Teacher Gifts

Posted by laura on Jun 24 2009 | Making, School

It’s that time of year – schools are wrapping up, and parents are wondering just what to wrap up for their children’s hard-working teachers. It’s always a dilemma. My cousin Maura and I usually end up emailing each other around now to brainstorm fresh ideas. (Now Maura, it should be noted, once gave their teachers a Margarita kit at the start of summer. That is what you call a hard act to follow. Not sure what I can add to her idea bin.)

But in the interest of sharing, I thought it might be handy to post my top 5 favorite teacher gifts:
1. Cute mugs with funny sayings on them
2. Scented candles
3. Lotion
4. Soaps
5. Anything with an apple on it!

I know what you’re thinking…. and you’re welcome.

No, no, no, TEACHERS, wait – I’m just kidding!! Shoot, I didn’t mean to, honestly, IT’S GOING TO BE OK! Stop crying!!! Please? Here – have a hankie.

Seriously though, some of my best friends happen to be teachers, so I believe I have an inside track on what they like and need. (That and I’ve asked them.) When asked what they like to receive for gifts, most say “nothing,” because they’re so well respected and compensated. Oh, no, that’s not it. They say “nothing,” because kindness is its own reward. Hm. Maybe they say “nothing” because they’re afraid they’ll receive objects with apples painted on them. Anyway, after “nothing,” they usually say a note is good. And I have to agree – a thoughtful note always rocks. But after that, they might say something like, “wellll, if I had to choose something, gift cards are nice. Oh and lots of cash.” Ok I made that last line up – but I’m very intuitive, and I’m pretty sure that’s what they’re thinking.

These days in our schools, the common thing to do is for the room parents to put out the word that they’re gathering money from everyone, and then they get a VISA gift card that the teachers can then use wherever they’d like. I’m all for this, because a bunch of parents pooling modest donations together makes for a more substantial gift to each teacher. So we go with that plan, and Honey writes her own notes to all her various teachers, and I write a note to her primary teacher.

This year, Hot Wheels is leaving his preschool, which means it’s our last year there as a family as well. It’s a lovely school, and in addition to the donations to his main room teachers, we wanted to give all the teachers a token of appreciation. They all look after him at some point during the day, and we’ve been at the school for years now. I’m writing them notes, but we also baked up some thank yous as well. We had an Anzac thank you, a chocolate chip thank you, and a straight chocolate thank you.


We stacked the cookies into these bright bowls and topped them with cards from Hot Wheels.


Unsurprisingly, the pictures were all of cars. (Peculiar looking, but cars nonetheless.)


These fit my criteria of being mostly consumable with some personal effort thrown in. I’m always open to new ideas, though, so any teachers who want to weigh in – here’s your chance!

Happy summer.

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