School may have only just begun but it’s never to early to think about how to say thank you to the person or people your child spends so much of his or her day with!
Children’s relationships with their teachers, especially when they’re young, are critically important. So it’s no wonder that you and your child might want to give a beloved teacher a gift when the holidays roll around and at the end of the year.
Deciding what’s appropriate isn’t always as simple. How much should you spend? How personal should the item be? Should the gift be handmade vs store bought? The questions can be as dizzying as the options!
Here, we tackle those thorny issues — and more!
How Much Should You Spend on Teacher Gifts?
You’re not going to be sharing the price tag with your child’s teacher but there is a difference between a fancy bottle of wine and a hand-made macaroni painting. It can be difficult to know how much to spend on a teacher’s gift. Should you go for something high-end or DIY and free? It depends on a few factors.
First of all, you need to decide what the purpose of the gift is. An end-of-year gift to thank a teacher for all her hard work? An occasion special to them such as a birthday or upcoming wedding? Maybe you’re looking to show your appreciation to a favorite teacher who went above and beyond for your little one.
End of Year Gifts
When the end of term rolls around, you could either plan something on your own or organize a kitty to which all the parents contribute.
Before deciding which way to go, check with your school to find out whether teacher gifts are allowed. At some schools they are a no-no.
Once you have the all-clear, there are a couple ways to go. Class gifts purchased with parents’ pooled funds — particularly when it’s a gift certificate the teacher can use however they like — can make for a very thoughtful thank you. $4-5 contributions from each family can really add up to a nice big gesture from the entire class.
But personal gifts can be just as meaningful. If you decide to give a gift from your child, consider the DIY route. Ask your child to make something personal such as a painting, drawing or collage, for example. You can either pair that with something small like a candle holder, a plant, or a coffee mug — or not! Most teachers will be absolutely thrilled with something your child took the time to make
Birthday or Holiday Gifts for Teachers
Giving a class gift is a great way to honor a teacher on his or her birthday or for a holiday. This kind of gift need not be personal — it truly is the thought that counts. Something like a mug, scarf, even a bouquet of flowers is enough to show you care, especially when accompanied by a handmade card the entire class decorated and signed. If your teacher invites parents into the classroom once a month for curriculum shares, let’s say, have the class parent request five minutes at the beginning or end of the period during which the children can present their gift and offer words of thanks.
Special Thank You Gifts for Teachers
Hopefully your child will have more than one teacher who goes above and beyond the call of duty. Saying thank you with a DIY gift from your child and a small token from you is a lovely way to show appreciation. A handmade gift, a homemade card and a plant or flowers all make the perfect heartfelt tribute to that favorite teacher who’s made a difference to your child and your family!
Teacher Gift Ideas for Her
Teacher Gift Ideas for Him
Teacher Gift Ideas for Both
A few final notes: There are a couple of things to avoid when buying a present for a faculty member. Don’t get too personal — no clothing or photos — and stay away from alcohol and anything with a political or religious message. Even sports ephemera can be dicey if you aren’t crystal clear who the teacher roots for. Just as important, never spend too much. The point of a thank you gift is to show appreciation — not to make the teacher feel beholden or obligated.
When in doubt, a lovely thank you note just never gets old!