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Teacher Appreciation Gift Guide

I LOVED kids when I was younger, so much so that I always said I wanted to be a preschool or kindergarten teacher. Then I had kids, and I realized that maybe taking care of a whole classroom of 20-30 adorable, loud, and demanding rug rats wasn't my thing- I can barely handle the two I have and maintain my sanity (I need a week-long nap after volunteering in the classroom for a couple hours!) Teaching is NOT for the faint of heart!!



Let me say this, I am always very appreciative of our teachers. When my oldest went into grade 1, I had a tough time knowing that from then on out, I would no longer be the adult that he'd spend most of his time with. My influence would be diminishing, while the influence of his peers and teachers would be filling his days. Now my boys are finishing up their grade one and grade three school year, and I could not be happier with how the year went for them, and to say that this is primarily due to the teachers and staff at our school, that would be an understatement!


There's no question that the 2020/2021 school year was "different". From province-wide shut downs, classrooms being sent home, individual quarantines, online learning, trying to ensure kids were "keeping socially distant" and wearing masks...it was tough for students, teachers and school staff.





I did a little survey on Instagram to get ideas from both teachers and parents for great teacher gift ideas, and I received a lot of responses. However, 95% of those responses were "please share the answers!" So, I decided to take it upon myself to do some searching and sourcing for some incredible Teacher Gift Ideas that you know your child's teacher would love.


Finding a Teacher Appreciation Gift for the end of a "typical" school year is tough, but now there is a widespread desire to show the teachers just how much they're appreciated after a year like this. We are blessed to have incredible teachers educating and caring for our children, and I want to make sure that they know that we see them, we see the work they've put in, and that their influence in the lives of our kids is invaluable.


Below you will find some great Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas including some great forms that I created for you to print out, and send to school with your child for their teacher to fill out and send back. You can find these two handy notes at the end of this post, save and print- one will give you some great direction for what type of Teacher Appreciation Gift that will really touch their heart, and the other is a great note that your child can complete and gift.


Teacher Appreciation Gift Guide



Gift Certificates


Ok, I know that gift cards aren't necessarily a worthy "gift guide item" because they can be seen as a thoughtless gift, but in my Teacher Appreciation Gift survey, it came in the top spot. Here's some ideas that maybe you hadn't thought of : food delivery services, their favorite restaurants, local flower shops, spas, jewelry, shopping mall, coffee shop, or one teacher even told me that she likes gift cards to the dollar store (perhaps to purchase classroom supplies?).

To make this gift extra thoughtful, refer to the Teacher Q&A at the end of this post to get a sense of what the teacher would love. There's nothing worse than receiving a gift card for a business that's on the other side of the city and is tough to get to, or is for a type of business that they're not even interested in (ie. giving a gift card for the local butcher to someone that's vegan- no bueno!).



Drinks


This one can be touchy, but coming in a close second for a teacher's gift was liquor (can you blame them?!?). This type of gift is great and there are so many options from wine (red, white or rose), fun cocktail mixes, sangria, beer...the options are endless! But when gifting this type of item, I suggest again, doing a little research first- you don't want to gift an alcoholic beverage to someone that doesn't drink.

That said- not all drinks need to have alcohol! There are a lot of delicious non-alcoholic options out there, and this can definitely be a safer choice (then they can always add their choice of alcohol later, if they choose).

My favorite local wine is Hello Someday Wine

My favorite non-alcoholic drinks are from Annex Ales (I love the Saskatoon Lemonade- with or without gin. My kids love the Annex Root Beer with ice cream for a delicious float!)

I also love these little cans of wine from Big House- the portion size is perfect and the wine itself is really quite tasty! These minis would be great to use if you're putting together a gift basket for the teacher and you can find them at most Sobey's or Safeway Liquor Stores.




Jewelry


Ok, you may be thinking "Of course a jewelry boutique owner is including jewelry!" but a teacher responded to the Instagram survey and said "I was gifted a necklace from your shop at Christmas and it is my favorite! I wear it every day!" The item this teacher received is a beautiful, classic style that came beautifully wrapped and packaged on a card that said "You're One In A Million" So this was a gift with a message and is an item she can put on every day and not only remember you or your child, but remember that she's special and appreciated.

There are lots of amazing necklace gift options at a great price, but there are two specifically that come with a message and are only $48. Choose from "You're One In A Million" or "Cheers To You"





Park Pass


If you are in Alberta, the suggestion for a Kananaskis Conservation Pass or Banff Park Pass is such a great idea! Give your teacher the ability to get outside in the mountains and not have to worry about getting their own pass, or trying to evade a ticket (which has been my usual course of action, until the last couple of years). (Photo below from the Travel Alberta website)



Charcuterie


Charcuterie is definitely something that is for everyone of all ages! You can get a beautiful wood or marble charcuterie board and create your own (with non-perishables, of course. Think crackers, jelly, candy, nuts, olives, pretzels, aged summer sausage, etc), or you can get a gift card for a local charcuterie delivery service. For all of you Calgary folk, I love Eats by Luc (she does my charcuterie boxes for the Style Translated Workshops).




Custom Sign


This is a wonderful idea because it is something they can take with them no matter what classroom or school they may go to, or they can keep it at home! Whether you do a name sign or if they have a phrase they always say, or favorite quote, you could use that too! (For example, my oldest son's teacher starts off every year telling her student she's 99 years old and references her age throughout the year, and the kids LOVE it!)

Some of my favorite shops for custom work are Little w Studio (I have ordered a number of laser etched wood signs for myself and custom signs to give as gifts. Check our Christin's website and if you have an idea, send her a message- just make sure you don't leave this till last minute!) and Grow & Co has some cute acrylic custom name signs too!




Cute Punch Needle Artwork


For the teacher that loves handmade items and attention to detail, a local Calgary woman, Ilona - Hooked on Dixie, has been creating cute punch needlework signs for the last few years. Whether you are in Calgary or not, you can contact Ilona from Hooked on Dixie to either create a custom design to gift your teacher or choose from her pre-designed options like "It takes big hearts to teach little minds" or "Thank you for helping me grow" or even a name sign "Welcome to the _____" (or a fun idea could be "Mr _____'s Classroom")




Premade Teacher Gift Box


This gift box from Grow & Company includes all the personalized teacher essentials: engraved pencils, personalized wooden pencil box and a beautiful personalized wood ruler. It's classy, thoughtful and unique, and definitely something they'll cherish for years!




Fill In The Blank


You know the popular fill in the blanks that kids give on Mother's Day or Father's Day : My mom is ____ years old. She's the best at _____. Her favorite thing to do is _____... Wouldn't it be fun for a teacher to receive something like this from a student? You can create your own and have your child fill it in, or here's one I created that you can save and use.






Whether you decide to do a gift yourself, or band together with other families in the classroom, do what feels right and comfortable for you, and also never underestimate the power and value of a written thank you card or email to the teacher, principal and school support staff. All of these individuals work so hard every single day to educate and care for our children, and a genuine thank-you note can speak volumes! (An added bonus would be a note and/or picture from your child, or the fill in the blank form above!)


To help you get to know your teacher a little bit better and figure out what they'll love, here's an easy letter to send to school with your child - feel free to save it and print it off:





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