It's that time of year when eager young students come to class with teacher gifts in hand. Those gifts might be anything from a fruit basket to a plate of brownies to a homemade card.
Do teachers appreciate these gifts? Of course. But do they use them? Not always.
The truth is, most teachers are just happy to be recognized for what they do. Still, it's hard to be completely thrilled by another "World's Greatest Teacher" mug. Or by anything that remotely resembles an apple.
Top-rated teacher gifts can be simple
Parents should be credited for wanting to show appreciation to their child's teacher. But instead of another scented candle, bottle of lotion, or expensive art piece, why not choose:
- Visa debit card - Teachers will love having a cash card that they can use just about anywhere.
- Gift cards - Use care when choosing a vendor. For example, a gift card to the local bakery won't work for a teacher who's intolerant to gluten. A Target card might work better.
- Personalized stationery - Even in a digital age, most people can use a nice set of all-occasion note cards or a monogrammed notepad. Even a package of post-it notes can be a fun, inexpensive, and useful teacher gift.
- A wish-list gift - Some schools gather information about teachers' wish lists; check with school personnel to see if such a list exists. Or see if your child's teacher has a wish list on Amazon!
- A heartfelt thank-you note - Parents may be surprised to hear it, but the gift that tops most teachers' lists doesn't cost a thing: it's a note of thanks from parents, a student, or both. Teachers will value these expressions more than any other gift!
Spread the thanks
While you're writing those heartfelt thank-yous, why not consider a few others behind the scenes, like the school librarian or that extra-friendly teacher's aide?
The same goes for principals, high school teachers, and other educators who might fall off the radar during teacher appreciation time. Remember--simple gifts are best, and that thank-you note can go a long way toward making any professional feel great about what they do!
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