Let’s cut to the chase. What teachers have accomplished this past year is extraordinary. So as we celebrate the end of this unholy school year (and man are we celebrating), let’s treat teachers like the queens and kings they are, yes? You don’t need to spend a lot of money to show teachers some serious appreciation as they ride into the sunset for a long summer nap.
Here are some ideas, including some low- and no-cost ones.
- The only thing better than cupcakes is bite-size cupcakes. The Thank You gift box from Baked By Melissa does it right. Vegan and Gluten-free options available.
- DIY Movie Night kit. Start with a large bowl or box (bonus points if it’s a popcorn box) and fill it with a gift certificate to a movie theatre along with all the accoutrements, namely popcorn supplies and all manner of candy. Bam.
- L’Occitane’s Hand Cream Trio is a deluxe salve after so many months of manic sanitizing. The aromatherapy is the icing on the cake.
- Plant delivery from The Sill or Bloomscape is the perfect way to add some green to their living space. No green thumb necessary.
- Teachers Pay Teachers gift card. OK, so this is kind of work-oriented, but we heard from many teachers that this is a gift they love receiving! TPT is an online educational resource where gift cards can be used to buy instructional tools for PreK -12 teaching.
- Fruit delivery from Harry and David is classy. There’s something about the beauty of a perfect pear wrapped in gold foil.
- Let them be the student for a change and gift them a class in something they love. Find a local art class, a cooking course, or purchase class credits at a dance or yoga studio.
- A roomy, straw beach tote like this one is très chic because it doubles as a French market basket.
- This classic wicker picnic basket has everything you’d possibly need for a romantic meal al fresco. Or go for a modern, backpack-style option. Either way, picnic life is where it’s at this summer.
- Bookshop.org gift certificate. Buying books here means you’re financially supporting local, independent bookstores.
- A desk organizer with charging station looks great and tames the bird’s nest of cords at home or school.
- Dylan’s Candy Bar’s Signature Candy Tackle Box is so happy-making to look at, not to mention delicious (both the sweets and the sours). The cute box can be repurposed as a drawer organizer.
- A coffee-themed bundle of a mug with gift card nestled in it might not sound like the most original gift in the world but hear us out. Your kid can handcraft a mug at Color Me Mine or whatever your local equivalent. As for the gift card, it can be Starbucks (no one’s knocking Starbucks) but you could also spring for a coffee subscription service like Trade that delivers personalized selections of small batch roasts from all over the country, or a Bean Box Sampler. Bottom line: Teachers should never have to buy their own coffee.
- Personalized notepad and pencils or stationery elevates their home and school desk game.
- This weekender bag from Vera Bradley is made from recycled cotton, is the perfect size and shape (true duffel!), and comes in a choice of summer-tastic colors. And any gift that gets a person daydreaming about their summer weekend trips is a good thing.
- The Tasseled Sheila Throw from Anthropologie is lightweight and made for nippy summer evenings outdoors.
- Embrace the gift card. What about a card to Doordash/ Grubhub/ Postmates for a night of takeout? What about Whole Foods or another local high-end grocery? Or Spafinder, so they can book a treatment of their choice with the vendor of their choice?
- How about a print of some book cover art for a literature-lover?
- A convertible backpack/ tote like this one from Timbuktu is super utilitarian and super handsome, and that’s “handsome” in the most gender neutral way. The padded laptop compartment is key.
- A Food52 gift card lets them choose from cookware, gourmet food, and even home decor.
- Fill a Mason jar with their favorite candies and zhuzh it up with some ribbon. Sure, it’s a basic move, but one that’s always appreciated.
If it’s not too late to involve the class, try…
- Thumbprint art from the class is beautiful to look at and pulls those heartstrings. Pop it in a frame and you’ve got a killer gift.
- What about compiling notes from the whole class in a clever, colorful way? Each student can write a message on a colorful Post-it note or index card. Fold them up and toss them together in a clear glass vase.
- Capitalize on the teacher’s favorite subject in a creative way. Does he or she love math? This takes a little organizing from the room parent, but it goes like this: have each kid write a fun math word problem about their teacher — funny and zany is fine! — and compile the pages into a full color booklet. Totally delightful.
And never underestimate the power of a truly heartfelt note of gratitude. Whatever your gift, take a minute to include your sentiments. It’s been a year for the ages.