9 Thrifty (But Awesome) Teacher Appreciation Gifts
A friend of mine has SEVEN children. Seven. They range in age from preschool to high school. I started thinking about Teacher Appreciation Week and how darn expensive that could get for her family. Especially, factoring in multiple teachers or coaches at the middle and high school level. Yikes!
As a former high school teacher, I vaguely remember the over-the-top gifts, but I truly remember and cherish the heartfelt gifts I received. Sweet notes, handmade decorations for my classroom, the bar of chocolate that came on just the right day. Those gifts really made me feel appreciated and gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling!Gifts from the heart made me feel SO appreciated!Click To Tweet
So, as Teacher Appreciation Week approaches, let talk about how to say thanks to teachers in ways that don’t cost much money. Because it’s not about the $100,000 gift card to Target, but the genuine feeling behind the gift. (Wait, does that card exist??)
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Thrifty Teacher Appreciation Gifts
E-mail a thank-you note – $0
Send a quick e-mail about why you appreciate that teacher – his jokes, her kindness, his rigor, her love of teaching. Bonus points if you CC the teacher’s administrator. Administrators, like parents, only tend to hear bad news. Not only will the teacher feel all warm and fuzzy, but they know their administrator saw it, too!
Donate classroom supplies – $10
All teachers, no matter the subject or grade, spend their own money on supplies for the classroom. Help a guy or gal out by buying some and donating them. Pencils, pens, erasers, markers, colored pencils, construction paper, scissors, Kleenex (many schools do NOT provide these), and hand sanitizer are all useful.
Nominate your teacher – $0
Many schools have Teacher of the Year awards. Outside organizations often recognize local teachers as well. If your child’s teacher has gone above and beyond nominate him or her for an award. After the process is finished, be sure to give the teacher a copy of the nomination letter as well!
Classroom Decor – $10 or less
Let’s face it – some classrooms (OK – high school classrooms) can look a bit . . . bare. Bulletin boards were not my forte. Print out a cute teaching quote and throw it in a dollar store frame. The Dollar Spot at Target is another great place to pick up knick-knacks that won’t break the bank. A small plant or even a bouquet of flowers would be great, too.
Social Media shout-out – $0
Write a brief Facebook post or Tweet about that amazing teacher. Take a screenshot and send it to the teacher. Bonus points if other people respond positively and you include that, too. As always, know your audience, though. If there are a lot of malcontents in your feed, you might want to think twice.
Teacher’s Favs – $5 or less
If you or your child know the teacher well enough, pick up his favorite soda or her favorite snack. (Hint: The kids see it on his or her desk all the time. My favorites are Coke Zero and chocolate in any form. My students were well aware!) If you’re not sure, just grab a gift card (see below.)
Volunteer – $0
Schools (even high schools) LURVE volunteers. Volunteers don’t tend to do glamours work (think copying and laminating, although I could laminate all day), but it’s so appreciated by the teachers. If you have an area of expertise, offer to speak to a class or host them at your workplace. The two best field trips I ever took kids on (the Pentagon and NPR) were invitations from students’ parents.
Gift card – $10 or less
Teachers love gift cards. And they don’t have to be for a large amount of money. Throw in a nice note and you’re done! Giftcards to Target or an office supply store are always useful. If the teacher loves coffee, grab one to a local shop. If you’re really stuck, consider an Amazon gift card.
Support education funding – $0
From West Virginia to Arizona, school funding issues have heated up this year. Support your local teachers and push for more education funding. Please remember that teachers work LONG beyond their contract hours and often spend $100s of a year on supplies for their classrooms.
Looking for more thrifty teacher appreciation gift ideas? Head over to my Teacher Gifts Pinterest board. There are tons of printables and really cute gift ideas!
Let me know what you’re giving your favorite teacher this year in the comments below!