Have you seen the video of a Mom telling others to stop complaining about back to school donations? My favorite line from that rant was something like “you want a microwave? I’ll get you ten microwaves!” Not only was the video hilarious, but it also accurately described how I would shower my kids’ teachers with whatever they needed if I could afford to.. microwaves and all.
Do you ever stop to think about how much time teachers and administrators spend with our children every day, week, month, and year? They see them more than some family members, their pediatrician, or dentist, and have the ability to influence our children just as much as we, their parents, do. I could go on and on about their importance but my POINT is that they mean a great deal to me and my kids so remembering them on special occasions is as natural as remembering a family member.
Now the question is, what to gift a teacher? Newsflash! They’re regular people with regular interests. While you may not have the opportunity to get to know your child’s teacher on a personal level, your child spends plenty of time with them and I’m sure can give you a couple of hints on what they might like. Even though this list was intended for educators, it can be used for many other groups of people! I have also included ideas for office admins, staff members, and when your children go to middle/high school and have multiple teachers! I’ve got them all covered, so keep reading!
For the Teacher that loves..
Caffeine – Bless those that have been called to teach Kindergarten. It takes a bubbly personality, the attention span of a million moms, and the energy only caffeine can provide. Mugs & travel cups are great, but for the teacher that doesn’t get to leave her classroom for several hours how about Starbucks VIA packets, an electric kettle, a case of their favorite energy drink, or ask other parents if they want to go in on a mini Keurig!
The Spa – Create an at home spa experience by gifting candles, essential oils and a diffuser, luxury bath products, or even a nice plush robe!
Cooking or Baking – Were they torn between their two callings and chose teaching instead of being a celebrity chef? Support their other hobby with new cooking tools, an apron & mitten set, cookbooks, or print out a few recipes you think they might like and pair it with a grocery gift card so that they can shop for all the yummy ingredients.
Happy Hour – I’ve spoken to a couple of educators, and the consensus is that giving alcohol, while very much needed and surely well intended, is not appropriate. What IS okay to give are wine glasses, a bottle opener, and gift cards for BevMo or their next Uber/Lyft (lol, we have to get creative).
New Experiences – Why not fund their winter/spring/summer break with a Groupon or travel gift card; Airbnb, Airline, Disney? Another gift that would be amazing if multiple parents contributed.
A Break from Adulting – Parent teachers are unicorns. They care for multiple children throughout the day, then go home to care for their own. I’m sure they would appreciate subscription services that make their life easier; Blue Apron (pre planned dinners), Instacart Express (free grocery delivery), or Amazon Prime to name a few.
Home Decor – For those that spend hours at Home Goods or Pier One, I’m sure another throw pillow or candle pillar in their home wouldn’t hurt.. neither would coffee table books filled with images to inspire their next room transformation.
To Collect – The best news I could have gotten from my child was that her teacher loves Rae Dunn pottery like I do, it was so easy to shop for her! Likewise, if your child’s teacher is a Disney fanatic, diehard Harry Potter enthusiast, or something of that sort.. keep that in mind when you’re shopping. A true collector can never have too much memorabilia.
The Movies – Shower them with tickets, because it’s expensive to head out to the theater nowadays! DVDs, a Redbox gift card, subscriptions to at home movie services, gourmet popcorn, and their favorite boxed candy are also a nice idea for them to relax at home.
To Craft – What is their craft of choice? Some yarn, new needles, cricut supplies, and a gift card to a local craft store is sure to be a nice distraction after a trying day at work.
To Get Glammed Up – Kudos to the teachers that come to work day in and day out looking polished. I can barely make it out of yoga pants caring for four kids, and they look like THAT while watching a whole class all day? Bravo. They deserve nail polish kits, a new blowdryer/straightener/curling iron, and a gift card to ULTA or DryBar.
To Workout – First of all, when do you find the time? They definitely need to be in good health to keep up with their class all day so why not gift them a new water bottle, workout gear, a tub of protein, or fancy meal prep containers.
Gifting the Masses
Staff Members – The unsung heroes. I really appreciate the administrative team because they remember my child’s name without me having to say it when I pick one up early for a doctors appointment. They also help me with photocopies of important documents and refrain from rolling their eyes when I bring my child junk food on the days I forgot to pack a lunch. There are also those that work maintenance, in the cafeteria, and throughout the school grounds that my children interact with on a regular basis that may never receive an appreciation gift during their careers. It’s impossible to give something to everyone! But a group gift in the staff lounge with a thank you note is one way I like to give.
a few ideas
- a fruit & cracker spread
- beverage bar; sodas, juice, water
- snack bar; protein bars, beef jerky, candy, breakfast bars
- during the winter.. pocket warmers
- during the summer.. hand fans
Multiple Teachers – Once your child reaches Middle & High school, its a bit harder to send them to school with gifts as its seen as “uncool” and they’d have to walk around with gift bags all day. A simple card dropped off in their teacher mailbox before or after school is a great way to send gifts to them. I’ve also set up the above mentioned staff gifts in the teacher lounge with a thank you note from my children to their teachers, but for all to enjoy.
Remembering my kids’ teachers during the holidays is a must for me. I hope my actions are setting a good example for my kids and that they don’t think of it as Mom just giving another person a present. I hope they realize that Mom values this person which is WHY she does it, and it gets them to view their teacher in a respectful light.
Thank you to my kids’ teachers for reading this and also for contributing your thoughts and opinions to this post! You are appreciated.