Great Gift Ideas for Your Child's Teacher
(That Won't End up in Next Summer's Garage Sale!)
By Amy Fryer
Are you searching for that perfect gift for your child's teacher? Discover ideas that are fun for you and your child to give—and for your favorite teacher to receive!
A few years ago, my mother and I decided to participate in a neighborhood garage sale. Both of us are, or were, teachers—and we have "stuff" everywhere. Our basements, garages, closets, and attics are full of posters, books, games, and—most of all—knick knacks that were given as gifts to us by our students over the years. Each small gift reminds us of the student who gave it to us, yet after hundreds of students passed through our classroom doors, there just wasn't one more corner in which to put another knick knack! Not in the kitchen, family room, or bathroom. Not even in the classroom. And while my mother and I felt slightly guilty about selling off these thoughtfully selected gifts, we were left no choice due to space constraints.
On the day of the sale, our tables were loaded with items from our former students. When a neighbor stopped by to say hello, she looked over our tables and mentioned how cute so many of the items were. "I know," I said, "I just don't have any more room!"
Later that year, just before school's holiday break, I got a call from my neighbor. She was thinking about a gift for her daughter's teacher and had remembered our discussion from the garage sale. She wanted to know what I thought would make a good gift that the teacher would enjoy—and that wouldn't become clutter in the teacher's home or classroom. Here are the suggestions I gave her.
Something for the Classroom
Teachers spend hundreds of dollars a year—literally thousands of dollars over a career—of their own money on classroom items to create a better learning environment for children. Through gifts, you can help you child's teacher create an exciting place to learn.
- Give a gift certificate to the local teacher supply store or discount stores.
- Depending on your child's grade, donate supplies. Due to lack of funding, many schools have cut art programs, so art supplies may be especially appreciated. Tempera paint, brushes, art and construction paper, crayons, markers, colored pencils, scissors, and glue are used regularly in many classrooms.
- Consider donating board and card games or age-appropriate books. Preschool and kindergarten classrooms may need new toys or activities.
- Ask your child's teacher if there is anything she could use for the classroom. If you have a specialty such as sewing, you might be able to create a set of curtains for the classroom windows or a special tablecloth for birthday parties.
- If your child's teacher needs a larger item, consider getting together with other parents to make a bigger purchase possible.