I don't want to spend a ton of money, but don't want to buy/make junk--I imagine they have a closetful of "stuff" given to them over the years & would like to give something they'd really appreciate or use.
for mothers day, i usually give a small corsage, maybe with a pretty pink carnation, it doesnt cost a fortune and they really appreciate it, even if they arent mom's yet.
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
We plan to decorate the pots, but haven't started that project yet!
Just say no to coffee mugs or anything with an apple on it or the word "Teacher".
A friend who is a teacher said that she received a really beautiful (and expensive) cosmetics bag once from a student. She said it was nice to feel like the family had appreciated the work she did, but that she knew that not all families could afford such a luxurious item. She did, however, tell me very explicitly that she felt it was important for parents to understand that teachers need feedback from the parents. Not gifts, necessarily, but lots of contact and comments about the things that went right during the year.
I have found these to be very well appreciated gifts.
For Christmas, I give special Christmas tree ornaments. This has become a tradition for us.
i'm planning on Emma to make a special card and give her a plant just from her.
I agree --skip the mugs and trinkets. We hate candles also, and always get a bunch we have to dispose of. We have a house with lousy windowsills and are the houseplant morgue, so they aren't a big thrill.
I think that gift certificates to a teacher supply store is a great idea - then they can get something new for their classroom and it is a practical gift which will remind them of your child when they use it year after year.
Or how about a cd of your favorite children's music for them to use in their classroom? We love Red Grammer - check him out!
I totally agree that a handwritten letter of what the year has meant to you as a parent, your child's favorite parts of the school year, etc. would be more meaningful than anything you could buy.
For my kids' preschool/toddler group teachers, I have made 5 x 7 Creative Memories albums for them as end of year gifts. It is a lot of work for me but they turned out darling and I really think it was a special thing for the teachers. On the title page, I used gardening stickers and titled it "Thanks for helping us GROW!" Then each child had his/her own two page layout with multiple pix of the child at school (tried to get at least one with the teacher in it and at least one with the mom in it too), a small school individual photo, and bio information (kid's full name and birthdate, mom's name, kid's favorite parts of school and/or a quote from the child about school or the teacher). I put the child's first name in sticker letters at the top left of the first page. After all the kids' pages, I did lots of pages of group shots (all of them together on field trips, dressed up for Halloween, etc.) with a lot of "we learned..." pages - pix showing them doing all kinds of things like sit in circle, wait your turn, work together, etc. At the end, I had some pages titled "Thank you so much!" and let each mom write in a thank you note. On the last page, I put in a quote a like very much (not sure of the author - sorry) "One hundred years from now, it will not matter what my clothes looked like or what kind of car I drove but the world may be a better place because I was important in the life of a child."