While teachers deserve respect all year, Teacher Appreciation Week brings us a special opportunity to show teachers how much we value them for everything they do for our children. If you are swayed by financial facts, studies show that a good teacher is valuable, literally – with an influence that potentially translates into hundreds of thousands of dollars of additional earnings over a student’s lifetime.
Here are some ideas to consider (and not consider) for teacher appreciation gifts.
What not to give for a Teacher Appreciation gift
Pinterest is full of enticing tchotchkes aimed at teachers, from mugs to apple-shaped candles. The thing is, most teachers have 20-40 students per class. That’s a lot of mugs – and a lot of decluttering for teachers. Skip little tangible items this and make your money go further for Teacher Appreciation Day (or Teacher Appreciation Week).
Organize a group gift
A few dollars per student family can add up quickly. Consider organizing a teacher group gift.
To organize a collective gift for Teacher Appreciation Week, choose a “gift captain” among your class. That person will send an email asking class parents for an optional small donation ($5-$10 would be fine) by a specific date. (Any money received after that time should be donated to a school activity or library fund.) Donations should be taken online – platforms like Venmo or Paypal are good for group gifting.
So now that you’ve organized your funds, you need to give your teacher a present. Here are some suggestions for gifts that teachers love, and that are a good way to spend the money collected through group gifting.
A gift card for pedagogical needs
Many teachers have an Amazon gift list (as it turns out, the average teacher needs to spend upward of $500 of their own money on teacher supplies). An Amazon gift card is always welcome. Or choose other teacher favorites, like Staples or Barnes & Nobles.
A massage gift for teachers
Give your teacher an experience, like a massage therapy session. A massage gift card, like those for Zeel Massage, will be cherished by teachers – after all, standing up all day takes its toll on the legs and lower back. Some parents prefer to chip in for chair massage at school, which can be enjoyed by multiple teachers (and other professionals at the school) in the break room.
A donation to a good cause
Charity is always welcome, especially if it’s for a cause dear to the teacher’s heart. Collect funds and make a donation in the teacher’s name.
Always remember to thank your teacher directly.
A warm thank-you note to teachers is always welcome, whether in the form of a handmade card from a child or a nicely penned letter from parents. Teachers often say that these personal testimonials are among their most treasured gifts.
Marcy is the SVP of People and Communications at Zeel. In addition to overseeing the humans of Zeel, Marcy has written about workplace topics for more than 20 years both at Zeel and as VP of Content for Vault.com, a career information web site and publisher.