Teacher Appreciation: 5 Ways to Give Thanks When School Ends


There was a time when students demonstrated teacher appreciation by giving the teacher an apple. Here are 5 ways to give thanks when the school year ends.

There was a time when students demonstrated teacher appreciation by giving the teacher an apple. While that’s a practical gift, there are many other ways your children can show gratitude to their teacher when the school year ends.

Teacher Appreciation: 5 Ways to Give Thanks When School Ends (Plus countless great gift ideas!) - Kenarry.com

Welcome to “Ask Kenarry,” a feature on our blog, where our friends, fans and followers ask us to gather ideas for their home or family. The question most recently posed was “What ideas do you have for end-of-year teacher appreciation?” We threw out the question to our followers on social media and gathered five different ways to show teacher appreciation at the end of the school year.

We also collected tons of easy, low cost gift ideas for those who choose to honor their child’s teacher with a special present. My mother-in-law who’s a former school teacher summed it up best, “We just like to know we’ve been appreciated. It doesn’t matter the cost and teachers don’t remember that. It’s the thought that counts. Also remember that not everyone brings a little gift and that is ok too.”

ASK KENARRY QUESTION: What ideas do you have for end of year teacher appreciation? 

Our oldest son is in school for the first time this year. We’ve wondered if it’s customary to give teachers an end of the year appreciation gift. If so, we wanted to gather ideas for creative, low cost gifts and get an idea of how much we should spend.

Teacher Appreciation Idea #1: Show gratitude without a gift.

  • “No gift. A kid who is respectful is the only gift the teacher needs. Stop the madness.” – Theresa, Michigan
  • “I’ve always felt uncomfortable giving a gift to a teacher for doing the job that we’re paying them to do (especially if your child is in a Christian school and you’re already paying tuition like crazy) but realize that everyone wants to know that they’re appreciated for their hard work.” – Heather, Ontario
  • “I think having the student make the teacher a note thanking them as well can mean just as much. Teachers need to know the value they are and many people don’t recognize that. I think in the end the teacher will appreciate anything. Even time helping in the classroom!” – Karli, Utah

Teacher Appreciation Idea #2: Organize a group gift. 

  • “I have coordinated a group gift from the class several times. I usually do a variety of gift cards.” – Robin, Michigan
  • “Group gifts work amazing. I remember my mom got everyone in the whole 6th grade to pitch in for our amazing teachers and we gave them Disneyland tickets. That’s a big one but these teachers were so incredible that they deserved it.” – Karli, Utah
  • “At our school for teacher birthdays and Christmas we take up a classroom collection and get the teacher one big gift of items they want for their classroom or one gift card (however, that takes an organized parent to take on the collection).” – Jennifer, Michigan

Teacher Appreciation Idea #3: Give a Gift for the Teacher’s Classroom 

  • “I think supplies for the classroom help teachers a lot especially because many have to buy them with their own money. Gift cards are great for these as well.” – Karli, Utah
  • “There has been an array of different things but I do like coordinating the group gift idea. (My husband) has even gone as far to build a bookshelf for a teacher and then we collected money for books both for her classroom and in donation of her to the school library.” – Melissa, Michigan

Teacher Appreciation Idea #4: Give Gifts the Teacher Can Use Personally OR for the Classroom

  • “We started when (our daughter) was in kindergarten. We gave her teacher an iTunes gift card because we know she spent some of her own money buying the kids extra learning apps for the iPads in her classroom. So she can either use it for herself or use it for more classroom apps.” – Erica, Michigan
  • “If I have given a gift it’s always been something that the teacher could use to help make them a better teacher, such as a gift certificate to a book store or a local teacher supply store. We all know that teachers routinely use their own money for classroom supplies so this helps to offset that cost.” – Heather, Ontario

Teacher Appreciation Idea #5: Give a Personal Gift for the Teacher

  • “We have also gone as simple as Starbucks gift cards. I view the end of year gift as a ‘tip’ of appreciation to those teachers who care for my children all year long.” – Melissa, Michigan
  • “Gift cards, flower basket, mug and coffee gift card, or look on Pinterest under teacher gift ideas and there are millions.” – Daniel, Washington
  • “Teachers get bombarded with all sorts of goodies, and lets be honest how many A+ teacher mugs can one person really use? so I always think give them something they can really use like a gift card (and it doesn’t have to be much in $) and a picture or letter written by your child.” – Jennifer, Michigan

My mother-in-law, who’s a retired elementary teacher in Washington, sent a helpful e-mail full of great teacher appreciation ideas: “Having been a teacher, I know that teachers appreciate being thought of in a nice way. It is not necessary, but I think it also is a gift from (your child) and that it is important to teach children to show appreciation. The value of the gift is not the key concern. Here are some of my favorite things I received when I was teaching:

  • a small bouquet of flowers. You can enjoy it for a time and then they are discarded.
  • a colorful pot of flowers–annuals or perennials– to set on the patio. I saw some today at the grocery store for $12.99.
  • a coffee card to Starbucks or another popular one at your location. My suggestion is $10.00. I always got a lot of those and I appreciated them. They ranged anywhere from $1.00 to $10.00. Most people have some kind of coffee drink they like or they can get a muffin or something like that.
  • a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble or the Christian Bookstore. I’d suggest about $20.00 otherwise you might have a hard time finding something that you don’t have to put a lot of money with. Every teacher can always use another children’s book.
  • The Christian bookstore has a lot of very nice decorative pads of paper. They are nice to write notes on. Some of them have a memory verse or nice saying on each page. I still have some of those I haven’t used.
  • A magnetic grocery list for the fridge.
  • I always enjoyed getting a plate of homemade cookies.
  • I’ve received a nice kitchen towel and dish cloth. New things are always nice.
  • One of my favorite things was a wall plaque that said, ‘Good teachers like you are precious and few.’
  • a CD of your favorite music
  • a box of Kettle Corn or (your child’s) favorite sweet treat or a little ceramic owl to remember her year with a room decorated with owls.
  • Maybe you could make a little book or plaque of some of the neat things he has said about his teacher.

Other Teacher Appreciation Ideas

Looking for other gift ideas for teacher appreciation at the end of the school year? Follow our Pinterest board for teacher gift ideas.

What are your favorite ways to appreciate your child’s teacher at the end of the school year? Please comment below to share your teacher appreciation ideas with our readers.

What’s Next? 

While you’re here, be sure to check out other teacher appreciation ideas on Ideas for the Home by Kenarry® – 

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  1. Love these ideas! You can never appreciate teachers too much, for sure. I am pinning this post NOW. 🙂 I love it! (Stopping by from the Project Inspire{d} link up.)

  2. I’m a former teacher and I think this is a great set of ideas!
    If someone can’t afford to give a gift, I always appreciated a heart-felt note. I kept them in a special spot in my classroom and would read them on tough days.
    A group gift is also a great idea because it’s more practical than small knick-knacks. Even if everyone only brings in $2, that could be upwards of $50 for a gift card or another need. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Kim. What a great idea to keep your special notes somewhere handy for those rough days. Hopefully you didn’t need to access them too often.

  3. These are some great ideas, thanks for sharing. Can’t believe the school year is almost over… didn’t school just start? lol. I always enjoy unique and fun gifts like your fun ideas. Stopping in as new follower from Friday Pin-Fest, here and on Pinterest 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Heather. I can hardly believe the school year is almost over too. Next thing you know, though, we’ll be talking about ideas for “back-to-school”. Time just flies!

  4. I allowed my children to “opt out” of what the family was having for dinner one night per week. That meant they were choosing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for their main course. They still ate with our family and ate any other parts of the meal we required and/or they wished.

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