The end of the school year is always so busy — cleaning up classrooms, end-of-the-year shows and, of course, trying to keep kids learning when they’d rather be enjoying the warm weather. At this time of year, both parents and teachers can find themselves running on low, which is one reason why parents should not knock themselves out getting end-of-the-year gifts for teachers. Seriously. Child-driven sentiments should be encouraged, but anything beyond that — while appreciated — is not expected or necessary. Here are some ideas of cheap gifts most teachers would love to get.
- Notes or pictures are wonderful keepsakes. I have a box of special notes my students have written or drawn over the years, and they’re sweet memories for teachers to keep.
- Mini-books: These work better for kids in the lower grades. Simply staple together a few pieces of paper and have the child write or draw on them: One page can highlight the student’s favorite memory of the year; on another page, the student can share what he or she liked the best about school; another page can be about the best thing he or she learned. Creating a book of this type doesn’t take long and many teachers would treasure that type of memory.
- Classroom help: In some schools, teachers must pack up their classrooms at the end of the school year. The task can be daunting. Receiving help from a few parents would make it much more manageable. Time is a precious commodity, and most teachers in this situation would really appreciate the gesture.
Gifts for $10 or less
- Sweet treats to share: Most teachers I know enjoy the occasional impromptu class party, or giving out treats to deserving students. But at the end of the school year, it’s hard for teachers to justify another classroom expense. I would love if my students’ parents baked cookies, cupcakes or brought in any treat that I could give out to the kids. If there are any leftovers, I might even sneak a treat myself.
- Pictures and frames: A sweet desk decoration that also holds a class picture is priceless and a precious memory of a wonderful year.
Remember: Gifts don’t need to be extravagant to be appreciated, just heartfelt.