I love shopping for and coming up with ideas for gifts, but it can get overwhelming at peak periods in December and June when there are lots of people to shop for. Here are some ideas to help with the end-of-year teacher gifts.
First and best advice: Ask! Ask colleagues, your kids and even the teacher him or herself. What are the teacher’s hobbies? Favourite kind of food? Favourite coffee shop? My son told me his French teacher loved biking to school, and I got her a scarf with vintage bikes printed on it. Big hit.
Shop locally. I love to support local businesses when I shop for teachers’ gifts and for silent auction items for the end of year fundraiser. It also helps if the teacher has to make an exchange!
Personalize. I know I’m a little obsessed on the paper products front, but you cannot go wrong with personalized note cards. Etsy is your friend.
Books. A gift card from your local independent book seller. Enough said.
Inspire. This might be a little left field, and it would have to be the right person, but I love the 20 Ways to Draw series.
Create. Beth-Anne’s recent painted glass project with her son’s class would be perfect for an end-of-year gift for teachers and office assistants. I am planning to make vases, which can be used for flowers, but also to store markers, craft supplies, etc.
As a former teacher and a friend of many teachers, I like to think that I have my pulse on what makes a great teacher gift. First off, teachers really don’t expect a gift. A beautiful card with a thoughtful message is a sure-fire way to get the waterworks flowing and much preferred to a box of chocolates or another mug. However, if you are inclined to want to shower your teacher with a special gift, my advice is make it special. Consider your teacher’s likes – travel, reading, sports, cooking? What about their personality? Artsy? Conservative? Social activist? If you know of a charity that is near and dear to their heart, a small donation will make a big time impression and let them know how much you care.
Still stumped? Here are some go-tos that bound to be appreciated.
Teacher’s lips are notoriously in need of hydration from all of the talking and the dry air that lingers in schools. Aide Bodycare, an artisanal shop from Oshawa, Ontario makes all natural lip balms in a variety of delicious flavours, and at the price of $4 each, you can’t go wrong.
It doesn’t matter the grade, elementary teachers are always reading aloud to their class. These handmade leather bookmarks from Mally ($10 each) are ideal for holding the page until the next reading session.
All teachers are paper-hounds. They can sniff out paper anywhere and when they find it, they hoard it and the best part: they don’t discriminate. They love note cards, card stock, plain paper, lined paper, notebooks . . . but a sticky note is the jackpot of all paper products. These vintage typewriter sticky notes ($5) by Shabnam deserve a gold star!
In addition to hoarding paper, teachers are also go mad over writing instruments. I would have loved to receive these ($14) when I was teaching, and be assured that I would have kept a close eye on them!
Whimsical prints that teachers can use to spiff up their classroom (or home!) are always appreciated and much more stylish than those jumbo-sized posters stuck to the walls. I really like the inspirational words on this post created by Tricia O.
Still stuck? Our friends over at SavvyMom came up with this dynamite list!