As a former teacher, one of my favorite parent volunteer roles was serving as class room parent for my kids’ teachers because I LOVED shopping for teacher gifts. I knew first hand how hard my kids’ teachers worked each day, spending hour upon hour instilling important knowledge, skills, and confidence. I loved finding the best teacher gifts I knew our teachers would love and each year I got compliments about the thoughtful gifts we chose to give as a family and also as a class.
If you’re wondering how I did it, I’m here to share my secrets for giving the best teacher gifts your child’s teacher will treasure.
3 Ways to Get to Know What Your Child’s Teacher Loves
Teachers know your child well but how well do you know your child’s teacher? If you don’t know your child’s teacher as well as you’d like, do some reconnaissance work to be a gift ninja! You don’t have to be the room parent or the one who always volunteers to get good information about your child’s teacher. Other parents, your child, and fellow colleagues can be excellent sources of information and now is the perfect time to start asking questions to gather intel as you begin thinking about a gift that shows how much you appreciate their hard work.
1. Ask a Colleague
Fellow staff members can be a great source of information. They’re always happy to provide a few suggestions about favorite foods, restaurants, places to shop, and summer and winter vacation plans if they know your child’s teacher well. Instead of trying to catch them in the hallways at school, be covert and send a quick email. The response will contain a treasure trove of information!
2. Survey Fellow Parents
Ask those you know who had a child in that teacher’s class last year or the year before. What was given for holiday and end of the year gifts? Were they group or individual gifts? A second gift of something that was loved is always a good idea. Taking up a class collection for a group gift can be a great way to purchase something that might be a splurge for your beloved teacher.
3. Have Your Child Gather Intelligence
Your child spends about 6 hours a day in their classroom and during that time, a lot is learned about their teacher. Comments, behaviors, and observations by your child can provide good clues about the things your teacher likes and can be helpful in figuring out the best teacher gift to give. For example:
- Is there always a paper Starbucks cup on their desk in the morning or do they drink water throughout the day? Give a Starbucks gift card or an insulated tumbler that they can sip water from to stay hydrated during their long days. If you’re pooling your money for a gift for a caffeine loving teacher, a Keurig would make a phenomenal gift! Coffee-drinking teachers would LOVE the ability to brew a fresh cup in their own classroom and parents can always gift pods during holidays such as Valentine’s Day, the teacher’s birthday, or just because.
- Are their hands always nicely manicured or are they always applying lotion? A gift certificate for a manicure or lotion in a favorite scent might be appreciated.
- What items do they tend to keep on their desks for snacks? What item has your child seen them eat in class? Are there certain cravings your teacher gets throughout the day? Refill their favorites so they’re never without a classroom pick me up when their energy level starts to dip. After all, it requires a great deal of energy and stamina to teach!s!
- Do they talk about favorite places to go out to dinner? Are there certain restaurants they enjoy visiting with their family? We know how nice it is to enjoy dinner out after a long day at work and teachers feel the same way! A restaurant gift certificate treats them to a night off from cooking after a long day at school.
- Are they traveling for the holidays or staying close to home? A class gift of an airline gift certificate could help a teacher plan a trip to see family over spring break or the summer. Those looking forward to a relaxing holiday at home might be planning to go to the movie theater during winter break or binge on movies and shows on Netflix. A card containing a gift card to your local movie theater or Netflix gift card attached to a couple boxes of movie theater candy (available in the candy aisle at Target) makes a fun movie-themed gift.
- What things do they love doing outside school? Gift certificates for items that fuel their hobbies are appreciated. Your child spends hours upon hours with their teacher so chances are they’re noticing a lot or picking up little bits of trivia about their teacher’s personality that can translate into gift giving. A little observation goes a long way!
- What’s their favorite color? It’s always nice to be able to select items in a color they love rather than having to guess.