The best gifts to give your child’s teacher

For many teachers, receiving gifts from their students is problematic. There are ethical and legal risks that they take when they accept gifts from their students and their families which you might not be aware of.

On top of this, many teachers can feel awkward if you want to show your appreciation through extravagant gifts. Your child will also be completely heartbroken if you send them to school with a fantastic gift for their teacher and they end up needing to turn it down.

There are a few gifts that every teacher appreciates, though:

  • A thank-you note or card.
  • Something that your child has made.
  • A call to their Principal.

A thank-you note or card.

Teachers really appreciate thank-you notes and cards from their students. It makes them feel appreciated, and it’s a nice way to show your gratitude for all that they do for your child.

As a teacher, getting to the end of the school year can get a bit emotional. I know and care about each of my students right now, but I’m always worried that I will forget them and all of the things that they have taught me. I’m always worried that in a few years time, I’ll forget their names.

I have a dedicated folder full of emails that I’ve received from students showing their appreciation. It might be something small, like helping them meet a deadline that they didn’t think that they could meet. I’ve also got some longer ones in there about how much my students have appreciated how I approached a certain topic or how I helped them change their mindset.

This is why I appreciate thank-you notes and cards more than anything else. It’s really personal, and being able to look back in ten years’ time to see that I made a difference for your child is what I really want as a gift.

Something that your child has made.

Your child’s handmade gifts are also highly appreciated by teachers. It shows that you care about them, and it’s a nice way to add a personal touch. These don’t just need to be things like paintings, drawings, or even homemade cards; your teacher will appreciate just about anything that your child has made (as long as it’s appropriate, of course!)

I teach senior science, and I still remember and appreciate the handmade gifts that my students have given me. They aren’t your typical gifts though, for example I had one student who was really into 3D modelling and made detailed models of all the different police cars in our local area. Every time he finished one, he would send me a link. I could tell that he was so proud, and still have all of those links stored safely on my computer.

I’ve collected screenshots of magnificent Minecraft creations, photos of thoughful and creative whiteboard drawings, and even some music that one of my students wrote and wanted to share with me. All of these things don’t just remind me of my students, but reminds me of how proud I am of them all and how special I must be to them that they wanted to share these with me.

A call to their Principal.

You probably weren’t expecting this one.

I wouldn’t have thought of this one at all if I didn’t know another teacher who asked for this in the past. He was on a short-term contract and it was coming to the end of the school year. A parent called him up to express her gratitude for supporting her child throughout the year and if there was anything that she could do to show her appreciation.

If you want to do something for a teacher that will really help them, let their Principal know how much you appreciate them!

He said yes. He said that what he would really appreciate is if she could call up the school Principal and tell them exactly what she had just told him. The parent was apparently a little taken aback at first, obviously not expecting this answer. It was an easy thing to do though, and they did. This teacher didn’t just get another contract, but very quickly got a permanent job at that school.

It’s nice to know as a teacher that you’re appreciated, but it’s also nice to have other people know that you’re appreciated and are doing a good job. This doesn’t just feel nice because by doing this, you can really help a really fantastic teacher.

What gifts have you given your child’s teachers in the past? And if you’re a teacher, are there any fabulous gifts that I’ve left off the list? Let us know in the comments below!

Elise is an enthusiastic and passionate Australian teacher who is on a mission to inspire and support fellow educators. With over a decade of experience in the classroom, Elise leverages her expertise and creativity to provide valuable insights and resources through her blog. Whether you're looking for innovative lesson ideas, effective teaching strategies, or just a dose of inspiration, Elise has got you covered.

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