It takes a very special person to be a teacher. Each day they happily and patiently take in our children, teaching them about our world and how to survive in it. Doesn’t that deserve a thoughtful year-end gift of appreciation?
On the last day of school in 2017, I saw some of the gifts the teachers and classroom assistants were receiving. I’m not sure if a box of chocolate cookies really said, “Thank you for spending 20 hours a week with my daughter!”
So i asked all the teachers I know what they like to receive, in the hopes of putting together a handy guide for you (and me). I got some great information back! For example little trinkets are cute, but sadly they do end up hidden in a cupboard.
What Do You Know About Your Teacher?
Teachers spend lots of time getting to know the kids in their class. But have you gotten to know your child’s teacher in return? If so then with a bit of thinking time, you’ll be able to come up with the perfect gift.
Here we have it… the top 4 gifts that teachers ACTUALLY want (as told by teachers).
1. Practical, Personalised Gifts
Every day we send our children to school with named lunch boxes and water bottles. Well what about our teacher? Personalised mugs – not necessarily with their name, but one that will stand out in the school kitchen – make great gifts.
There’s a reason gift hampers are popular around the world. People love them! Its easy to select a few treats (think: biltong, chocolates, sweets, and a nice drink) that will make your teacher feel special. What will make this special is if the teacher feels that all the items were hand-picked just for him or her.
“We like gifts that we can enjoy over a few days or weeks even, that we can use during the holidays when we have time to relax.” said teacher Sara Noble from Northside Primary School.
2. Teacher Supplies
Many teachers end up buying their own supplies. Schools will provide the necessities, but the whole class will have fun with more interesting supplies.
* SHARPIES are available in so many pretty colours.
* Colourful Post-It Notes can be used in many ways in the classroom.
* Stickers will be fun for the teacher, and the children, all year long.
* Note pads and other stationary is always a winner.
3. Thank You Notes
Almost every teacher has said that a simple, heartfelt thank-you note would do the trick. Its the notes and cards with special words that truly show that the teacher’s made an impact.
One teacher said, “The most wonderful gift I ever received was a picture in a frame that a child drew of me with lovely words written on the picture. It was special because it was personal, beautiful, and had lots of meaning.”
Many of the teachers I spoke with shared how much they adore receiving artwork from their students. One teacher even said she still has cards that were made for her 20 years ago. That’s so special!
4. Gift Vouchers
If you’ve taken the time to get to know your teacher, get them a gift card to go towards something you know they’ll like.
For example, if your teacher has taken up cycling or running a gift card towards a sports shop would be great. If they enjoy going to the movies, a voucher from New Capital Cinema FTW. And lets be honest… after a long school year, a massage from Mosha Spa would be a fantastic treat for any teacher.
Not all ‘off the shelf’ gifts are off the teacher’s wish list! A nice bottle of wine or a fancy tin of treats from Woolworths will be appreciated too.
Please know that it’s not a competition to who can buy the most expensive gift for a teacher. It’s a gesture and the more meaning the gift has, is so much better than the price tag.
Lastly, please make sure your child is involved in making or selecting the gift. You want to avoid a situation like when your child hands the gift to his teacher saying, “Here – this is from my mom.”
“Teachers don’t expect gifts but they are truly grateful if they receive one. Helping and watching a child grow and develop is a gift on its own.”
– Nikki Lawrence, head of Peo Mela.
In 2019, how about you start off the year getting to know your child’s teacher? Look at this fun survey, and use it as inspiration for the new school year ahead. Source: I Should Be Mopping The Floor
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