Buying a little gift or token for your child’s teacher at the end of the school year can become a bit of a minefield ?
Because there’s not just teachers to think about, there’s teaching assistants, and any after-school club staff, too.
And then there’s the questions of: what do they like? Would it be better (and cheaper) if everyone clubbed together a couple of quid? How do you even arrange that? And will it look bad if I don’t get something really good?
Then there’s the biggie: how much can I afford to spend? As if a whole summer off’s not expensive enough ?
A thank you IS enough
Well, we’ve been speaking to teachers from across the UK, and many we spoke to added that it’s not necessary to spend loads of money at all. They told us a simple ‘thank you for teaching my child’ is often enough ?
That said, they appreciate ANY token and are super grateful for all the things they get – it’s always a joy to receive gifts, after all.
Still, we wanted to make sure we were buying things they’ll definitely use and enjoy, so we also asked the same teachers to share their present-buying tips with us…
1. Wine or champagne
“My favourite gift is always the personalised cards handmade by the kids themselves,” says nursery assistant AW.
“If I was pushing it, I’d love some flowers or a bottle of champagne – but even just a thank you to know you’ve looked after their child well is enough!”
In fact, most of the teachers we spoke to mentioned they love getting a bottle of bubbly, wine or something similar…
2. Pretty notebooks or stationery
Primary teacher LC agrees: “One child usually always gets something personalised and memorable and that’s always really cute to remember them by.
“Or something practical for next year’s teaching like a notebook etc. Or wine! Wine is always a winner too ?”
3. Something personal, like a handmade card
“[Last year], I got 5 cards, 3 boxes of chocolates, a bottle of wine and a bunch of flowers and the flowers and cards with a personal message meant more to me than any of the others really,” says secondary teacher AC.
“Our Year 11s generally club together a couple of quid each to get their tutor a nice meaningful present so like candles, photos, a football shirt, personalised golf tees, guitar pics and like gin glasses etc…
“I think that works better and it ends up being something you would use more… chocolate definitely gets a bit much!
“But personally the cards mean more to me coz I’m super soppy ???”
Indeed, every teacher we spoke to said cards with handwritten messages from their pupils were their absolute fave thing to get…
4. Something small, meaningful and CHEAP
“I get tons of presents,” adds primary teacher RM, who admits that she feels a tad guilty for getting so much.
“Parents can be so appreciative and generous but I often find it difficult as it can be over the top, especially as there are so many of them!
“That’s not to be ungrateful in any way, I just feel the meaning of the present could be lost when you’re accepting so many.
“I also feel that wine goes down well (obvs) but there’s only so much chocolate you can consume!!
“My advice would be that small and meaningful is the best kind of present, you don’t have to spend a fortune to show your appreciation.
“My favourite presents have always been personalised things or keepsakes, definitely things I can use such as scarves!”
5. A present from the whole class
Yep, primary teacher BS is all about the personal gifts, too. “Something more personal from the child is really nice.”
“There are things you can get from the whole class like these pictures with trees and each child puts their thumb print on and it has a quote on it.
“Sometimes, just knowing what the child enjoyed most that year [is more than enough].”
6. Anything but a mug!
And teacher RB says she’s happy with anything – except maybe another mug. “I’m really easily pleased so I like everything I get…”
“My favourite presents are something that’s a bit different or thoughtful: I have a lovely wooden plaque with my teacher name on that I hang on my door which was a present.
“I’ve also been given lovely patterned desk tidies and canvas organisers for my wall that I use all the time.
“I also once got a bouquet of flowers made out of cupcakes which I thought was a lovely idea.
“I do get a lot of chocolates but I like getting them. I would say avoid mugs. I don’t have room for one more mug!”
In a nutshell…
Personalised cards, drawings or photos mean the most – and they don’t cost much at all (though you do have to convince your child to personalise it ?)
But small or practical prezzies teachers can use like: notebooks, desk organisers, stylish pens, candles, generic gift cards or a nice glass go down a treat – as do bottles of wine and bubbly (for the teachers we’ve spoken to, anyway).
What to avoid? Chocolates and mugs – as your child’s teacher will likely get more than they know what to do with ?
Images: Getty Images