Teacher Appreciation Week is always in the beginning of May, and it’s a great time to show your child’s teacher just how much you appreciate all (s)he does each day. Gifts for teachers can be quite cliché, but with these Teacher Appreciation Week gift ideas, you can do something nice for your favorite teacher that (s)he’ll truly appreciate and enjoy. These Teacher Appreciation Week gifts aren’t extravagant, but will definitely be appreciated.
Books for the Classroom
Teachers are always looking to expand or update their classroom libraries, so donate a few books to your child’s classroom. You can always give your favorites, ask your teacher what’s most needed, or give a gift certificate and let the teacher pick them out. Scholastic Book Orders has a great program for teachers; every time students order books, teachers get credits to choose books for their classroom library. If the order is placed online, the teacher gets an additional $3 credit for each online order placed. So, if 10 kids place an online order, their teacher gets $30 from Scholastic to spend on books. If your teacher doesn’t already take advantage of this program, offer to help set it up to keep the classroom library growing.
A Favorite Snack
Just like anyone else, teachers need fuel to keep them going throughout the day, and they don’t always get enough breaks to do that. Try sending in some homemade muffins or cookies, a favorite treat, or even a favorite beverage. My son’s first grade teacher keeps going in the afternoons with a Diet Coke, so sending some in means that she doesn’t have to spend her own money in the teacher’s lounge every afternoon and gets a free pick-me-up instead.
Book or Photo Collage
Teachers are usually so busy making sure kids have all of their work done and sent home that they rarely get to put something together to remember the year by to keep. Try collecting photos from other parents from throughout the year and have kids write notes or draw pictures. Put all of these mementos together in a scrapbook for your teacher to enjoy for years to come. This doesn’t have to be fancy or time-consuming; just a binder with clear plastic pages holding photos and notes is a great way to display everything in one place while keeping it protected. If you want something a little nicer, try scanning everything in and collecting digital photos from parents to make a bound book. Sites like Snapfish and Shutterfly run specials on photo books all the time, and they’re a great way to capture memories in a beautifully-bound, hardcover book.
Chances are by May, the supplies in the classroom are getting scarce. From tissues and hand sanitizer to pencils and crayons, find out what your teacher needs to finish the year and even start the next school year on the right foot. This is also a great way to get other parents involved; if everyone brings in something small, the result is a big impact that will make your teacher smile.
Sometimes, the greatest gift a teacher can receive is volunteer time from parents. Ask your teacher if there’s a special activity or lesson (s)he could use extra help with, or donate your expertise in a certain subject area and lead the class in an enrichment activity while your teacher gets a break. Even coming in to do a special storytime with an activity for a half hour after lunch will allow your teacher to get a longer lunch period for the day, a luxury in most schools. Since the end of the year is approaching, your teacher might be able to use an extra hand in getting paperwork or student projects together; ask your teacher how you can get involved and lighten the load.