(or, really, any time ☺️)

If parents have learned anything this year it’s that teaching children is a lot harder than it sometimes might look and if there was ever a year that our kiddos’ teachers deserve recognition it’s this one! Whether your kids have been in school five days a week, doing distance learning, or going hybrid, their teachers have been managing a lot more than they normally would…which is a superhuman amount in a normal situation. Teacher Appreciation Week is THIS week (May 3-7) and is the perfect time to celebrate them and let them know just how much they matter and how much of a difference they make every day. 

I’ve been on both sides of this week…as a teacher and as a parent so I’ve received some memorable gifts that continue to touch my heart to this day and I’ve needed to think of some.  Well, never fear! I’ve come up with a list of some of my favorites over the years AND have enlisted the help of my trusty “Teacher Squad” with their suggestions as well!

First and foremost…the consensus is that ANY and ALL forms of appreciation and recognition are appreciated. That said, if you really want your gift to be useful and/or one to remember, here are some ideas:

  1. A hand-written note from the student. This was the overwhelming suggestion garnered from my informal poll. Honestly, I still have shoeboxes full of them out in my back shed. When it is heartfelt and handmade, it is seriously the best.
  2. A hand-written note from a parent. There is not much better than someone letting you know the difference you have made in the life of the most important person in their life.
  3. A group gift from the class. I once got a director’s chair with our class picture on the front of the top fabric part and it was signed by the entire class. I used it in my classroom a few years ago…and those “kids” are all 30 now. It made me smile every day.
  4. School Supplies. As sad as it might sound, one response that came up over and over again, is the wonderfulness that is “Flair” pens, Sharpies (preferably colorful), dry erase markers, post-it notes, boxes of 24-count crayons (bonus points for Crayola as opposed to Rose Art – if you know, you know), pencils (bonus points for Ticonderoga as opposed to pretty much any other brand – again if you know, you know), books for the classroom library, glue sticks, hand sanitizer, tissues, or Lysol wipes. Teachers spend more of their own money than you probably want to know on these things every year. 
  5. Gift cards for non-school things. Things that came up in my “poll” repeatedly were Amazon, Starbucks, restaurants, mani/pedis, Target, Teachers Pay Teachers (It’s an invaluable website).
  6. Flowers. Even home-picked will melt a heart.
  7. Anything that is personal or shows your kiddo or you have been paying attention to what they might really need/want/like. One of my favorite student gifts was honestly a re-usable lunch tote. When I opened it, she said “Well, you’re always bringing your lunch in a Macy’s bag!” Other responses I received from friends were “dog-related stuff or a Petco card I could use for my rescues”, “One year the room parents knew I was fund-raising for a breast cancer walk and collected donations from the families-that’s something I’ll never forget!”, “One year I got a golf ball from each student with their name on it-so cute I didn’t want to use them!”, “A couple students once made me a new bulletin board because the one I had was completely covered in prom/senior photos”.
  8. Wine. Self-explanatory.