Teacher Appreciation Gift Guide : What they Really Really Want

Teacher Appreciation Week is fast approaching (May 2-6), and if you have a child in school – I’ve got the perfect post for you! Now listen, I am well aware that you can easily hop on Pinterest to search for some cute TAW ideas. In fact, I personally got lost down the rabbit hole that is Pinterest when trying to come up with an idea for TAW for my kids’ teachers. Then I took a step back and really assessed the situation. Yes, all those Pinterest ideas with cute printables that have catchy sayings like, “You’re the balm” and have an EOS balm attached to it are in fact – cute and will probably make your kid’s teacher smile.

Little Legel Designs on Etsy

BUT if I were a teacher, a gift that would really give me all the feels and leave a lasting impression is something that’s more personalized. Something I actually want. Something like a $5 Starbucks gift card or $10 Target gift card. Yes, please give me all the supposedly impersonal things like gift cards. Forget the cutesy print out – just stick it in a Thank You card you have on hand at the house with a nice little hand written note and I’ll be singing your praises the next morning when my coffee is free or I can pick up some new beauty product on my next Target trip that I didn’t actually need but really wanted to test out. And if you’re thinking : TEN DOLLARS?? Listen, by the time you pay $5 for the instant download, inevitably have to go buy new ink for your printer, and then buy the balm – you could have easily afforded to run to Target and grab your teachers a $10 gift card. πŸ˜‰

How do you know what your teacher wants? I know that my son’s school has an AMAZING PTO who provided us room moms with a print out at the beginning of the year to give our teachers. The print out is a form that asks the teacher to provide all of their favorite things: places they shop, what they drink, favorite food & candy, and asks if they have any allergies or aversions that would affect what kinds of things you buy for them. It’s been incredibly helpful, and it’s not too late if you haven’t done something like it for your teachers! I found this form on Recipe for a Sweet Life. It’s not the one we used…but is very similar!

Source – to Print

Now, if you do find yourself in the position to be the one responsible for organizing a gift that is to be from the entire class – I’d definitely go for something sentimental that will last and be something your teacher can look back at and remember your children’s class by. I think that these two prints from Etsy sellers would be perfect for such an occasion. They are also very affordable (in terms of a group gift). BUT – you’ll have to act fast … like now in order to get them in on time for Teacher Appreciation Week. πŸ˜‰

Gifted Turtles UK on Etsy

I think that this print is super cute, and is perfect for an entire class gift. It starts out at $13.68 and goes up depending on what size print your choose and if you choose to get a frame with it.

WordsandRainbows on Etsy

Another cute print idea for a gift from the entire class. You can get an 8×10 download of this print for $15.19.

Another fun thing would be to make some kind of display on your teacher’s door or on the wall outside your classroom with a compilation of notes from all the kids in your class saying what they appreciate about their teacher. Our school did something similar to this for Valentine’s day and for St. Patrick’s day which I thought was super cute + very easy to execute (because we have daily folders that go home with the kids you just send the print out home in the folder and ask parents to fill it out and return it). You could also compile a parent email list and ask for their kids’ responses that way.

This is actually a print out BUT you could easily convert this idea to a wall/door display that you sneak into put up one afternoon after school-like the Friday afternoon before TAW. πŸ˜‰

The bottom line when thinking about a Teacher Appreciation Week – is to try to make something happen because our teachers deserve to be acknowledged and thanked and lifted up. They spend a huge chunk of their day with our children. We depend on them to teach our children important life skills. They are waaaay out numbered on a daily basis… and listen I am outnumbered by two kids on a daily basis… I can’t imagine doing it with a classroom FULL of children.

So, be thoughtful – be intentional – be personal. It doesn’t have to be big and flashy. It can be small. Whatever you can do. But make it about the teacher. With her or his needs/wants in mind – Not what Pinterest says will be the most cutesy. πŸ˜‰

AND let’s not forget all those parents who home school. If you know someone who home-schools – I’d urge you to try to make that mom or dad a part of your teacher list to provide a token of appreciation for. They don’t have a classroom of parents to arrange a gift for them. They are the teacher + parent.

I hope this was helpful! And I hope you have an amazing weekend!

— Ashley