End of Year Teacher Gift Ideas

With June now here, it’s time to start thinking about how to say thank you to the teachers that have spent the year trying to fill our kids’ heads with information, kindness, social awareness, and a sense of responsibility.  It’s easy to forget how much a good teacher can do for our children.  As parents we like to take most of the credit for our kids’ well-being for ourselves; however, we must accept that during the school-age years, our children spend a quarter of their day in the care of someone else.  That someone else deserves some credit, especially if we can see them have a positive impact on our children’s lives.  So here are five gifts – outside of that apple – that say “Thank You” to those who help shape our children...

Spa Gift Certificate.  You can’t tell me that after nine months of taking care of 20+ kids, 5 days a week, a teacher (male or female) doesn’t deserve some pampering.  I have a feeling most of us would want to run to quiet and relaxation two days into their job so why not give them the opportunity to unwind and relax during their summer vacation too?  After all, they need to be well-rested before facing another year of filling minds and caring for our children.

Real Letters of Thanks.  This isn’t just a quick card, but a real letter from you and your child really telling the teacher how much you appreciated them and the work they have done and how they have impacted your child.  I’m sure teachers don’t get to really hear how much they have influenced children and what better way for them to remember it’s all worth it when the days seem a little too long and too hard?

Gift Card to Local Bookstore.  Here you get to support a small local business while also saying thank you.  I find it hard to think of a teacher that doesn’t love to read themselves, even if they don’t often have the time (but isn’t that what summer break is for?).  Giving them a gift card to a local, small bookstore means they can enjoy their summer reading list too.

The Personalized Gift.  There are those teachers that stand out so much that as students (or even parents) we really get to know them.  We learn what they like or even love and it’s in these times we can get something truly personal for them to show we’ve been listening and paying attention.  Like George Michael who gave his teacher the Saddam Hussein collage (if you’re not an Arrested Development fan, ignore), giving something personal is bound to make any teacher beam.

Staples Gift Certificate.  The dirty little secret of many teachers it that their budget doesn’t extend far enough and they end up using their own money to buy things for the classroom.  If you know this to be the case for your child’s teacher, one way to say thank you is to get them a gift card for a place like Staples where they end up buying all those little things (like paperclips, coloured paper, markers, etc.) that make learning that much easier for your kids.  It may not make up for the year your child just had, but it may make next year that much easier, and imagine if one parent or one group of parents did this every year?  It may mean that teachers do their jobs without spending their own money to do it.

By Tracy Cassels

June 02, 2014