This is the first year where I had to really come up with an end of the year gift for my son’s teachers, aides, bus drivers, and bus aides. It has been quite a challenge to keep it from busting our family budget. I was stumped for the longest time trying to figure out what to give a bus driver when chocolate or really anything that melts isn’t an option. Because I work with teachers, administrators and have family and friends who are teachers, I polled them to see what their favorite types of gifts would be that doesn’t break the bank. I found that the more creative gifts and more personalized gifts were very appreciated. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1) Gift cards
These are great if you know a little more about what they like and you don’t have a lot of people to buy for on your list. Most people like Starbucks, but if you know they like juice or something else, go for that. Just keep in mind that if you do only $5 that it doesn’t go very far. Bookstores, massages, movie theatres, etc. are some types of gifts to get. Just think about the things that can help them relax, too! Teaching can be stressful!
2) Classroom supplies
Teachers always appreciate anything they can add to their classroom without it coming out of their pocket! Some teachers have received unique pencils, pen sets, briefcase, books, flowers, or anything that is fun and useful.
3) Consider the gender…
of your teacher along with their likes. Also, observe how they decorate their classroom. This is where the briefcase or a special homemade gift is appropriate.
4) Candles or candle holders
Just make sure they don’t have any major allergies! I happen to have access to some amazing candles due to my side job, but anything that fits with the teacher’s personality is great no matter where you get it. This just doesn’t work so well for bus drivers and aides because of the heat. Unfortunately, not all buses have air conditioning.
5) Water bottles
I decided to go to a dollar store and see what kind of inexpensive water bottle I could find. This is a great gift for bus drivers that they can use throughout the year. I filled it with some candy that won’t melt along with some drink mixes. I also put gum in there because sometimes it helps to have something to chew if you are hungry and have a long day or a long drive.
Teachers always love hugs from their students.
7) Specialty candy or specialty desserts
If you know they have a sweet tooth, this is a great way to go. Think about what specialty local shops are around and see what they have to offer in your budget.
8) Handmade items
Vases, pencil boxes, apples, etc. are great things to have your child make for them.
9) Picture of your child.
Teachers love to have pictures of the children that they serve as reminders of them. They can make a picture frame or buy one to decorate. It’s a great way to say thank you.
10) Pictures that your child draws.
Sometimes even the simplest gifts are the best. Teachers, aides, and anyone involved in working with children love receiving stuff made by kids.
These are only a few suggestions, but be creative! One of my teacher friends once received cereal and she said it was the best thing! Gifts do not have to be expensive or even cost anything. It really is the gratitude you are showing the person for taking care of your child and helping them grow and learn amazing things. Everyone who works in the school should be appreciated no matter what position they hold. They are a big part of our child’s life.