Throughout the year I receive emails from teachers asking me to please do a post on what teachers really want (and don’t want!). As we approach the end of the school year, I’ve gathered some ideas both you and your child’s teachers will love!
Before I detail some of my favorites from my Teacher Gift Guide, I’ve answered a few questions that I have received about teacher gift etiquette. Hope these tips help:
What should I NOT buy my child’s teacher?
The key is being thoughtful. You might not know a teacher’s exact tastes, per se, but you can take into account things like her age, where she lives, if she has children or grandchildren, etc, and that will guide you in selecting a gift. For example, you wouldn’t want to give a gift certificate to a nail salon right by the school if the teacher lives 45 minutes away (that’s convenient for you, not for her!). And if she’s been teaching for 30 years, think about it, she probably doesn’t need one more coffee mug or another apple trinket! (But a brand new kindergarten teacher might appreciate a little “apple” something!).
Are gift cards thoughtful?
It might not seem like a super thoughtful gift to buy a gift card but, honestly, what’s more thoughtful than letting a teacher pick out something she really wants? A gift card to Nordstrom or Target is always welcome! (FYI, in Dallas Northpark Gold is the coveted gift card among most female teachers!). If you feel a gift card is bland, you can make it more personable with a printable card from this DoSayGive Pinterest Board or pair it with one of the little gifts I have linked below. (Tip: you can buy gifts cards to almost any major restaurant or store on Amazon!).
Am I cheap if I only spend $10-15? Some people are giving $75-100 gifts to the teachers.
Absolutely not. Gift-giving truly is from the heart! I love it when those who are more well off are touchingly generous, but teachers understand that $100 gifts are not in everyone’s budget. What I hear over and over again from teachers is that they just want to be acknowledged or thanked. An orchid from Ikea or a loaf of homemade banana bread paired with a handwritten card from the child (or you) is much appreciated! On that note, if I give food I like to make something that is freezable – and make a note about it – in case the teacher receives a ton of sweets and treats on the same day (which happens often!).
What about classroom gifts?
I am not going to tell you not to make the kitschy, DIY group gifts. I think those are sweet! But I’ve had teachers suggest that gifts like that be made to put in their classrooms. No offense but most teachers don’t want a giant flower pot with children’s faces on it from ten years ago gracing their patio;). Other ideas: a photo book or a reasonably sized, framed collage or wall art like this from Minted or this on Etsy. (Even better, pair the crafty, classroom gift with a gift card!)
What about “specials” teachers?
I don’t think it’s necessary to give the art/library/music/language teachers something every Christmas and every May/June. If you can swing it, and your heart wants to, then yes, go for it. But I would say once a year or every other year is fine, just because they do have so many more students than a normal teacher. If nothing else, a hand-written card of thanks is sufficient! (Note: if an art or music teacher has gone out of their way to help or encourage your child in the past year, then a gift would be a very nice gesture!).
What are the best gifts to give a teacher?
Do you want to know the secret to really good gift-giving? It’s picking out something they might not normally buy for themselves (but that you know they would enjoy!). After all, don’t you like it when someone does that for you? Now I am not saying you have to spend a lot of money, even something like a $28 Silicone Big O Key Ring or these $12 Pineapple Paper Clips from Emily Ley might be a treat for a young, budget-conscious teacher.
Update: I’ve pulled my favorite teacher gifts for the holidays in DoSayGive’s Holiday Gift Guide. Check off a few errands with this list – many have free shipping!
Are you a teacher? Please comment below the gifts that mean the most to you? People read and enjoy these comments so fire away!
Labels by Life is So Paper Co. (So reasonable and also make great gifts for teachers!)
Box from The Container Store