I still remember when I was a kid, how my teacher’s desk would fill up just before the Holiday break every year with presents from us students. Some gifts would be standard—a tin of holiday themed cookies or a gift certificate to Office Depot, while others stood out as unique, made the teacher smile even bigger—even if not on purpose! While in College, I worked in elementary school classrooms tutoring kids and being a teacher’s aid, and once again I saw those same stacks pilling up around the Holiday Season. It’s culturally appropriate and polite to get your teacher a Holiday gift, not that any good teacher will hold it against you if you don’t, but why skip out on recognizing such an important figure in your child’s life? With any one of these 7 best Christmas gift ideas for teachers 2012, you are sure to give your teacher the proper thanks they deserve.
Get your teacher a gift that not only she will enjoy, but also her students will like looking at for years to come. This bangle will dangle from any wrist and look great, plus it couldn’t be more appropriate with so many teacher related charms!
If your kids attend a private school with a religious emphasis, this plaque couldn’t be more perfect. With a built in easel it allows teachers to decorate their classroom with this warm gift of appreciation all year long. I say it’s perfect for a teacher at a religious school because it does have a Bible verse located at the bottom. “And I will teach you the way that is good and right.”
No teacher will be able to resist their laughter when they see this shirt in their bundle of gifts! The saying, “You Can’t Scare Me I am a Teacher,” will ring so true, working closely with youth on a daily basis gives teachers a very different and rather hip perspective on the younger generations, preparing them for all that life throws their way. This shirt comes in a number of colors so regardless if your child’s teacher is a male or female, into bright colors or basic browns and blacks, there is a shirt that will perfectly fit their specific personality.
Ask your child if their teacher ever comes to class with Starbucks, or some other coffee mug, in hand; they more than likely do! After working in multiple elementary school classrooms last year I am very familiar with how much teachers depend on their Starbucks to get through the day. Yet, let’s face it—teachers are largely underpaid and Starbucks treats quickly add up! Help your teacher be prepared for school everyday with a Starbucks Gift Card; the amount of money on the card is completely up to you and your budget! Although I guarantee amounts as low as $10 will be greatly appreciated.
Another thing I quickly learned working in classrooms is how limited supplies are, the kids were constantly fighting over dry erase markers—half of which hardly worked! Any teacher with a passion for making learning more accessible to their students will greatly appreciate a gift that helps make that goal a reality. With a shortage in school funding, teachers are often stuck buying things like dry erase markers with their own limited incomes. Make sure that you know the number of students in the class so that you can get enough for everyone!
Teachers have so many supplies to keep sorted that added space to put all of this is always necessary! If you walk into your child’s classroom you might notice stacks of books on the floor or old shelves in need of replacement. Everyone likes to be organized, help your teacher do this with this affordable shelving option, made especially for classroom use. At just under $30 you can’t make a teacher’s life easier for less money! This red shelving set is so cute it can even be transported to a teacher’s home if they would rather use it there.
Even fresh flowers can be shipped online now and these Purple Dendrobium Orchids make a great gift. These orchids are long lasting and so soft, their petals like sheets of velvet! The flexibility this flower offers allows you to present them in any way you wish, including a simple arrangement in a lovely vase. Flowers show appreciation and make everyone feel special, if you don’t know that much about your child’s teacher the gift of flowers is sure to delight!
Everyday teachers bring their materials to class in some sort of a bag; I can still recall my own teachers coming to school with their totes stuffed with papers graded at home, pencils, and mystery binders—for things like attendance. You can never have too many bags, they get dirty, worn, and even just boring to look at—every teacher will appreciate this bright and bold bag that perfectly depicts what they do for a living—teach!
Looking for the perfect gift idea for a teacher who has gone above and beyond the call of duty? Perhaps a thank you gift to express your appreciation, or a gift for a new teacher to make their transition into that difficult new job just a little bit easier.
First, let me say thank you for having the consideration and thoughtfulness to care enough about choosing a great gift for a teacher that you’re even spending time researching it online. As a former teacher myself, I can tell you that teachers love thoughtful gifts, and in general we are a profession that truly desires feeling appreciated and respected. So, THANK YOU!!
Before I get into listing some of my favorite gift ideas (and the teacher gifts that have most thrilled my colleagues in the past), just a few brief recommendations on how to choose that ideal present:
In an ideal world, we would probably all make most of the gifts we give each holiday season. Applying our considerable craft talents, we would carve a beautiful wooden hiking staff, knit a delightfully soft wool scarf, and fill a handcrafted basket with freshly-baked cookies. Personalized gifts like these are guaranteed to be unique, and demonstrate caring and thoughtfulness in a way that no amount of money could ever match.
But in the real world, most of us are far too busy to make craft gifts for even a small number of the people on our gift list. Enter personalized gifts from sites like PersonalizationMall.com, GiftsForYouNow.com, and even Amazon: they allow the busy person to give a gift with that extra personal touch that is bound to make it memorable, but without having to spend two weeks crafting it yourself. Consider these gift ideas a shortcut to making something yourself — and chances are, the end result will be much more practical too!
My Favorite Teacher Picture Frame
Any teacher is guaranteed to love this picture frame which can be personalized with the teacher’s name, school, and grade. Include a photo of the whole class as a memorable teacher gift from the entire classroom, or frame a photo of your student with one of the projects they made during the year. You can also have your child make a special thank you drawing and frame that.
Photo Cookie Jar
This delighftul cookie jar can be filled with treats for an extra special thank you (just make sure you know your District’s rules regarding baked goods; some schools don’t allow them!). Once those are gone the teacher can use it to hold crafts or school supplies. But the best part is the option to personalize it with your own photo – what a great way for the teacher to remember her class for years to come!
Engraved Desktop Kaleidoscope
This cool wooden kaleidoscope would make a fun gift for an art teacher or science teacher, or really anyone who appreciates the classic fun and beauty of a well-made kaleidoscope. It can be engraved with an inspiring message, or simply a note of appreciation.
Wooden Puzzle with Free Engraving
Both kids and adults will love this wooden puzzle, which can stand up to the abuse of younger students while still challenging older grades. Engraving adds a classy touch that lets you tell your favorite teacher how much you appreciate them!
Engraved Ballpoint Pen
Everyone can use more pens, and really any sort of pen can be a simple can’t miss gift. But for an extra special thank you– say, as a gift for a favorite professor, or the teacher who put in so many hours of personal tutoring, few gifts are classier than an elegant engraved pen like this one from Executive Essentials.
Personalized “Mix Tape” CD
One of the coolest personalized gifts I received was a collection of MP3s from a student musician. It was clear that he had picked out each of the songs because they were deeply meaningful to him, and I was touched to be able to share in his discoveries. Apparently iTunes lets you gift a collection of MP3s, sending a link via email so that the recipient can download each of the selected songs straight to their iTunes free of charge. Very practical and enjoyable yet still personal gift.
Personalized Teacher Thank You Card
I’ve written this elsewhere, but many parents still don’t believe me One of the nicest things you can do for a teacher is also one of the easiest: a heartfelt and genuine thank you card written by you and your child. Not only is it something that the teacher will appreciate tremendously, it’s also an excellent lesson for your children, teaching them to show gratitude and appreciation for others who are working on their behalf. You can even make a thank you card into something personal and extra special using one of these 40 ideas for easy handmade thank you cards. If you still don’t feel it’s enough just to give a card, consider enclosing a gift card to a store that the teacher can use to purchase classroom supplies, such as Amazon, Walmart, or one of the many stores at GiftCards.com
Last Minute Gift Ideas for Teacher
Suppose you’ve waited until absolutely the last second, but still want to do a thoughtful and caring gift for a teacher? When it’s too late to go to the store, and too late even for overnight shipping, you can still give a last minute gift using electronic delivery of a personalized thank you card. I like the ones from American Greetings, which you can get for free with this 7-day trial.
Looking for an easy way to let a special teacher know that you appreciate them going above and beyond? Here are 7 great gifts that are sure to be cherished, ranging in cost from free to a 20-spot (which is quite generous for a gift to an educator, according to our poll results). First, what is this holiday anyway, and what is expected of you?
Teacher Appreciation Week in the United States always takes place the first full week of May, and Teacher Appreciation Day is on Tuesday of Teacher Appreciation Day. For 2012, Teacher Appreciation Week is from May 7th-11th, and Teacher Appreciation Day is on May 8th, 2012.
Over 20 different countries have a day dedicated to thanking teachers, many inspired by a 1994 UNESCO resolution designating October 5th as World Teachers’ Day in honor of the special contribution teachers make to society.
In many schools, the local Parent Teacher Association (PTA) will organize activities to help students and parents learn more about the work that teachers do. Many schools have established gift-giving traditions where parents or students will bring small gifts or thank you cards to their teachers on Teacher Appreciation Day. If you’re not sure whether or not it’s appropriate to give a gift for Teacher Appreciation Day, check with your local PTA or the school district office. Often there are rules limiting the maximum dollar value of gifts, and prohibiting certain items (such as food) for teacher safety.
Now on to the fun part! Teacher Appreciation Week is a wonderful opportunity to exercise your creativity to make a small token of your appreciation. It needn’t cost a lot of money. In fact, most teachers prefer that you don’t spend a lot of money on a gift (and laws concerning government employees may prohibit them from accepting a valuable gift anyway).
1. Pencil Bouquet
Teachers always need new classroom supplies– but as much as it’s practical, how fun is it to give a box of #2 pencils from Walmart? Fortunately the creative folks at The Happy Scraps have shown us a better way. This delightful Pencil Bouquet is as lovely as it is useful. Instructions here. Supplies here and here.
2. Soda-lighted You’re My Teacher!
Photographer Tammy Mitchell has already done the hard work for you with this cute gift idea. Just go to her site to download the free printable card, attach it to some vintage soda pop, and you’re done!
3. One Smart Cookie Jar
I’ve yet to meet a teacher who doesn’t love fresh baked cookies! Just be aware of any special dietary restrictions such as gluten free or vegan, and check with your district to make sure giving food is acceptable. Then, go to Camie’s site to get the printable “I’m one smart cookie thanks to you!” card and instructions, and of course the perfect cookie jar! Or try this cookie jar set if you have multiple gifts to make.
4. School Supply Cake
A clever variation on the classic Diaper Cake gift for new parents, the School Supply Cake is easy to make and eminently practical. Teachers spend about $500 of their own money on school supplies every year, so what might seem mundane to you is likely to be super appreciated by them! Check out our list of the school supplies most requested by teachers, or put together your own collection on Amazon or CreateForLess.
5. “I Remember My Teacher” Book
What could be more appropriate for Teacher Appreciation Week than David Shribman’s opus to the far-reaching impact that great teachers have throughout our society? As it turns out, pretty much everyone can remember a great, particularly influential teacher they had. Don’t you wish you had let them know just how much they meant to you?
6. Teacher Appreciation Gift Basket
Of course, in an ideal world, we would all make our own gift basket using a cute basket, vase, or even a toy school bus, and stuffing it with a combination of school supplies, snacks, and other teacher essentials like hand sanitizer, craft supplies, or coffee. No time to make your own? Here’s a lovely teacher appreciation gift basket that even Martha Steward would be proud to give.
7. Personalized Gift Card
We saved the easiest gift for last. In our survey of most desired teacher gifts, gift cards came out the undisputed king. No wonder, given the salary most teachers make and the hundreds of dollars they spend out of their own pocket to keep their classrooms well stocked, sometimes even buying basic school supplies for kids who show up without. However, just because you’re giving a gift card doesn’t mean it has to be boring. This site will allow you to personalize a gift card with your own photo and message of appreciation, or choose from hundreds of crafty “Thank you” designs submitted by others.