Teacher Appreciation Day is upon us on Tuesday, May 9th with celebrations lasting the whole week from Monday, May 8th to Friday, May 12th. I have been a teacher for 9 years and while I, or any teacher for that matter, don’t ever expect to receive gifts, I always do and am always grateful for the gestures of kindness, love, and, well… appreciation.
Disclaimer: I am going to be blunt about this. With that said, I’d like to give parents some ideas on what a teacher might like most during Teacher Appreciation Week. We are always thankful for any sentiment gifted upon us, but like in any gift giving situation, people have preferences, likes, and dislikes. Here are some Teacher Appreciation gift giving ideas:
- A Week Long Celebration With a Gift for Each Day: This is something that the PTA at my school coordinates for the teachers. I’ve also had it done by my class and led by the room parent. Each day the students brought me a different gift. For example, on Monday, everyone brought me fruit. On Tuesday, everyone gave me a flowers. This continued until Friday. This is so so sweet and I loved it! My little loves were beaming every morning and couldn’t wait to shower me with love each day.
- How to:
- Collect email addresses of all the parents.
- Send out an email well in advance to get parents prepared. Send out a reminder email the week before and a couple days before.
- Something to think about:
- If you are having every student participate each day, think about how many of one thing the teacher is going to get. If there are 24 students in the class, the teacher may possibly receive 24 apples on Monday if every student participates. What is a teacher going to do with 24 apples? or 30 mugs? or 18 muffins? I once received not only individual pieces of fruit, but also fruit baskets from a class of 24 and I was like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
- Rather than have each child participate each day, families can sign up for a certain day. This way your teacher isn’t going home with 21 bouquets of flowers.
- If everyone is participating each day, can every family afford to participate? Will certain students feel left out because their parents couldn’t afford to buy something for that day’s theme?
- School Supplies: I am a teacher who buys supplies for my classroom. I would take a wild guess and say 97% of all K-8 teachers buy supplies for their classroom. Some teachers ask for donations from parents, but why have them ask? Just give it to them. Honestly, I would love that.
- Gift Cards: I’m not being greedy or spoiled and here’s why: Teachers spend their own money on school supplies, books, lessons/worksheets, classroom storage, cleaning supplies, etc. Classrooms are like an extension of our homes. Gift cards are especially appreciated because we get to spend something on ourselves. Here’s me being blunt: we don’t want gift cards to buy more school supplies at Lakeshore Learning or Staples. Getting school supplies as a gift is one thing, but getting a gift card to spend our free time to buy more stuff for the classroom negates the whole process. Teachers are people too and, contrary to what the littles thing, we don’t live in our classrooms. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Here are some cute ideas from Pinterest. You can find all my favorite Teacher Appreciation gifts on my Pinterest board.