As the end of the school year draws near, many parents will be wondering what they can get their child’s teacher to say thank you… what to get for that person who has been a massive part of your little one’s life for a whole year – a person who you know really well in some ways, but not at all in others?!
Well, we’ve asked five teachers what their favourite presents have been over the years and here’s what they said…
I love things that are made by the children, or contributed to by them. I’ve had some lovely stuff over the years including canvas, pictures, canvas bag that children have decorated! My friend’s class got her a picture with a wide boarder and they each put their finger prints round the edge, very sweet! Some parents over recent years have clubbed together to get me a gift voucher from places like John Lewis etc. that’s been a practical and useful present.
I’ve always found present receiving difficult. Some families don’t have a lot and I know that for them a gift for the teacher can be a stretch. As a result, the best presents I’ve received are often homemade or personal. I’ve had a wonderful T-shirt designed by a group of boys, a really thoughtful mug (now used for toothbrushes) and some great fridge magnets. Basically presents don’t have to cost the world when there is thought that has gone into them. Failing that then alcohol is always a winner!
When you asked me this question the gift that immediately sprang to mind was a delicious dairy free Victoria sponge cake that my class proudly presented to me one year (because I can’t eat dairy). I was touched by how much though they had put into the gift, its immaculate presentation and their beaming pride upon presenting me with it. That was one of the best gifts.
But the very best gift? Sickly as it is, the utterly best gift is given every time a young person says ‘thank you’. I remember one girl in my first year of teaching, 15 years ago now, who hung about at the end of class to say ‘thank you for bothering to make it interesting Miss.’ That kind of thing sustains a career. You don’t need to spend money to give a gift that utterly delights.
Teachers never expect a present. I always feel very lucky. Plants are lovely especially if you can plant in the garden. I was given one that was the name of the child.
Things that relate to what we’ve been doing at school, for example last Christmas I was given Wonder Woman socks because we had been looking at superheroes.
Small box of luxury chocolates, like Hotel Chocolat have a box of 4 (I think) something you would not normally buy yourself.
I have also been given some fab gift vouchers over the years where parents have gone together. Mixture of shops such as John Lewis and Debenhams as well as food such as Taylor’s.
A lovely card with kind words is also very much appreciated because teaching is not a job where you are thanked a lot!!! I have kept a collection of cards from over the years.
It is also lovely when the TA in the class is given something/card because they also work very hard.
Another fab present is homemade food such as biscuits, jam etc. Always goes down well at the end of term. I don’t really drink so alcohol is a bit wasted on me!
Right…my favourite gifts (that I often keep in and look back on) are special messages, that go beyond the general ‘thank yous’. If the parent mentions something about your teaching, the impact on their child etc – they are definitely the best presents. I also love wine, flowers and nice hand soap (which is always useful). My recent classes have rather impressively done class collections and all put in a little bit towards a nice voucher for a shop in town (John Lewis).
I know it sounds twee but the best presents are really the thoughtful written notes and cards. It’s a very emotional job so to know the parents and kids value that and your work is the best feeling! Chocolate is the one my partner appreciates the most though!
I hope that helps you find or make something for the teachers in your life!
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