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Best Gifts for Teachers: Teacher Appreciation Week

By Melissa Summers

Picture me as a chicken with my head cut off. Chickens with their heads cut off don’t run around multi tasking and getting things done. They run around wildly because their head is cut off and then they die. I’m not going to die but I am going to give myself a heart attack.

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, the week when we say to our kid’s teachers, “Hey! Thanks!” Because teaching is a job which requires buckets of patience I do not have, creativity I can’t muster and a sense of responsibility for the way kids learn which would send me running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. Both those things are very stressful, setting the tone for the future learning of hundreds of children and having your head cut off. One more than the other.

I’m giving you quick, simple, non-cluttery and thoughtful gift ideas to let your teacher know she is appreciated even though you’re unable to manage your time and do something before the night before the last day of Teacher Appreciation Week.

pie.jpgMy school organizes something called Pie Friday (this year it was on a Thursday). Parents volunteer to bake (or buy) pies and they are distributed to all the teachers in the school. I hope whoever gets my pie enjoys it because, wow, I don’t make pie very often and it was a labor of appreciation. Heavy on the labor and the burning of fingers. You could make or buy a baked good(s) for your teacher and send it into class tomorrow. I often send in a few slices of banana bread when I make it and it never fails to make our teacher know I’m thinking of her. You could add a note which reads, “I’m bananas about you!” if you like making your kid feel sort of stupid because he has a parent who makes really bad jokes.

flowers.jpgSkip To My Lou has compiled a list with lots of great ideas for you. My friend asked me over a week ago for some appreciation ideas and I said, “I’ll look!” Then teacher appreciation week came and well, I sent Andrea to Skip To My Lou because I can’t seem to get it together. There are tons of simple ideas with cute little sayings to go with them, not lame ones like the banana one. On the way home you could grab a vase of flowers and attach a tag which reads, “Thanks for helping [your child’s name] bloom this year!” Excellent.

thankyou.jpgThe National PTA site has other good ideas for teachers from actual teachers. Although one teacher in the article is really cheesing it up when he says he wishes for, ““room full of students who are in class every day full of curiosity and a desire to learn.” Jim, cut it out. Teachers ranked thank you cards from parents as their favorite gift and edible goods as their least favorite. Oh dear, so much for Pie Thursday! My daughter has had several teachers which helped her come out of her shell and feel secure at school. Without them, I’m certain she would hate school today, I’ve written thank you letters to the teachers I feel helped her the most so they know their skill with my very sensitive daughter is not misssed. They also suggest giving things to help in the classroom, kindergartners plow through glue sticks and I think some teachers are afraid to ask for more donations. A quick trip to Target after work and you’ll have a pile of helpful items (glue sticks, markers, tissue) for the class room.

craftygifts.jpgMartha Stewart never lets me down, I let Martha Stewart down by being so scattered and far too late to use any of the lovely craft ideas on her site.  Here she shows you 7 DIY gifts you can make to show your appreciation.  I also love this clipboard idea.

Good luck, we’ve got less than 24 hours. Next year, I will be more organized.

Published May 10, 2007. Last updated August 29, 2018.
Melissa Summers
About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.


Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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  • Meesha

    May 10, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    If your teacher has kids of their own or is otherwise really busy, you could consider a gift subscription to a menu/recipe newsletter, such as the Six O’Clock Scramble or Saving Dinner. They send a weekly menu of quick, family-friendly meals along with a shopping list so all the recipient has to do is print it out and go to the store.
    Even better, all YOU have to do is give your credit card to the site and enter the teacher’s e-mail address, and enclose notice of the subscription in a nice card.

  • Lisa

    May 10, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    Thanks for the ideas, I’ll have to bookmark them for next year. Our PTO is always looking for new ideas.
    Today’s gift to our teachers was catered lunch plus an extra half hour to enjoy it. This meant it required parent volunteers to watch the kids on the playground for that extra half hour. Being on the kindergarten playground for three 1/2 hour shifts and out with 1st graders and then 5th graders each for 1/2 hour shifts really gave me a whole new appreciation for what teachers do every day. I came home and took a 2 hour nap!

  • Tinkergrl12

    May 15, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    hey, loved your page, it really helped me. now i know what to get for my awesome homeroom teacher. i may come back tommorow, so be watching for another comment!!!

  • Paula

    May 18, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    My daughter’s PTO has a form that each teacher fills out at the beginning of the year with their “favorites” (favorite color, soda, candy, scent, etc.). They keep all of the teachers forms in a book in the office – that way parents can have easy access and get the teacher something they like or will use. I love the idea!
    [Ed Note: I LOVE THIS IDEA!!!!]

  • Jill

    May 20, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    Our PTA had the teachers fill out similar forms before the winter holiday, and it was very helpful. Instead of them being kept in the office, though, the answers were posted on each teacher’s classroom page on the school website.
    Much easier, since I work full time and I’m not physically at the school that often.