Teacher Appreciation Ideas (May 8)

By Kyrie Collins January 29, 2021
Originally Published 4/2015
"If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn't want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher's job." ~ Donald D. Quinn

Teachers are one of the most important parts of our society. After all, the profession of teaching ultimately creates every other profession in one way or another. This year, National Teacher Appreciation Day is Tuesday, May 5. Here are a few meaningful, fun, and affordable gift ideas to help you say "Thanks!" to your child's teacher. Need more? Visit our School Days Pinterest Board.

A Teacher Survival Kit (pictured above): The end of the school year is approaching and most teachers are beginning to run low on supplies. We found an inexpensive plastic container with an attached lid as well as teacher-themed stickers for decorating at Michael's. The $1 bins and the trial size section at Target gave us most of what we needed to fill it, and then we added a few snack items. We decorated with Sharpies and stickers. Voilà! A thoughtful gift that my son is so excited to give to his teacher!

Dinner in a Basket: Give your child's teacher a night off from having to prepare dinner ... spaghetti noodles, a jar of pasta sauce, and a bottle of extra-virgin olive oil will make a fast and delicious dinner. Add a bottle of Italian salad dressing, tomatoes on the vine, a cucumber, and a red onion, plus a loaf of Italian bread (and maybe even a bottle of wine) to round out the meal.

A Simple Thank You Note: Never underestimate the power of "Thank you." A sincere note of appreciation goes a long way. One from the parent and one from the child would be even better.

If you know enough parents in the class (or have a room parent who can reach out to everyone), combining your resources can make it possible for a really big surprise!

Summer Vacation Gift Basket: Buy some flip flops, funky sunglasses, a gift card to a nail salon for a pedicure, a gift card to a bookstore, and a reusable water bottle. Wrap everything up in a bright beach towel!

A Shopping Spree: Did you know that most malls sell gift cards at Guest Services that can be used at any store in the mall? Collecting even just a few dollars from each parent can easily add up to $100 or more!

A Gift Card Bouquet: Teachers fund many class projects and supplies out of their own pockets, so money and gift cards are usually very much appreciated. You can have each family donate a gift card of their choice in whatever amount fits their budget, or collect $5-10 from each family and have one person purchase a variety of gift cards. My teacher friends say Target, Starbucks, and gift cards to school supply stores are some of their favorites. Tape the gift cards to paper flower cut-outs and assemble them into a bouquet.