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We’ve all done it. The end of the school year arrives and you want to show your gratitude for all your child’s teacher’s hard work so you buy a coffee mug. Or picture frame. Or stationary. If you think about it, what do teachers DO with 25 year’s worth of gifts like these? Every year when 25+ children bring picture frames and mugs, there is only so much cabinet space any teacher has. What do they want instead? I surveyed some teachers I know personally and found that these six things rank pretty high on the list of treats and treasures they all love receiving.

  • Gift cards – Starbucks, local eateries, book stores, the mall. Anywhere that they can buy something for themselves or the classroom.
  • Classroom books or school supplies – stocking the room with sanitizing wipes, pencils or age-appropriate books will never go wrong.
  • Movie tickets – and if you really love that teacher, add in enough for popcorn and drinks.
  • Potted plants or perennial flowers – these can go home at the end of the year and help your teacher landscape at home.
  • A bottle of wine and chocolate – self-explanatory!
  • An email of thanks that you copy to the principal (and maybe the superintendent) to let your teacher know how much she or he did for your child. Have your child write a note as well, if they’re old enough. Like parenting, teaching can be a very thankless job and sometimes your words of encouragement and gratitude are the most treasured gifts of all.