Did you know British teachers spend, on average, 60 hours a week fuelling our children’s minds and helping our kids develop? According to the BBC, primary school teachers work an average of 59.3 hours a week with their secondary school counterparts working an average of 55.7 hours a week. The workload survey confirms that teachers are putting in a lot of extra hours outside of the school day too, before 8am, after 6pm and at weekends – that’s why many parents choose to say thank you with teacher gifts at the end of the academic year.
If you weren’t aware, the first week of May sees the week-long celebration in recognition of teachers and the contributions they make towards education. Although an unofficial US holiday, Teacher Appreciation Day sees parents and children offering thanks and recognition to the remarkable individuals who have dedicated their lives to teaching. With the end of the school year nearing ever closer, isn’t it time we started thinking about ways to thank our teachers?
Finding unique gifts for teachers can be a tricky. You want to show your appreciation for the person who has spent the best part of a year encouraging, teaching and entertaining your child (let’s face it – these guys deserve a medal!) But how much is too much? What if Charlie’s mum buys a better present than you? And do they really need another box of chocolates?
We’ve been chatting to our teacher friends to find out what their most appreciated and treasured gifts are from their students, from personalised gifts such as wine gifts to mugs and pens, so you can make sure to get it just right. No apples, unwanted Christmas presents, spare hand creams or last-minute flowers from the petrol station, thank you very much! Of course, the best teacher gifts are ones from the heart personalised with a lovely message from your child.
Here’s our Best Thank You Teacher Gifts as told by teachers themselves…
Best Personalised Gifts
“Shop bought ‘thank you teacher’ gifts are the worst I’m afraid. They don’t feel personal and are usually tat. I once received a personalised mug that had my name and special thanks on it from a student, and it really meant a lot that they’d gone the extra mile to make it personal.” – Nick
“It’s always lovely to receive a gift from grateful parents and children – even those personalised mugs, teddies that have “best teacher ” on them. A little gratitude goes a long way” – Miss Pennington
“As a candle hoarder – I love receiving candles. Although they’re normally only small token gifts, it’s such a lovely gift idea to take home with you at the end of term” – Madison
Best Useful/Resourceful Gifts
“Cards with lovely messages (from both parents and children) always mean the most. They really do bring back memories of children taught and make a great ‘chin-up’ after a not-so-good day! Nice stationery is always great as pens are always really useful.” – Matt
“The most useful present I’ve ever received was a set of pens, personalised with my name. I’m always complaining about the kids making off with my pens, and obviously someone was paying attention!” – Catherine J
“You can’t go wrong with vouchers. Amazon or M&S? Parents often club together to put towards a gift card which as a teacher of 30 years, I find one of the most useful gifts to receive.” – Miss Grey
Best Homemade Gifts
“What I really really like are cards from the children; made by the children and written by the children. They go up on my desk all summer. At the end of the holiday I put them in the back of my mark book for safekeeping” – Debbie
“One of the greatest gifts I received was a handmade thank you card that the child and parent had written in. The parent thanked me for working with her child and told me that she now enjoys maths. The child wrote about a particular part of the year that she had enjoyed. It made my day and I still have the card. It is the thought that counts” – Hayley
“One of my students a few years ago asked all her teachers for their favourite saying and their favourite colour. She then produced a unique framed piece for each of us, with different sizes, fonts and backgrounds featuring our favourite colour. She wrote us each a note of thanks with some favourite memories from the class. If you want to give a memorable gift, something with personal meaning is best.” – Miss L
Best Alcohol Gifts
“The nicest gift I’ve ever received from one of my pupils was a bottle of wine and a little handwritten poem explaining what stress the wine was a solution for. Absolutely fab!” – Millie
“Wine. The best gift when dealing with kids.” – Katie
“My best present ever was a bottle of champagne. You can’t argue with that at the end of a long and exhausting summer term” – Sharon D
“A parent gave me a bottle of tequila that said, “We know our son is the reason you drink, so here’s a bottle on us.” Most teachers get wine, but her claim was that since I taught her son, wine wasn’t strong enough…her son wasn’t even bad, but it was appreciated nevertheless!” – Mark
It would only be right to give teachers a small token to say thank you for all their hard work over the year. Presents for teachers are often just a small token of gratitude, but it’s personalised gifts for teachers that mean the most, especially personal keepsakes that they’ll hold on to for years to come. Whether it’s a personalised mug making tea breaks that bit more special or the gift that receives a chorus of approval from most teachers – Alcohol! Wine gifts, champagne, tequila; they simply can’t get enough of these boozy beverages after a long school year.