Is it just me, or is this time of year jam-packed with things to remember for all the parents of school-aged kids? All the end-of-the year assemblies and parties and projects and meetings have just collided with the panic of figuring out summer plans, it’s somehow all piled on top of the normal day-to-day stuff like lunches and grocery shopping and general household running. Oh, and, um, our actual, paid work. Yikes!

One of those end-of-the year tasks that many of us face is how to properly thank the teachers that have worked so hard with our children for the past 10 months. I speak from my past as a teacher when I say parents should not feel at all obligated to buy a end-of-the-year gifts for their child’s teacher; however, many parents (myself included!) really want to show our appreciation and say good-bye to an awesome teacher.  Below are some of my favorite ways to show your child’s teacher that you are grateful for their hard work and dedication to your child over the past school year.

End-of-the-Year Teacher Gift Ideas (for every price range!)

  • Handwritten Note: The best (and cheapest!) gift is to write a heartfelt note of thanks to your child’s teacher. I speak from experience when I say how wonderful it is to receive this gift. If your child is old enough, having him or her write (or dictate) a note of thanks is also great, and very much appreciated. It’s lovely, as a teacher, to save these notes and look back on them over the years, remembering former students.
  • Take-Out Gift Certificate: Teachers pull some late nights, whether they’re working from home planning lessons and grading or in the classroom. A gift certificate for a take-out dinner is a great gift.
  • Classroom Donation: Consider donating an item to the classroom. Ask your child’s teacher if there’s a book she’d like to have in the class library, or help your child choose a favorite book to donate. Write a note of thanks inside the cover.
  • Snack Basket: Especially when I was just starting out, I spent a lot of time in the classroom after hours. I’d pack a lunch, but I loved having snacks on hand in case I stayed late. A basket of non-perishable treats is a great surprise, especially with summer report cards to write and a whole classroom to pack up!
  • Coffee Gift Cards: If you know your child’s teacher drinks coffee, there’s a good chance he or she would love a gift card for some. Some companies even let you put a photo (such as the class photo!) on the card!
  • Basket of Desk Necessities: Teaching isn’t the kind of job where you can simply take a quick break now and then. You’re pretty much trapped in a room with 20 or so kids until they go off to lunch. A basket of “desk-sized” items such as hand lotion, lip balm, tissues, mints, hair ties, ibuprofen, etc. is a lifesaver.
  • Personalized Desk Items: Inexpensive pens and notepads with the teacher’s name on them always come in handy, and are a nice treat to have around come September.

Teachers out there, what are your favorite gifts? Any to add to this list? We’d love to hear from you! 🙂

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