What Your Child’s Teacher REALLY Wants for Teacher Appreciation Week

Sound the alarm! Teacher Appreciation Week is coming- and it’s coming fast! We’ve put together a list of gifts that these people will be THRILLED to receive during this week when you should most definitely be showing some serious appreciation.

May 6th - May 10th is National Teacher Appreciation Week, but let’s roll that up into Educator/Staff Appreciation Week.  Administrators, school counselors, front office staff, school psychologists, bus drivers, custodians, and cafeteria staff all have their own days throughout the year, but let’s be real, the general population never, EVER remembers or acknowledges those days. We also think it’s important to include youth volunteers as well. If your children are a part of any youth program, you benefit from these individuals’ volunteered time and concern. So we will, and should, use Teacher Appreciation Week to thank all the people who make sure your children (we don’t have any yet) are well cared for and educated. We aren’t just talking academics, people. These individuals make sure our children (actually we can say that because it takes a village, and we definitely live in that village) have every need met: basic needs, social/emotional needs, academic needs. All of it. The expectations are high and educators and staff jump through a million hoops to help improve the lives of tiny, young humans. So we can show them a small token of our appreciation, at the very least.

Now, what we are about to say may offend some of you, BUT please understand that is not at all what we are trying to do- we just always want our relationships built on honesty sooooo… Please DO NOT give your child’s teacher/ school staff/ program volunteer something made by your child. Don’t get it twisted, they love their work- it’s beautiful and creative and smart. However, they receive their wonderful creations every day. We aren’t saying that a handmade card from your child isn’t welcome- it ABSOLUTELY is, but throw in something a little extra as well. No need for a canvas with your child’s handprint on it, or a plant pot with your child’s handprint on it, or a reusable grocery bag with your child’s handprint on it. Please no crayon wreaths or mugs with apples on them. And for heavens sake, if you get someone a plant, get them a succulent (unless you KNOW they’re plant people), because they don’t need more things in their life that require daily care. Your children and their own families are enough. During Appreciation Week, please give these people something they can go out and use. Something that will aid in self-care. Something that will spark joy. They deserve it. They’re tired, okcurr?

Let us start by saying that Pinterest has revolutionized gift giving. You can go on there and find a cute card with an even cuter saying that fits perfectly with whatever gift you’d like to give. So just remember you don’t have to do this on your own. If you type in “gifts in a jar” or “gift basket ideas”, the work will be done for you. Here are some ideas that will truly touch the heart of any staff member in an educational setting:

Snacks- Days are chaotic and that really works up their metabolism. Also, let’s be honest, they are stress eaters. Food will always be a key to their heart.

Gift cards- May not sound incredibly personal, but we guarantee these small tokens of appreciation can bring tears to the eyes of a poor, worn-out teacher. Starbucks, Chick Fil-A, even movie tickets- teachers can barely afford to go to a movie. They would love this.  And if it’s to Target, they will most likely turn around and spend it on classroom gear. Win-win. ***You might also consider throwing in a lottery ticket or two into any gift you give. Could end up being a very large “gift card”.

Booze- some of you may think this is inappropriate, but we say it’s the highest form of flattery and appreciation. It’s certainly not YOUR child that drives an educator to drink, but it sure is nice after a long day to come home and have a glass of wine. We think most all of us can agree on that. Picture this: a bottle of wine with your child’s face on the front. A most cherished gift.

Spa-like anything- We mean face masks, nail polish, candles, body scrubs. All the good stuff.

Office supplies- Educators love office supplies. Post-It notes, pens, binder clips, file folders. Seriously. You wouldn’t believe how happy a good pen makes teachers feel. This is not an area to skimp though. Please don’t do this if you’re headed to the Dollar Tree for pens and off-brand sticky notes (they DO NOT stick, people). We are talking Paper Mate Inkjoy Gel, Pilot Gel, Ticonderoga, Sharpie, or Paper Mate Flair. Pinkies up in this area, people.

Any kind of themed basket- So take any of the aforementioned ideas and turn them into a themed basket of goodies:

  • Movie Night In

  • School Supplies

  • Spa

  • Girl’s Night

  • Book Lover

  • Fitness

  • Cocktail Themed

  • Baking

  • Coffee Lover

  • Tea Time

  • Travel

  • Color Themed

  • And sooo many more…

There are so many other great ideas not listed here, from tumblers to lip balm. Get wild with it.

Anyone working with children is truly an angel here on earth, so why not get them a gift that reminds them just how amazing they are?! As much as your child IS a gift to them, nothing says, “we are grateful for you” like a thoughtful gift and we’ve provided you with LOTS of options. You can’t go wrong if you just follow the above guidelines. Teachers will be fighting to have your kid in their classroom next year, since you’ll now be known as the family that gives badass gifts. You’re welcome.