The Rev. Dr. Suzi Robertson, of the Good Samaritan Episcopal Church in Sammamish, WA, says teachers often recieve undesirable items as teacher appreciation gifts.
“Teachers hate trinkets, fake apples and half-dead flowers," she says. "They would rather get something practical they can use at their leisure.”
Here are some suggestions to help you get an excellent grade on your next teacher appreciation gift.
1. Starbucks card or gift card to any store/restaurant they enjoy.
2. Get parents to pool their money together for a gift certificate for a massage at SpaVana in Portsmouth.
3. Gift card to Island Books in Middletown. Teachers love to be able to purchase new books for their classrooms.
4. New board game for the classroom. Merideth Hansen, an elementary school teacher for 19 years, says this is her favorite teacher appreciation gift.
5. Hansen also says teachers appreciate gift certificates to local stores where they can purchase stickers, stamps or art supplies for their classrooms. You can find great items at the Portsmouth Shop.
6. Go the extra mile with a theme gift. Hansen says, “One year for Christmas I had a family buy a Redbox gift certificate for movie rentals, which they then put in a plastic popcorn box, along with several packages of microwave popcorn and movie theater-size candy treats." You can purchase movie rental or movie theater gift certificates.
7. DIY gift. Hansen says, “Homemade soaps, candy, cookies, jewelry, bookmarks or even just a nice homemade card or notes rates pretty high because that takes time and shows appreciation.”
8. Group class art project. “A group gift standout was a large decorative platter that a parent secretly brought in to have all the students sign after it was painted. I’ve had it for years and still love looking at it,” Hansen says.
9. Give a donation in their honor to their favorite charity.
10. Have parents contribute to a group gift of a gift certificate for a special activity the teacher can enjoy with his or her friends or family, such as a special date night at 15 Point Road Restaurant.
11. Potted plants. Hansen says, “Two of my all time standouts are a mini herb garden I was given over a decade ago and an orchid I was given recently that I enjoy looking at every day.”
12. Reduce his or her stress with a class pass to Tenth Gate Yoga or one month membership to Peak Fitness.
13. If the teacher likes to create art, get the parents to pool their money for a gift certificate for a class at the Portsmouth Arts Guild.
14. Take a photo of each child in the class and ask him or her, “What do you appreciate the most about your teacher?” Assemble the photos with the student quotes and each student’s name into a collage and have it framed.
15. Cater your teacher's or school staff member’s lunch for a day or a week. Hansen says, “For teacher appreciation, our PTA provides little treats and goodies for our staff for four days, and on the Friday of that week they provide lunch for us. Last year we had a baked potato bar with loads of topping choices and a large selection of desserts and beverages. This is always prepared by the parents too, which means more than coming from a restaurant, as it takes a lot more effort to do. This week is always so fun, as each is a surprise.”
TELL US: How will you show teachers in Portsmouth you appreciate all they do? Start with giving them a shoutout in the comments sections below!