6 Ideas for End of the Year Teacher Gifts

As the school year draws to a close we, as parents, are swamped with a million things to do and remember. Registration for the next year, end of the year parties, summer plans, end of spring sports activities, and beginning of summer sports activities.

Oh and of course, purchasing a gift for your child’s teacher.

This is always a tricky thing for parents. When you do a quick search online you can find a million different articles on great teacher’s gift ideas. The only problem is that a lot of the most popular ones have probably already been done and given to your child’s teacher before. More than once…

So here are a few ideas for gifts that will truly touch your favorite teachers heart and stand unique against the years of other gifts she’s got stashed away at home.

  1. Memory Books – I know, there is a chance your teacher has received one before but since each class is different it is always something special and unique. You can do something fairly simple or more extravagant depending on time and money available to you. You can always create a photo or storybook online  (try Snapfish, my personal favorite (http://www.snapfish.com/snapfish/fe/photo-books)) with pictures you’ve taken over the course of the school year. A simple book is relatively inexpensive, especially if everyone in class can chip in a couple bucks. But you can always go handmade and have each child in class draw a picture and write about their favorite thing about their teacher. Put these in some sheet protectors and place them in a binder and you have a wonderful memory book for around $7.
  2. Donate a Book – With the economy the way it is, a teacher’s classroom library can always use a few extra additions. Have each child in class donate a book from home to the classroom library for future classes to use. Each child can even write a note to the teacher on the inside of the book. Hit up your local used bookstore if you want to pick up a couple books for kids who forget to bring one…
  3. Personalized Gift Card – Yes a Starbucks gift card is great for the teacher who loves Starbucks, but if you’ve gotten to know your child’s teacher over the year you may have picked up what her hobby may be. Get her a gift card covering one month of Zumba or Yoga at her favorite studio. Or maybe tickets to the movies or her favorite theme park where she likes to go with her kids or a spa day at her favorite salon. Getting her a gift card for something she really loves says you pay attention.
  4. Framed Photos – Take your favorite class photo from a field trip or class party and do something spectacular with it. Purchase a frame large enough to put each child’s handprint on it (or just have them sign their name if time is short).  Or if you have the money to do so, do something completely different and have a photo Aluminyzed (http://aluminyze.com/). You can upload the class photo to the website where it will be infused onto Aluminum to create a stunning way to display the photo. Something the teacher will cherish always.
  5. Write a Letter – Whether you end up just doing this alone or adding it to another gift, take a moment to have your child and yourself each write a letter telling the teacher what he has meant to you over the course of the year. Nothing touches a teacher more than knowing how much they are loved and appreciated.
  6. Write Another Letter – If you feel especially strong about the amazing job your child’s teacher did this year, tell the boss. Take some time to write a letter to the principal (and CC the school district) expressing what an amazing job the teacher has done. Generally speaking these kinds of letters are required to be placed in a teacher’s file (just as a complaint would) and could someday make a difference in whether they get a promotion or even save them from getting laid off later on down the line. Encourage other parents to do the same.

What unique ideas have you come up with for end of the year gifts for your favorite teacher?