5 Meaningful Teacher Appreciation Gifts {they actually want}

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As the school year winds down, don’t forget to show your child’s teacher appreciation for all the hard work they have put forth. Consider one of these 5 meaningful teacher appreciation gifts they actually want! Number 5 is my personal favorite!!!!! 

As the school year winds down, don't forget to show your child's teacher appreciation for all the hard work they have put forth. Consider one of these 5 meaningful teacher appreciation gifts they actually want!

The next few weeks marks the end of the school year for many.

Kids and teachers both look forward to long, unstructured days that summer brings… hot days at the pool, baseball games, sleeping in, endless books to read — OK so maybe that was my list of things that I enjoyed during my summer vacations! 🙂

As a former teacher myself, I would look forward to the summer vacation as a way to relax and rejuvenate myself to prepare for a new school year.

Let’s face it, despite what some may say, teaching is hard work!

Whether you are a teacher yourself or just a mom who is actively trying to teach and train her children at home, you know how great the responsibility of educating children is.

No matter if your child is in a traditional school setting (public or private), preschool or Mother’s Day Out, part of a homeschool co-op, or involved in an activity where there is a teacher/leader/coach, most likely there is an adult who has poured a lot of time and energy into your child over the past nine months.

Take some time over the next few days to think how you and your child can honor all the hard work your teacher has done over the past school year. Consider giving one of these 5 simple, meaningful and somewhat frugal ways to show your child’s teacher appreciation for all their blood, sweat and tears this year.

Trust me as a teacher I cried plenty, endured plenty of paper cuts and dealt with the air conditioner going out with a room full of pre-pubescent boys and girls… it aint pretty! 🙂

5 Meaningful Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

Plant or Flower

I love the idea of giving something living to the people who help in the nurturing, development and education of our children.

Small bouquets of flowers in a vase or planter can be a thoughtful way to say thank you to a teacher. It’s an even better present if it’s a low maintenance plant that only requires water and sunlight.

As the school year winds down, don't forget to show your child's teacher appreciation for all the hard work they have put forth. Consider one of these 5 meaningful teacher appreciation gifts they actually want!

You can be as creative as you want. One of my most cherished gifts I ever received was a small ceramic planter a student had painted for me with my name on it.  It was a cherished little keepsake I kept on my desk for the remainder of my teaching career.

A small flower or plant can be relatively inexpensive as well as a thoughtful gestures for all the hard work and dedication they put forth throughout the year.

Letter of Appreciation

Sometimes teachers don’t want a gift necessarily, but a thoughtful written letter expressing your gratitude can bring tears to the eyes of a teacher.

Most of the time teachers are constantly feeling the pressures to perform by state mandates, administrators and even parents.

Teachers often get criticized and verbally abused, always with the message, “You’re not doing enough!”

Part of my job was to make phone calls to parents to report discipline or learning issues, it was always a dreaded chore. I never knew how my words would be received.

I’ve had parents verbally chew me out, accuse me of lying and playing favorites, as well as parents accusing me of being a “first year teacher because an experience teacher would never had made that mistake”.

Those are some extreme examples and not all parents treated me like that, but in my 5 years of teaching I only received one letter of appreciation from a grandparent thanking for the job I was doing. Not the parent, but a grandparent.

As the school year winds down, don't forget to show your child's teacher appreciation for all the hard work they have put forth. Consider one of these 5 meaningful teacher appreciation gifts they actually want!

Yes, that grandmother and I butted heads a few times in how to teach and discipline her grandchild but it’s the letter that I most remember.

She thanked for me being patient with her grandchild and appreciated the fact I was open to trying some of the alternative suggestions she and the parents came up with in regards to specialized learning and disciplined. It wasn’t too long but it was meaningful and she took the time to write it.

All year I had felt like I was in battle against the parents but receiving the letter reminded me she wanted to work with me and she did appreciated all I was trying to do.

If your child is old enough you can even have them assist you or write a letter on their own.

Even if it’s been a hard year and you feel like the relationship between the teacher and you or your child hasn’t been the best, know most teachers are really trying their best and working hard to meet the needs of all their students.

Gift Card

It doesn’t have to be much, maybe just $5 or $10 to a local coffee shop, bookstore or teacher supply store.

One year I received a $10 Walmart gift card from a family I knew could barely afford it. I was touched and honored, but also wise enough to not try and return it in harm of hurting the family’s feeling. So I put that money back into the classroom.

As the school year winds down, don't forget to show your child's teacher appreciation for all the hard work they have put forth. Consider one of these 5 meaningful teacher appreciation gifts they actually want!

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Teachers notoriously spend a lot of money out of their own pockets to purchase supplies and materials for their classroom, so sometimes just a small monetary gift in the form of a gift card can be so thoughtful.

However if your child has more than one teacher then that could easily get very expensive, so this idea might be best limited to a situation where there is only one teacher involved.

Self Pampering Kit

Teachers work hard all year long (as well as a lot of other people) so why not give them something to help them relax and to take care of themselves, as well as their fingers which are covered in paper cuts and red pen! 🙂

As the school year winds down, don't forget to show your child's teacher appreciation for all the hard work they have put forth. Consider one of these 5 meaningful teacher appreciation gifts they actually want!

I love this Mani Pedi in a Jar kit from Freebie Finding Mom

A little gift of lotions, nail polish, chapstick or other small self pampering items can easily be arranged in a small gift basket.

A quick trip to the dollar store can supply a well stocked self pampering gift of small items on a budget. The creative ideas are endless and your child would love picking out a few items for their teachers.

Book for the Classroom Library

This was my personal favorite gift to receive, a new book for the classroom library.

Have your child pick out their favorite book from the school year and donate it to the classroom. I always loved receiving new books autographed by the student who gifted it. This was such a special way to grow out classroom library with quality children’s literature.

As the school year winds down, don't forget to show your child's teacher appreciation for all the hard work they have put forth. Consider one of these 5 meaningful teacher appreciation gifts they actually want!

Filling the library with books I knew my students loved and would engage them, was so important to me. I wanted quality children’s literature, but it was expensive so my library grew slowly over time.

Investing in your child’s classroom library is not only a useful gift,  but a gift that will be enjoyed for years to come.

To make it even more meaningful, you can have your child sign inside the front cover with their name, school year and possibly even a small message as to why this is the book they chose to add to the library collection.

Showing your child’s teacher appreciation doesn’t have to be expensive. I hope some of these ideas have brought to mind some other creative and frugal ways to say thank you for the past school year.

How do you plan on showing your child’s teacher appreciation as the school year winds down over the next few weeks?

As the school year winds down, don't forget to show your child's teacher appreciation for all the hard work they have put forth. Consider one of these 5 meaningful teacher appreciation gifts they actually want!

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10 Comments

  1. Great ideas! It is important to show our teachers how much of a difference they make. I think they are some of the ones that we take for granted at times. Have a wonderful day!

  2. These are great ideas! Thanks for sharing. I am bringing my sons teachers a plant today. 🙂 l

  3. Your ideas are really thoughtful. I nevertheless think that teachers should neither encourage nor accept gifts or money. It is not ethical to do so.

    1. Hi Heli, thanks for your comment. I can understand it being unethical for a teacher to request gift cards or other monetary gifts but I don’t agree that giving a teacher, or any other professional, a gift card (not money) is unethical. Teachers do so much during the year, and spend so much of their own money out of pocket, to teach our children, it’s a nice sentiment to bless them with a small gift of your choosing, whether that be a gift card, new book for the classroom or any other thoughtful gift.

  4. Love the book idea as an end of year gift! What a great way for a child to feel he “left his mark” as they progress to the next grade and to help teachers with all those out of pocket expenses. Thank you!

    1. Yes, I think the new book is a wonderful gift from a student to their teacher, cherished for many years to come!

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