End of the Year Teacher Gifts – Thoughtful Ideas on a Budget! It seems like just yesterday you were loading up backpacks with blank notebooks and fresh boxes of crayons. Somehow, the end of the school year is suddenly here, and it’s time to say farewell to the teachers and support staff that have guided your children for the last nine months. Over the years, it has become almost expected that parents give an end of the year gift for their children’s teachers. If putting together multiple gifts at this busy time of year is leaving you feeling frazzled and strapped for cash, you are not alone! Thankfully, there are simple ideas that can go a long way in showing gratitude to your children’s teacher without breaking the bank. Here are a few of our favorites! Gift Cards and Gift Certificates Teachers have one of the toughest jobs of all, and gifting them with a treat they can use after a long school year is well appreciated. If you are not sure what your child’s teacher likes, go for something more universal that anyone would enjoy! Does your child’s teacher always have a cup of coffee in hand? How about a gift card to your favorite local coffee shop! Other hit ideas include a spa or massage gift certificate, movie tickets, Amazon, and retailer gift cards, or a gift card to a popular local restaurant to celebrate the beginning of summer vacation! Thank You Notes Teachers get a lot of gifts over the course of their career, and heartfelt notes and thank you cards are the type of gift that keeps on giving. After long nights building lesson plans and countless days wrangling 20+ kids on busy field trips, it will brighten the teacher’s day to know they are appreciated for all that they do. Thank you notes can come from both parents and students, and teachers appreciate them both! If your child is too young to write out their own thoughts, have them draw a picture to include with your handwritten sentiments. Book Donations A staple of every classroom is books, and these books are generally very well-loved over the years the educator has been teaching. As a way to say thank you and assist the teacher in years ahead, consider donating a few of your favorite book titles to add to their classroom library. Does your child have a favorite book or memory from the past school year? Look for a book that speaks to their experience or sign a copy of their favorite story in appreciation of their teacher. Or teachers often have a wish list of books they’d like to have – fulfill a few wishes! Classroom Supplies Teachers go through a massive amount of school supplies each year, and with budget cuts around the country many pay for them out of their own pockets. To help ease the burden and show your gratitude, consider getting a gift certificate to a teacher or office supply store. Buying them supplies in advance requires them to store them, and they usually know which they prefer. Many teachers do like getting live plants, or even a lovely bouquet that they can enjoy. For a unique addition to their classroom, consider gifting your teacher one or two educational board games. There are many options out there for grade appropriate games that will help your teacher put a fun spin on next year’s lesson plans. Homemade Treats Making something special for that special teacher is always nice. Homemade goodies, craft projects, drawings, etc. are sweet and show both thought and gratitude. What Most Teachers Don’t Want… Every teacher has 103 mugs. They probably don’t need another, unless it is a special thermal water bottle/travel mug that is really new and different… and useful! Don’t buy perfumes or colognes unless you know it is actually one they already wear. It’s okay to regift something, if it is something that teacher would really like, but please don’t pass along something you don’t want just to feel like you’ve given something. No matter what you decide to give to your child’s teacher, remember that any item is a token of your appreciation for their dedication and hard work. A heartfelt “thank you” can mean a lot. And grateful hugs are welcome! Gifts don’t have to be elaborate or crafty to carry a lot of meaning, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box when showing teachers how much they mean to their students!