What do I give the teacher? I let go of the "teacher gift guilt" somewhere around 2nd grade stage when I was buying for 2 teachers, 2 teacher assistants, the secretary, the kids' BFFs and the school bus driver (though I still buy for the school bus driver - because that's a big job with little thanks). In my world, teacher gifts were costing a fortune and a ton of crazy.
Now, instead of thinking "What do I give the teacher?"...I ask the kids "What are YOU going to give the teacher?" - because it is their gift to a special person in their lives...not mine.
And from my talking with teacher friends...teacher's don't need another box of chocolates.
An easy teacher gift can be a simple, kid-made, card. It's creative and personal.
Or making a donation in the teacher's name. Your family could donate supplies for the classroom, a book to the school library or a $ donation to a children's charity.
A gift card is a super, non-gendered, one-size-fits-all, easy gift to give the teacher. And kids know what their teachers like...so ask them what kind of gift cards might be best...coffee shop? movie theatre? building store? book store? music? restaurant?
The best teacher gift my kids ever gave (in my opinion)...a set of cards & envelopes with Canadian postage. Sounds le boring? no - it was le bomb in teacher gifts!
Each of the kids drew a colourful picture on an 8x11 page. I scanned the drawings into the computer and uploaded them to a photo lab site. Then, we had the drawings made into 4x8 greeting cards. We left the inside of the cards blank and on the back inscribed: Made By Thing 1. Gr. 3. and the year. Both teachers LOVED the gifts because they were kid-made and practical.
I think it best to stay away from food gifts (we do live in a world of food sensitivities), bottles of wine (basically a weapon, being carried by kids, on the school bus) and photo frames (because teachers don't need something else to dust).
And really - it is a gift from student to teacher...so don't just buy willy nilly...get your kids involved! This year, my kids "sewed" coffee cozies for their teachers. I put 2 pieces of fabric together, cut holes around the edges and gave the kids some yarn.
This no-sewing-needle-required activity was taken to karate class and soccer practice and while one did their sport - the other "sewed" the yarn through the pre-cut holes making the coffee cozie. It was easy-breazy, kid-made and practical.
So what do I give the teacher?...Easy answer: think outside the chocolate box...