How do you thank that extra-special teacher that has helped your child make strides both intellectually and emotionally throughout the school year? Teachers go above and beyond because they care for the children they serve – they don’t expect even a single token of appreciation in return for a job well done. But for those families that would like to say “Thank You!” to teachers that have put forth the extra effort and attention, here are a few creative yet inexpensive ideas:  

  1. Books galore! Every teacher would love a gift certificate to a bookstore. Better yet, help expand the in-classroom library by donating some popular new children’s books. There can never be enough good reads in the classroom!
  2. Theme it up. Get together with other parents and create a themed gift basket. Some theme ideas include a Night at the Movies (movie tickets or a Netflix subscription, microwave popcorn), Home Spa (bath salts, candles, soaps).
  3. Easy money. “My favorite gift ever was a $100 Visa gift card,” explains high school language teacher Romina Incandela. “I re-invested it back into my classroom and bought all new and colorful supplies.”
  4. Picture this. A handmade scrapbook containing pictures, messages and funny quotes from every student in the class is something a teacher will cherish and enjoy sharing with others. 
  5. Give props. Did your teacher do a simply exceptional job this year? Nominate him or her for the Scholastic Teacher of the Year Award and share the letters of recommendation that parents and students have provided on his or her behalf.

Every teacher will tell you about the many coffee mugs, cookies, candies, and tote bags that they have passed on to others. The tokens of appreciation that are always kept near and dear are the cards and letters that students have written with their own thoughts and gratitude in mind.