How to Master Teacher Appreciation Gifts
By: Mussy Raitman, Lubicom Staff
I have a couple of family members in the education field. Year after year when summer creeps up I hear the same conversation; what really is the best gift to give a teacher? How much money should you put on a gift card? And of course, is a handwritten note actually enough by itself?
I went straight to the source and asked teachers to tell me the best gifts they’ve ever received.
Interestingly enough, while gift cards were very popular, they were outranked by two other things.
These were the top four things teachers said they appreciated most when it came to thank you gifts:
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1. Thank You Notes
I was very surprised that above all, teachers appreciate handwritten thank you notes from students and parents. Many teachers wrote in saying that they just like to know that their teaching and thought-out lesson plans had an impact on their students. It was also surprising to hear that teachers also appreciated when their old students reached out when celebrating a milestone. One educator reported that her best teacher gift came from a student who had struggled in her class and was now inviting her to her high school graduation.
A thoughtful letter can be treasured for years to come. It’s definitely a memorable way to touch people. Today’s relationships are built around convenience. We spend more time on our phones than speaking with people. Research insists that it can even make us happier to receive hand written notes. Not only does the recipient feel good to receive a personal card, but there are a lot of perks from being the one to pen a letter.
- Thank you Poem
- Handwritten note signed by students and parents
- Student drawing
- Hand made pop-up card
2. Creativity DIY Gifts
In addition to receiving a thought out handmade letter, creative gifts from students came in second. While, yes, “#1 teacher” mugs are cute, they end up collecting dust on the shelf. Teachers can tell when a student was actively involved in deciding what to give. A signed T-shirt with all of the kids names on it alongside a class picture is a lot more personal and holds a lot more sentiment than a bought gift.
- Students write and sing a song about their teacher
- Write down a favorite memory from the year
3. Gift Cards
Gift cards are point-blank more useful and appreciated by teachers than most other gifts.
Here’s a list of the top gift cards teachers voted for:
- Personalized Visa gift cards
- Local spa
- Local eatery
In general, I believe that parents should never feel the pressure of spending more than they can afford on teachers presents. As we just discovered, most teachers are satisfied with a sincere handwritten card and trying to impress them with an amount of money is not necessary. Gift cards are very flexible in allowing you to choose exactly how much you want to give. It can be a struggle to find the perfect present in your budget range. However because you can’t simply peel off the sales tag, teachers can see a dollar amount. This means that you have to make sure the gift card amount can be used without the teacher having to lay out any of his or her own money. If your budget is limited there is always a way to take the focus away from the dollar amount. A $10 gift card to Starbucks with a cute note (“I want to Espresso my appreciation”) adds that special touch and the teacher most likely won’t think twice about the dollar amount.
It’s no surprise that next on the list that teachers voted for was cookbooks. They’re always good to have, you can personalize what cookbook you buy depending on the teachers’ interest, they’re inexpensive and who doesn’t want to try new recipes?
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