End Of The Year Teacher Appreciation Gifts

by Kelly · 10 comments

in Money & Spending

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what to do for my sons’ teachers at the end of the year. I would like to do something for them, and the teachers’ aides, that shows them how pleased we were to have them as teachers this year. I’ve been trying to think of present ideas for a few months now. Last year, at the winter break, I re-gifted a bottle of wine from my work, but I didn’t give anything at the end of the year. This year I didn’t give anything at the winter break, so I would like to do something nice at the end of the year.

I especially want to do something nice for my younger son’s teacher, Isabelle. My older son was in her class last year and both he and my younger son adored her and the feeling seems to be mutual. How can I not like her?

As a person who strives to be both frugal and uncluttered, I cringe at the idea of offering just another knick-knack. I don’t really know their personal tastes and I’m sure they already have enough coffee cups! I did run into Isabelle at Ikea one time, but a gift certificate, especially for all three teachers, is a bit out of our budget right now.

Then I remembered some blank journal books that my mother had made and given to me. These are very nicely bound books with handmade clamshell box covers; she can and sometimes does sell them for $50. She gave them to me after de-cluttering her own bookshelves; she makes them as models in classes she teaches so always has quite a few on hand. They are just sitting on my shelf, gathering dust, but I think they will make beautiful (and frugal) presents. I’m also planning on making a large batch of chocolate chip cookies, that quintessential American treat, for all the teachers’ aides to share and enjoy.

I can see my sons progress daily and I know how much effort goes into that. I didn’t want to give something meaningless just to give them something, nor could it be too expensive because of our financial situation. I hope these gifts will reflect how much we appreciate the work that the teachers and aides do.

Do you give end of the year gifts to your children’s teachers? What kinds of presents do you give?


1 Rita June 12, 2008

I am a first grade teacher and I have been a teacher’s helper in the past. Both the journal and the cookies are wonderful gifts. Thank you for not giving mugs or knick knacks most of us have to many of both although any gift is always appreciated. One time a parent gave me a nice magazine with a pair of seasonal socks and a small Glade candle – I sure appreciated those. We all like to get $5. gift certificates. They come in so handy when we are working in the classroom on Saturday and run out to get a bite of lunch. Your sons teacher will love you for being so kind.

2 Jon June 12, 2008

As the husband of a teacher I fully support the idea of cookies (with those I get a cut!). Knick knacks are definitely superfluous; my wife (who can’t stand clutter at home) usually ends up regifting or tossing them. In general I think short-lived but thoughtful gifts, like cookies or flowers, are best.

3 Tera June 12, 2008

The gifts that I've given my son's teacher that have been most appreciated have been 1. movie theater gift cards (almost everyone likes them and if you don't, they are very easy to re-gift) 2. gift cards to learning stores. We have a Learning is Fun and a Lakeshore locally but you can also buy all sorts of teacher's supplies on line from those organizations. While "bigger" gift cards aren't frugal, where we are at, teachers have tiny budgets for supplies and often end up buying supplies out of their own pocket. So I think those gift cards are particularly helpful and the kids benefit from them too.

4 Mrs. Micah June 12, 2008

My mom used to give them homemade jam. I occasionally baked cookies when I was older. Both of those went over quite well.

I don’t know about in France, but my cousin the teacher appreciated the $5 and $10 gift cards she got to Starbucks. Maybe there’s an equivalent.

5 Kelly June 13, 2008

These are great ideas! I would love to buy small gift certificates somewhere, Starbucks would be perfect. Ah, if there were Starbucks here…

6 Rachel @ Master Your Card June 13, 2008

I think that these gifts sound lovely. It is very much the gesture that is appreciated, rather than the gift itself but something home made always feels more personal and like more effort has gone in.

7 David@My Two Dollars June 13, 2008

Gift Cards, Gift Cards, Gift Cards – my wife is a teacher and most of the “knickknacks” we get end up in Goodwill. The problem is that parents don’t know the teachers in real life; they only know them as teachers. So buying knickknacks never works – you have no idea what that teacher is into outside of work. Just get a nice gift card for coffee or dinner or even a teacher supply store – that would be perfect.

8 frugalbabe.com June 13, 2008

I think food is always a good gift. No clutter, and pretty much a guarantee that it will get eaten, either by the person you give it to or by someone in their family 🙂 Homemade is the best, so your cookies are likely to be a big hit! And since you have the journals already, that’s a great idea too.

9 Ann - One Bag Nation June 14, 2008

I wish I had thought ahead a bit more about end-of-year gifts for my daughter's teacher. We're trying hard to be frugal, too. We're just finishing kindergarten, so next year I'll be a bit more savvy . . .

10 Greg and Jo June 14, 2008

We've given food items (homemade turffles) and gift cards before, but this year we printed out a special recipe that my child made this year for an eggnog pound cake. His teachers and principal really liked it! We personalized it with a little story about when and why he made the cake, and added his name, the year, and the school's name. Quick, easy, practical and very inexpensive…any my child could help make it himself.

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