You’ve made a list and checked it twice…and hopefully, your child’s teacher made the cut! This is the perfect time of year to show this probably underpaid and overworked individual how grateful you are for all he or she does for your child. But before you head to the store, there’s a couple of things you should consider. First, it’s actually considered a bribe to give teachers cash or extravagant gifts. Second, it can be tough to give this person something special, valuable, or useful without it being something that could be considered extravagant! I went to the experts for this one.
In an online poll I held recently, a variety of teachers shared the gifts they liked receiving the best, and one made an excellent point: If you want to know what not to get a teacher, go to a thrift store. There you’ll find countless “World’s Best Teacher” mugs, paper weights, and tons of scented candles that were likely gifts. Keeping all of this in mind, here are 4 actually awesome gifts to give your child’s teacher.
1. Gift cards, particularly for Starbucks and Target.
This one came up time and again. Why are these stores such a hit? Well, aside from being trendy, anyone can find something valuable at either of these locations. Young and old, male and female, coffee-drinkers and non will appreciate one of these. Make it a little more personal by pairing it with their favorite candy bar or a small gift you know for fact they’ll use. (Have your child give you intel as to whether Mr. Smith always carries a coffee mug or has some other signature item.)
2. Wine or champagne.
Surprisingly, several teachers said they had been gifted a bottle (and happily accepted it)! It’s important to know in advance whether this person drinks or not and that may be tricky to find out. Nearly everyone can find a reason to celebrate with a glass of champagne, however, and the teacher might even bring it to a holiday party to share with others. It’s also a gift you personally want to hand the teacher, versus sending it in with your child to give. Pair it with glasses or a wine carrier for a nice touch.
3. Photo books.
If you really want to give something personal, don’t add to the teacher’s growing collection of student-made arts and crafts that he or she won’t have the heart to throw out…take pictures of them instead! This gift takes a little foresight, but if you’re able to chaperone a field trip or visit the classroom for special events, be sure to take lots of photos. You can be stealth and make sure to get shots of everyone in the class, but asking everyone to get together for a group shots works, too. Be sure to snap pics of the kids’ creations, especially your own child’s since the gift is from him or her after all. Compile it all into a compact photo book using a service like Snapfish or Shutterfly. Designate one of the pages for your child’s sincere thank you message. You might even want to deliver this one with a pack of tissues!
While this isn’t the most glamorous gift, it will surely be appreciated. Teachers have to shell out money throughout the year for classroom supplies, and we all know they don’t make enough as it is! Put together a bin of their most-used items, including things like sanitizing wipes, too.
So give your child’s teacher a gift they’ll actually love and enjoy, and ditch the best teacher mugs and ornaments this year.