The Expert Teacher Gift Guide
June has finally arrived! And as happy as I am sure we all are that it is here . . . I find that June seems to fly by! It is over in the blink of an eye. It is a busy month; there is usually so much on the go! The days are longer, so we fill up our to-do lists to use up every last minute of sunlight. Our weekends are filled with all of that outdoor work we’ve been waiting to get our hands on. Before we know it, the year-end hustle will take place at school and at home. Little ones start to bring home their crate of school supplies, backpacks filled with miscellaneous treasures from the year. High schoolers will immerse themselves into study mode as they prepare for final exams. Graduations will bring, whether it is kindergarten, grade 8 or high school, it is the telltale sign that the school year is OFFICIALLY coming to an end. And what a year it has been, right? For EVERYONE! Parents, you have had a lot on your plate this year! And as a teacher, I thank you for everything you took on. I have learned, hands on, how teaching from home can be at times but it is even more challenging trying to teach your OWN kid from home. So thank you for doing your best – we appreciate it and you!
Another telltale sign of the school year coming to an end is the stress of finding the perfect end of the year gift for your child’s teacher(s). I get it, you want to express your sincere gratitude and appreciation for what teachers do every single day. I think I speak on behalf of all teachers when I say we truly do not expect anything at all. Your ‘thank you’s throughout the year mean more to us than we could ever express. Truly. However, I know many of you would still like to show that appreciate so I put together a list of Teacher Gift Ideas – coming straight from teachers! Hopefully, this guide will help ease any of the additional stress that comes when trying to find the perfect gift.
Coffee Coffee Coffee!!!
Skip the mugs – keep the coffee!!! Just kidding! I, personally, love a good mug. But! I am starting to develop quite the collection!! Mugs are definitely adorable but sometimes storage space can be a concern. What we always seem to have storage room for is THE COFFEE (or tea 😊) I know it seems cliché but honestly, we loooove those Starbucks gift cards or Canada’s own, Good Earth Coffeehouse. My coffee gift cards never seem to last the week! Don’t worry about a coffee gift card seeming impersonal or cliché – for teachers, coffee NEVER goes out of style. And what is great about a coffee gift card heading into summer is we can use it on one of those aaaaamazing iced coffees or honestly, just enjoy a coffee while it is still hot, for once!!
I don’t think I know a single person who would turn down a fresh bouquet of flowers or a small floral arrangement. Teachers are people so by that logic, florals would be a great gift. There is something about flowers that just effortlessly bring a smile to our faces and fill us with happiness. Flowers tend to be something that we just don’t think to buy for ourselves but yet we love them. Rose & Vine Florals is one of my favorites. A beautiful variety of florals, sizes and price points. The staff is beyond helpful and with online ordering available you are just a few simple clicks away from bringing some joy and beauty into someone’s life.
Teachers love plants! So many of us have plants in our classrooms because it makes the room feel homey. Plants provide a feeling of comfort, in the simplest of ways, they transform any space and make it feel cozy. Again, check out Rose & Vine Florals. Just like the floral selection, the plant selection is quite impressive as well. From small potted plants to hanging and everything in between.
Gift Cards for Teacher Supplies
Okay, don’t laugh at this one. But a gift card for teachers to buy supplies, places like Walmart or Dollarama are great options. Many people don’t know this but so much of the classroom décor and classroom supplies you see in our spaces are purchased by the teacher, which you can imagine can get expensive, but we do it. We spend the money because we love creating a space that our students enjoy being in and can thrive in. Having a gift card to Walmart or Dollarama for craft supplies, extra markers, crayons paper, stickers or supplies for classroom student centers like calendars, hand in bins, or file folders would definitely make any teacher happy. I even shop at Winners or Marshalls for classroom supplies. There are often great finds in their stationery sections.
A Night Out!
I know you are seeing the word “gift card” a lot but we love them! Seriously. So why not treat a teacher to a meal by gifting them with a gift card to a restaurant. The M:eating Room, Olive Garden or Lancaster Taphouse are great choices with great menu selections. This is more than just a meal for a teacher, this is an experience. To go out for dinner is another one of those things that people tend to talk themselves out of. The number of times I’ve said “we don’t need to go out, we have food at home” – I have lost track!! We do this all the time. But when we are given a gift card – it forces us (in a good way) to use it and I’ll speak on behalf of teachers here, we definitely enjoy it. Many teachers are Type A so sometimes we need a bit of push to step outside of our routine. The nice thing about a gift card is that we can use it whenever; when it’s convenient for us, it works with our schedule, or we just need a night out. Even though restaurants are starting to open back up, takeout is still an option as well! The option to order online for pick up or delivery might be more of interest to some, which is great if just enjoying a night off from cooking is more their thing.
A Simple Card!
If you are still unsure about an end of the year gift for a teacher, I can say that on the top of every teachers’ list is this: just a nice card with a simple thank you and even better, a card from a student. The students are why we do what we do. Truthfully. Without them, we can’t do our job. They mean so incredibly much to us so receiving a card with words from the heart is honestly THE BEST gift we could ever EVER receive. Rose & Vine Florals has a beautiful and unique section of greeting cards. I often find some cute cards at Winners and Marshalls too. I personally, keep every card I receive, and I give them a read when I need a little bit of encouragement. If I’m having an off day, those cards are the greatest reminders for me of why I teach. The end of the year, as exciting as it is, is often tough for teachers. We spend the whole year creating this classroom bond with our students. They become our home away from home. So many of us refer to our students as our “kids” and we truly mean that; we become a classroom family. But, inevitably, the year comes to an end and we have to say goodbye to them as they move on to the next grade, the next school or for teachers of grade 12s, like myself, they move on to the next chapter in their lives – they move passed the walls of the school that bonded us. Regardless of where they go, we miss them. Having those cards are GREAT reminders – they remind of us the impact we’ve had on a student’s life but it also reminds us of the impact they’ve had on ours. That simple card is truly the gift that keeps on giving. It is priceless and perfect.
Written by Mal Schmitz