5 practical and personal gifts for teachers

It’s time to shake things up with teacher appreciation gifts.

Teacher Appreciation Week 2016 runs from May 2-6. While traditional gifts such as flowers and coffee mugs are nice, gifts that go beyond ordinary can connect on a more personal level.

And, you don’t have to break the bank to find something a teacher will value for years to come.

Here are five ideas for teachers’ gifts which practical, personal and affordable.

1. Take a gift card to a new level with this creative presentation. Every parent who wants to participate purchases a $10 gift card (or whatever value agreed upon by the group) to a store, restaurant or service. Then, collect all the cards and make a beautiful bouquet of “flowers”. If you’re looking for inspiration, giftcards.com has some amazing ideas.

2. Design a photo memory book. Technology has made collecting and publishing photos easier than ever. You can create a permanent keepsake for a beloved teacher by asking fellow classroom families to email a few pictures of their children (both in and out school). Head to websites such as Shutterfly to make a photo book easily and inexpensively (prices start at $14.99 for an 8 in. x 8 in. book).

3. Purchase an autograph photo frame: These special frames allow students and parents to write a personal message to the teacher. Ask a school staff member or fellow teacher to help with this one, if possible. Get a class photo and have it emailed to you. Print out the photo and then put it in an autograph frame with all the messages on the mat. Be prepared with some tissues for the teacher when presenting this gift.

4. Work together to add to a classroom library. Teachers are notorious for spending money out of their own pockets for classroom supplies. Trying to boost a classroom book collection can become an expensive challenge for one person. However, if each student brings in one new book, a classroom library can grow quickly. Ask the teacher what kind of books are needed in the classroom and then provide that information to the parents. This is not only a practical gift for the teacher and classroom, but also one that will continue to be appreciated by future students.

5. Purchase a personalized tote bag. By the end of the school year, a teacher’s bag has carried a ton of book, homework papers and other personal items. Why not replace a bag that’s ready to be retired with a brand new, personalized version? You can choose from a wide variety of bag styles and add not only the teacher’s name, but also a personalized message.

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