Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Ideas

As a teacher myself, I like to think I'm at least somewhat of an authority on teacher appreciation gifts. So as the end of the year approaches, I thought I'd share some ideas that I have loved, and things that are... well, lower on the list.

Of course it's the thought that counts, and for most teachers, anything a student brings is appreciated for the sentiment! However, after talking with many different teachers about gifts, here are some things that are usually best to skip unless you know your teacher would love it:
  • Candles, lotion, or other bath & body-type things
  • Homemade treats - sorry, teachers are notorious germaphobes. I don't mean to sound harsh, but your edible treats will probably end up in the lounge - most teachers I know are just too nervous about eating something from other people's kitchens. 
  • Teacher-related trinkets - now, these are probably okay for a first or second-year teacher. But after a while, they lose their novelty.
Now here are some ideas that I think are cute, or things I have gotten and loved. Of course every teacher is different, these are just things I personally think are great!
  • Gift cards of any type, but particularly Target, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, or a book store
  • Books for the classroom library
  • Flowers/plants 
  • Chocolate
  • #1 Favorite Gift of All Time ---> A nice letter with some specific reasons why the teacher is wonderful at their job. Seriously. There is nothing better than this. Little gifts are thoughtful and nice, but nothing makes me happier than a note with something specific a parent or student likes about how I teach. Easy and free. What could be better?
Links to cute ideas:

Chocolate "Survival Kit" from Our Best Bites