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.
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.
NEXT MONTH ON ASK KENARRY:
A friend of mine is frustrated and wondering about ideas or strategies for children who are picky eaters. Do you serve one meal or make something separate you know your kids will eat? She says she’s so tired of mealtime battles and PB & J every day. Please comment below to share your ideas. Your ideas may be selected for next month’s Ask Kenarry!
Ask Kenarry is a regular feature, where one of our friends, fans or followers asks us to gather ideas for their home or family. Each month, we start by asking our followers on social media for ideas. If necessary, we also gather additional ideas through our own searches on Pinterest or other online resources. As we share our findings, we make every effort to attribute ideas to their rightful owners and have received their permission to share these ideas, photos and links on our website.
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas for your home and would like our help, please Ask Kenarry.