra Barker
    June 10, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    I agree with not giving them a picture of your kid. Chocolate to me was the best, you can never go wrong with sweets.

    • Reply
      Mira
      June 12, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      I have a sweet tooth as well, but unfortunately, I have to buy my own chocolates 🙂

  • Reply
    Akshat Jain
    June 11, 2017 at 12:27 am

    My niece has been after my life to take her to the store to buy something for her teacher and the timing of this post couldnt have been better. I especially liked the idea of candles, Pinterest worthy home made clutter and the gift card. Will finalize on one of these!

    • Reply
      Mira
      June 12, 2017 at 3:45 pm

      I’m sure your niece’s teacher will be grateful for your thoughtfulness.

  • Reply
    toastycritic
    June 11, 2017 at 1:28 am

    Being a former teacher I do agree with much of this except for the box of quality chocolates. I understand for chocolate lovers why they would want such a thing. But I feel like it’s subject to the individual just like anything else. For all you know they might be allergic. And what’s worse . . is that just like many of these gifts especially the homemade confections, they affect the waist line and you may have already gotten ten other boxes of chocolates along the way. I always did.

    • Reply
      Mira
      June 12, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      That is a very good observation. And that’s why my initial thoughts were to compare it to the home-made goods as well. And I agree that even for the chocolate connoisseur, ten boxes of chocolates may be a bit much 🙂

  • Reply
    Witches Tell The Story
    June 11, 2017 at 10:59 am

    I find it hard every year what to get the teachers at the end of term. My Witches still have another 6 weeks to finishing!! Great post, so thanks for sharing!!

    • Reply
      Mira
      June 12, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      Your welcome! And you can never go wrong with a thoughtful “Thank you” note 🙂

  • Reply
    helerinablogs
    June 11, 2017 at 11:34 am

    My mum used to be a teacher and I can remember her bringing home piles of presents at the end of every school year. I love the idea of gift cards, who doesn’t love picking something out for themselves and spending them.

    • Reply
      Mira
      June 12, 2017 at 3:40 pm

      Right? And if a teacher has a few classes, those cards will add up 🙂

  • Reply
    Heather Johnson
    June 11, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Gift cards are an awesome present. Teachers spend so much of their own money out-of-pocket.

    • Reply
      Mira
      June 12, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      You are so right! The funding seems to be cut more and more and the craft supplies are getting more expensive. I can’t even imagine how much they spend on their classrooms and on interesting and innovative crafts.

  • Reply
    elenasts
    June 11, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    I am a teacher as well but we do not get presents at the end of the school year. I do get presents for Mother`s Day and I always feel bad when I receive something that I am not going to use.

    • Reply
      Mira
      June 12, 2017 at 3:36 pm

      That is so amazing! It is so sweet that your students honour you for Mother’s Day. You must be a wonderful teacher!!!

  • Reply
    Violinkit
    June 12, 2017 at 6:14 am

    My daughter always made her teachers a homemade “thank you card ” and I must admit never indulged in buying the teacher a gift. She once brought her teacher a bunch of flowers from our garden which also went down well. Good do’s and don’ts gift guide here..

    • Reply
      Mira
      June 12, 2017 at 3:35 pm

      I love the flower idea. I find that lowers are a more popular gift in Europe. My cousin always comes home with armful full of flowers on the last day of school (in Germany).

  • Reply
    lex
    June 12, 2017 at 9:10 am

    nice here, always i will have the thank you note in all i can decide to give to them TEACHERS, they do alot and deserve alot from us all. nice list.

    • Reply
      Mira
      June 12, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      I agree. It’s amazing what they put up with over the school year. A thank you note is probably the most personal gift you can give them.

  • Reply
    Elisabete
    June 12, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    Those ideas are great, and I think the personalised card is the most special one to offer, or any other kind of gift that the all class can colaborate, that would be my choise

    • Reply
      Mira
      June 13, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      Many teachers express similar sentiments. They love gifts that they can use in their classroom with students just as much as those personal noes 🙂

  • Reply
    Dogvills
    June 12, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Teaching is a noble profession and I have high regard for people of the academe. They mold our children in the right way to reach their dreams. We must, as parents, remind our children to always be respectful to their teachers and to thank them for helping them grow. A Teacher gift at the beginning or end of the school year will show how much we care for them.

    • Reply
      Mira
      June 13, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      I couldn’t agree more! Well said 🙂

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