Your child's teacher is one of the most important people in his or her life on a day-to-day basis. If you stop to think about it, kids spend 5 full days per week with this person, learning extremely valuable life skills and knowledge. Showing teachers that you appreciate their efforts with your children is a wonderful thing to do. But how do you pick a gift that conveys this appreciation?
Buying a gift for a virtual stranger can be tricky. One tip is to get your kids involved! Not only will the gift be more personal if they help pick it out, but the fact of the matter is that they do spend more time with this person than you do. They just might know better what he or she will like!
You can also try to get other parents involved. If you can get a few others to chip in $ 10 or $ 20, you'll be able to buy a really nice gift rather than something small. If you're able to pool money, you could think about buying a weekend getaway to a local B & B, a nice piece of jewelry, or even a luxurious down or cashmere-like blanket for them to wrap up with on cold nights!
o For a Creative Gift. Teachers love their students, so getting something your child can help pick out would really hit home. You could think about a charm bracelet and let your child pick out some charms to go with it. Even a thank-you card your child makes herself would really make the teacher feel appreciated.
o For a Healthy Gift. Give your child's teacher a night of relaxation. You could put together a movie-night themed gift, like a ceramic popcorn bowl, some gourmet popcorn, and a movie you think he would like.
Or think about getting her a gift certificate for a massage or other spa service. An afternoon of pampering would be much appreciated!
o For Pure Decadence. Consider buying the teacher a lavish gift certificate to the local teacher supply store. Would not she be thrilled to go buy classroom supplies to her heart's content? You also might purchase a bunch of new books for the classroom's reading corner.
If you'd rather get something for the teacher herself, take the lead from your child. Find out what she enjoys doing in her off time. If she enjoys golf, get her a round on the local course. If he enjoys art, get him some high-class art supplies or a one year's pass to the local art museum.
o For the Time Honored Gift. This one might take some coordination (if there's a teacher's assistant, she might be well-placed to help you in this), but it's well worth the effort. If you can get the whole class involved, have everyone write a short letter to the teacher that explains why they love her or him so much. You can then take all the letters and put them in a beautiful photo album with pictures of all the kids. It will be a keepsake they'll never get rid of!
o For a Technology Gift. There are a million different choices here, both for use in the classroom and outside school. You could purchase an educational set of DVD's that he or she might have had her eye on for a while, or a new CD player for the classroom. Think music as a background for creative writing and put some tunes on a CD for the teacher.
The key to getting a great gift for your child's teacher is to not wait until the last minute to start thinking about it! While the decorated coffee mugs and apple-themed gifts are appreciated, it's also nice to get something unique (and special) once in a while.