End of year gifts for teachers? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 05-13-2003, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My oldest is just finishing his first year of preschool. Are end-of-the-year gifts for the teachers customary? (I am guessing "yes"). If so, what are some ideas??

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.
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#2 of 20 Old 05-13-2003, 04:21 PM
 
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When i give a gift, i usually do something from Bath & Body Works. This Christmas i gave her one of those xmas mugs with the socks and foot cream. she flipped and loved it, and it didnt cost a fortune. they also have these little jars with scented gel in them.....like a jar you would put pickles in, with lace under the cap, and i add a small antibcaterial hand cream in a gift bag. the teachers really seem to like stuff like that instead of say, a chocolate apple, or worlds best teacher something/whatever.

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.
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#3 of 20 Old 05-13-2003, 09:27 PM
 
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I am not a teacher but my MIL is and I can say steer clear of anything nik-nakky, candy and mugs (good grief she has recieved enough mugs to fill her kitchen and the kitchens of her 4 children and have still gotten rid a of a fair number of them on rummage sales.) Scented items are generally a bad idea although bath and body works has a good return policy so I thin k those owuld be safe because there is bound to be something there they like. Do you think other parents would go in with you? Some of the best gifts she has recieved were ones where everyone chipped in $2-$3 and got her a thoughtful gift certificate out to eat or out to a salon. One child got her a gift certificate to a creative memories workshop and a roll of film to fill up. That was a cute one. She never used either but was impressed with the creativity of it. (and I got the film - didn't fit her camera).

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#4 of 20 Old 05-13-2003, 10:22 PM
 
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I usually spend around $10.00 and get a nice plant. I have given rosemary and hydrangeas in the past.
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#5 of 20 Old 05-14-2003, 12:58 AM
 
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I volunteer at dd's school and noticed the teachers go out to lunch here and like to buy bagels and coffee for the teachers lounge so I give gift certificates for the local panera. Also there is a teachers store nearby that I gave a gift certificate to for her preschool teacher and dd made a card for her teacher.
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#6 of 20 Old 05-14-2003, 08:42 AM
 
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As a teacher, it is always touching when you receive a thank you, from a verbal thanks, to a written note, to a token of appreciation. I can tell you that bookstore gift certificates are AWESOME! I love these treats!
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#7 of 20 Old 05-14-2003, 08:51 AM
 
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This is not original; we saw it in family fun, but we are giving forget-me-nots in pots...Delia has started the plants from seed, and hopefully we won't kill them before school is out. Then she will write a note to her teachers...she is finishing kindergarten.

We plan to decorate the pots, but haven't started that project yet!
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#8 of 20 Old 05-14-2003, 11:02 AM
 
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my friend is a teacher and she was telling me that gift certificates are the best. Also homemade cards made by the kids. Nik-naks were out.
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#9 of 20 Old 05-14-2003, 11:21 AM
 
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I have been a "room mommy" since my oldest started school (he's now 12) so I have been in charge of organizing a lot of teacher gifts. In my duties as room mommy, I usually have gotten to know the teachers pretty well by the end of the year so I try to come up with a personalized/meaningful gift. This year, my third grade son's teacher is such a wonder and really deserves our gratitude and love. She is an avid gardener so I am collecting money to purchase a flowering tree for her yard that will allow her to remember this class and how much she means to them each year as it grows and blooms. We will hang a large sign from it that reads "THANKS FOR HELPING US BLOOM" . I am also having each child cut his/her handprint out of construction paper, decorate it, and sign it with their own personal message for the teacher. I will then hang all of these from the tree with ribbons before we present it to her on the last day. The hard part is organizing all of this without the teacher catching on, but I've gotten very stealthy over the years.
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#10 of 20 Old 05-14-2003, 12:02 PM
 
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I'm married to a teacher. Yes, the notes mean the most. He brings them home and hands them to me proudly, always appreciative and excited. He also loves the homemade goodies like tamales, and gift certificates to the smoothie place, a local coffee shop, the movies, etc. Another idea is something to really help the teacher get into summer thinking -- like a basket with a sunscreen sample, a bottle of iced tea, a fun magazine, and a visor.

Just say no to coffee mugs or anything with an apple on it or the word "Teacher".
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#11 of 20 Old 05-14-2003, 12:23 PM
 
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When I was teaching the BEST thing I got was a bookstore gift certificate!! One year the parents got together and gave my co-teacher and me each $50 certificates. My friend and her co-teacher received from her class certificates for facials at a cool spa place.
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#12 of 20 Old 05-14-2003, 01:16 PM
 
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We gave the teacher a big gift certificate (each child brought in 5$) There are 21 kids and we got a $100 gift certificate to the local mall, and you can use it at any store at the mall.) With the extra $5 we got the teacher a nice bottle and filled it with Purell Antibacterial hand gel (to help her stay well during next year's cold season). Teacher loved both gifts!!!!
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#13 of 20 Old 05-14-2003, 02:39 PM
 
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At Christmas, my son tye-died some t-shirts for his teachers. They appeared to love it....

Don't know what we'll do for end of the year. Maybe gift cards...
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#14 of 20 Old 05-14-2003, 03:09 PM
 
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We always give book store gift certificates, but this year I thought I'd give the teacher a gift certificate for the movie theatre so she could take her kids out for a treat. I also send a note to the school administration telling them that in recognition of their work, we are making a donation to a local charity. I try to make it so that the Christmas and end of year presents come from the children and if I want to show my appreciation, I send flowers for another time of year, usually Thanksgiving.

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.
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#15 of 20 Old 05-14-2003, 04:10 PM
 
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My DH is a teacher. any kind of gift certificates are always appreciated. Candles are great, but no holders please Homemade cookies, and other treats are always appreciated too!
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#16 of 20 Old 05-16-2003, 01:35 AM
 
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Yes to the gift certificates. Bookstore, spa, and mall certificates are all great. I have also appreciated a gift card to the local coffee shop- you know, the one for 10 large coffees that they just punch each time you buy one. As far as non-gift certificate gifts, I really like getting note cards or stationery and I always end up using it.
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#17 of 20 Old 05-16-2003, 12:25 PM
 
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I either give bookstore gift cards or I put together a small basket of craft items the teacher can use for herself or during the school year with her students. Many times the teacher pays for these kind of craft/art items out of her own pocket to use for the class.

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.
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#18 of 20 Old 05-16-2003, 01:53 PM
 
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my oldest is in preschool and we all got together and collected $100.00 ( there's 14 in the class) and We're giving her 2 gift certificates, one for the christian art and school supply store, and one to a restaurant.
i'm planning on Emma to make a special card and give her a plant just from her.
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#19 of 20 Old 05-16-2003, 04:32 PM
 
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DH is a teacher. If you can take up a collection w/other parents, that's great. He likes gift certificates to the parent/teacher store, book store or office supply stores the best. He spends a ton of his own money on school supplies, so this helps. Notes are always wonderful and mean a lot.

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.
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#20 of 20 Old 05-18-2003, 12:54 AM
 
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You have gotten lots of good ideas. I agree with avoiding anything marketed for teachers (mugs, signs, shirts, etc. with the word "teacher" on them). There is only so much room in a house for that kind of stuff and they probably have tons of it already - how guilty must you feel when putting stuff kids gave you in the garage sale box....

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."

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