How to Buy A Great Gift For A Teacher, Coach or Camp Counselor

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It's the end of the school year, and many parents try to come up with a year end gift for their child to present to their teacher as a thank you for all their hard work over the year. Here are a few ideas for gifts that will be remembered, appreciated, and utilized.

Things You'll Need

  • Money or gift cards for shopping
  • generous intentions
  • thoughtfulness
  • Teachers work hard throughout the year and aren't paid as well as they should. Year end gifts are appreciated, but gifts from up to 30 students can be overwhelming. If you have a limited budget or a large one, here are a few ideas that are sure to be a hit.

  • Teachers always appreciate some kind of creative token gift that represents all of the students in the class. A tote bag that is signed by all the students with a message and a group contribution toward a Border's gift card inside the bag is always a great gift that could be repeated every year.

  • Other creative ideas include a large wooden box with a lid that is decoupaged with each of the students' school photos taken that year, or several group shots that include each student, taken secretively. Inside the box you could tissue wrap a group gift of a mall gift card, or for the spa, book store, or a favorite store of the teacher's if you're in the know, such as a nursery if they love to garden.

  • Individual gift cards to the movies, restaurants, iTunes cards, or cash gift cards are also useful and always very much appreciated. Often teachers need a new laptop, digital camera, etc. A group gift card can help them fill in the gaps in their budget and get something from their wishlist.

  • One year my daughter's class took up a collection for a diamond number charm that represented their grade. It was the teacher's second year of teaching second grade, so it was doubly appropriate and the teacher also had a charm bracelet to place it on.

  • Gifts that do not go over very well are candles, candy, cookies, skin care products, or other personal gifts. Most teachers feel overwhelmed by receiving these types of gifts and they then have to find space in their house or classroom. Teachers have a lot of things to take home every year after the school year ends, so these kinds of gifts makes the process even more daunting.

  • If you really want to buy a tangible gift, personalized stationary like a teacher caricature notecard set with their name on it usually goes over well. You could include some stamps and matching return address labels. Teachers can use these over the summer to send to the students as thank you notes for the year end gifts.

  • If you have a very limited budget, a hand written note or drawing from your child saying "thank you" is special and will be saved in a scrapbook or memento box.

  • Green gifts are a great idea these days, such as a recyclable bag with a grocery gift card. Or a Sigg water bottle, some organic fruit, or a gift certificate to a farmers market or local farm.

  • The best teacher gifts are things that are practical, useful, and will treat them after a year of hard work and effort!

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